If you are unfamiliar with this continuing series, start HERE.
It can be hard to believe that well over two months have passed since my last post here. My time with student teaching is nearing an end, graduate school applications are finally complete, and I am looking forward to a nice Christmas break to catch up on all things photographic (some pretty big things in store for this site, as well).
That said, I still make photographs whenever the opportunity presents itself, as my couple small photography jobs rightly like for me to get out there and shoot! Though this post is perhaps a little out-of-season, the chance to capture the colors of Fall nearly slipped by me again this year. Thankfully, having a camera along in the right place at the right time can make all the difference. But one of the types of shots I like to go for, natural scenes at dynamic times of day (sunrise/sunset), present problems to photographs straight-out-of-camera. Take this “before” photograph, for instance:
Well…that’s uninspiring. Despite shooting at a sunset-friendly white balance of “Daylight”, everything is tinged blue. Shadows in the foreground are completely crushed, there’s not much detail in the sky, and fine detail in both the trees and building is largely absent.
So, Lightroom 4 to the rescue (ah yes, Adobe recently released Lightroom 5—I have yet to jump on the bandwagon)!
After a good warm-up of the white balance to 7500k, and a tint change to +9, tones equalize to more lifelike hues. A general boost of the shadows slider brings out the detail of the foreground trees and bricks of the building, and thanks to shooting at ISO 100 and in RAW, little noise is introduced. Taking down the highlights even all the way to -100 doesn’t bring back adequate detail in the sky. So, a combination brush of contrast and clarity is used liberally (taking care to stay away from the building/tower/trees with a generous feather on the brush). Some finishing touches to overall/local saturation, vibrance, and clarity to the file, and I ended up with this tone-mapped photograph to nicely juxtapose a late sunset with warm colors of Fall on a college campus:
That’s all for this post, guys and gals. Also, I have by no means forgotten about this site and all of you faithful readers! Higher priorities need to be addressed at times, and this semester has unfortunately been one of those instances. With that in mind, I better get back to lesson-planning!