Saturday, February 20, 2010
Picture of the Day - 2/20/2010
The photo conference ended a day earlier than I expected - one of these days, I'll actually review the advance program more closely. So, I decided to drive around to the west side of the Sierras visit Yosemite N.P. I wanted to try the classic shot of Horsetail Falls in the setting sun (search for Horsetail Falls to see the result). As it was, the weather had different ideas and so there was no setting sun, due to the heavy overcast and rain that day. However, overcast weather is the perfect time to photograph forests and trees, because of the soft even light.
One subject I love to photograph is the oak trees in the rolling Sierra foothills. Here's a shot taken off Hwy 120 as I'm driving towards Yosemite. This picture has had a lot of post-processing to make it look the way I wanted. The grass was already incredibly green from all the recent rain California's been having and the oak trees had a very slight magenta cast to them (in real life). I boosted the contrast, which deepened the colors a bit. The original image had another row of trees above these and I cropped them out to help simplify the composition. The grass in the upper 1/3 was much lighter, so I used Nik Software's, Vivesa, to match the color with the grass below. I cloned out some distracting white rocks and the white tips of the metal fenceposts, as well as a couple stray out-of-focus blades of grasses in the immediate foreground. Interestingly, it turns out green and magenta are opposite hues in the color wheel, therefore, they go very well together. I think the result could easily hang on my living room wall!
Now, here's an experiment in B&W. I basically, took the above, and did a B&W conversion using Nik Software's Silver Efex Pro. After playing with all the possibilities, I decided to boost the contrast and make a more defined structure using the sliders. Otherwise, It's a pretty normal-toned image. Which version do you like best?