On the morning of June 16, 2014 I looked out my studio window and saw smoke from what turned out to be a wildfire in Arizona. Smoke (its destructive source aside), like fog and haze, can create beautiful aerial perspective, the name for such layering effect. The initial RAW capture was, pale, gray, low contrast and dreary. But it provided the raw material for creating this Japanese scroll art feeling. A few simple adjustments in Lightroom were made and—voila!
On a walk, last October, I realized my first "smartphone" was in my pocket, so thought I'd better start getting familiar with it. There seem to be no manuals with electro-gizmos anymore. I'd heard that tiny sensors equate to deep depth of field, so turned the phone for a vertical image to maximize the area from near to far. The pics looked pretty darn good on the small monitor. But I was anxious to see how they looked on the desktop monitor back home. I was astonished. But I was still looking at a 72 ppi image and wanted to see the ultimate test—a print. I watched expectantly as an 18 inch file printing from Lightroom emerged from the Epson 4900. Jaw-dropping! Stunned.
The horizontal image below revealed a possible flaw that didn't exist on the vertical. The upper right corner is soft. Oh No! I ran some tests, shooting newspaper. Soft corner, in fact the whole right side. Went online to see if there was chatter about this. Some gab about a loose lens, even audible if you shook the phone. Ugh! I was heartbroken. With such incredible resolution I had visions of creating a genre of iPhone photos. To be continued...
Every morning (almost) before breakfast Jillian and I and our neighbors, Lito & Linde, start out the day with a hike up North Crestone Creek. This morning after a rain in the night I lagged behind taking backlit snapshots. Purple asters beside the trail hooked me like a fish for a grab shot with my Canon s95 before the gang rounded the corner. Pocket cameras are incredibly handy for plinking around. This pic is a fun, personal record shot which, if I had taken the time to get deep depth of field, would have missed the people.
Smoke from the wildfires in Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona drifted into the San Luis Valley of Colorado, my home, all too often this year. Tragic as the fires are for animals, plants, people and homes in their path, the sunsets are stunningly out of the ordinary. That's what we photographers look for much of the time—the unusual.
We had company for dinner on this night, nevertheless I excused myself from the table to check out the sunset. It looked promising. So I ran to the studio, grabbed a tripod, camera and 100-400 lens and set up where the sun would eventually move behind the tree. My hope was that the sun's extreme brightness, even through the smoke, would be knocked back further by the branches and leaves. The foreground was nearly black in the RAW capture and detail was brought out using Lightroom 4.