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Friday Slide Show: Rain At The Palace Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

11 March 2016

In a dangerous precedent, we took our own advice and stepped into the storm today with a camera to see what the weather could contribute. We were out on the streets early this morning with our pick of venues. But we headed for the Palace of Fine Arts because we'd never shot it in the rain.

Palace of Fine Arts. Rain at the Palace.

We took a fairly compact Micro Four Thirds camera with us, leaving the dSLRs at home. Size mattered.

But it might have been a mistake because interface matters too. And when you're in the elements, you only have one eye on your gear. You want to be able to set things like aperture, shutter speed and ISO without looking at them.

That was pretty much impossible on our camera.

To change a setting, you have to press a button to display them, then an arrow key to activate the control for them, then another arrow key to change the setting, which is displayed on the screen.

The dSLRs, in contrast, have thumbwheels to cycle through aperture and shutter speed settings. And ISO just takes a shift key with the thumbnails. You don't have to take your eye off the viewfinder.

The weather lured us in with just a few sprinkles at first. Then the deluge hit.

We did, nevertheless, fiddle with our settings, trying to get down from an Auto ISO of 1600. Or a shutter speed of 1/8 second (fortunately on an image stabilized body so that was hand-holdable). With an aperture that gave us some depth of field.

But it took some time. So long that a fellow practitioner of the art seeing us lining up for a shot apologized for being in the way. You've got plenty of time before we're set, we laughed.

The weather lured us in with just a few sprinkles at first. Then the deluge hit. We'd meant to bring along a sandwich bag to protect the camera but in our excitement to get going, we weren't thinking lunch supplies.

So the camera got wet. But survived.

Something about the weather suggested to us that we would be processing these as black and white images. Compared to the Palace in sunlight, the color would be weak, almost monochrome

But when we brought these into Lightroom, we liked the color of the building, the color of the flowers, the color of the green doors. So we processed them in color.

Then we thought about it and decided to try them in black and white, too.

Black and White. Compare and contrast.

We made virtual copies of our selection and saved them as a collection which we converted to black and white so we'd have both.

We kicked up the Contrast a bit but otherwise didn't much change the settings.

Some images do better in color (those green door images), some in black and white (the building texture). Some do well both ways (the flowers, the distance shots).

We ourselves did a lot better indoors where it was dry than we did outdoors at the Palace, where we got a nice drenching. It could be the last time we take our own advice.

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