Photo Corners

A   S C R A P B O O K   O F   S O L U T I O N S   F O R   T H E   P H O T O G R A P H E R

Enhancing the enjoyment of taking pictures with news that matters, features that entertain and images that delight. Published frequently.

Bare Branches Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

20 July 2021

What on earth possessed us to think some straggly, bare brittle branches standing against the blue sky were beautiful? And yet there it was. Undeniable beauty, as if arranged by a master floral arranger.

Bare Branches. Olympus E-PL1 with 14-42mm II R kit lens at 32mm (64mm equivalent), f8, 1/800 second and ISO 200. Processed in Adobe Camera Raw.

We took the shot, just one, and continued on. But we had a good feeling, as if the trek had proved worth it. That we could relax and enjoy ourselves now, the work done.

Turns out, there was still work to do. The editing was more involved than we expected.

As a DNG Raw file, we opened the image in Adobe Camera Raw, which defaults to Adobe Color. We're having trouble with that choice. We almost prefer a flat, neutral rendering to start with. But Adobe Color punches things up, flattering the image.

The editing was more involved than we expected.

It's a bit much.

So we tried Adobe Landscape, just because this would qualify as a landscape (or skyscape, but there's no Adobe Skyscape). There isn't much to alter here. But the sky did deepen despite the Oly's tendency to turn sky's dark as a polarizer (an effect we like).

It was left to us to bring out the contrast in the branches. There was quite a bit. Some in shadow, some in sunlight.

We used Dehaze to start with. And that was about it. We liked the effect. Stark. But each branch seemed painted on the sky with the point of a fine brush dipped in the darkest ink. There was something almost Japanese about it.

Nature, though, is chaotic. And there were a few extra branches along the bottom of the frame and some not-yet-dead growth along the left edge. We used the Healing Brush to eliminate that because a crop would have sliced off that particularly elegant branch at the top left. That stays, we said.

We call that local cropping. In contrast to global cropping where you use the selection tool to draw some rectangle and then crop the image to that selection (which is also what the Crop tool does, if a bit more elegantly).

These amount to small but dramatic changes. They allow us to linger on the image a bit longer without becoming impatient or bored or distracted. Nothing sends us away.

Except, perhaps, the thought that as those branches go, so we too go.

BackBack to Photo Corners