What is "the Eye"? (cont’d)

Even though black and white is driving me these days, I wanted to compare these photos in some way. These are some pretty tasty colors and contrasts here. It’s a sunrise “golden hour” image made in Grand Isle, LA, where there is some really amazing light during these times, both morning and late afternoon. It’s a place I’ll come back to. I’m particularly happy that this didn’t really need a lot of post production tweaking, except for a bit of color cast removal. All that blue water and sky, etc. My camera is particularly good at this sort of lighting condition, really reaching into the dynamic ranges and laying them down in 1’s and 0’s like no other. To answer the inevitable question, it’s a Nikon D3s, which I love with all my heart. It captures, more often than not, exactly what I am ‘seeing’, and of course, what it see’s as well. No camera sensor made yet, has the dynamic range of the Mark I Eyeball, connected to a brain. That’ll be a scary day when that happens. FYI, for those of you who have heard of HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography, and wondered what it is, it’s a technique that is done through various software manipulations that approximates (or tries to) present to the computer screen (and a print) a representation of that very dynamic range that our eyes/brain sees. Now, the limitations of this are the computer monitor, and the printer which we use to print said image on photographic paper. It gets sorta close, but it’s not exactly accurate. Pet Peeve time: Those who think HDR is that horribly over tone mapped acid trip looking crap (yes, I have strong opinions on this matter). Some think that is what HDR is supposed to look like. Now, I’ll grant anyone artistic license that wants to make some sort of artistic statement using this. However, every Joe Shutterbug out there who has heard of this, has interpreted this to mean that this assault on my retinas is what HDR is ‘supposed to look like’ and there has been a plethora of such hideousness posted on nearly every photo sharing site to share with all their friends and relatives. Please. Learn what it’s supposed to be before you ‘break the rule’. I briefly toyed with the idea of putting up an example of this affront to visual acuity, but I just can’t make myself do it. /rant off/ Sorry to go all Ken Rockwell on you. 😉

OK, tasty black and white time. Again, I’m no Ansel Adams, but I am so happy with how this turned out. Yes, I processed it first as a color image, with lots of tonal range, and then, ‘poof’, ran it through my black and white conversion software (Nik Silver Efex Pro, highly recommended) and after again, very little work, came up with this tasty treat of tonality. Lest I forget why both these images needed little post work, I was using a Singh-Ray LB Color Combo Polarizing filter. Yes, they are pricey…yes they are worth it. No, I am not paid to recommend them, unfortunately. They could pay me in filters and I’d be a happy man. Best ones I’ve ever used.

This is what I ‘saw’ when looking at the color image, and I am happy to report, this is exactly what I was looking for. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and then.

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