Looking towards the summit of Mt. Evans, CO.
A natural world, a natural frame.
Had to creep up to this one.
After my hard lesson the other day mentioned here, I decided to return to see if I was right in my diagnosis (f-stop too low). I took another series of photos of the two trees in full manual mode, starting at 5.0 f-stop and going all the way to 22, adjusting the shutter speed and ISO accordingly.
When I got home, I noticed a stark difference in the uncorrected sharpness of the photos, especially between f-stops 6.3 and 10. After 10 they started to lose sharpness. F.22 was very soft. It seems that a tripod may be required for f-stops 10 and above when not increasing the ISO (I tried to avoid that as much as possible, but did it when the shutter speed decreased below 100).
This was a better shot in terms of its sharpness, but I think the overall composition of the two tress from the first session is better (link above – the last pic in the series is the best shot).
Here it is at f-stop 8.0, 1/250:
When I put pics into my imaging software and see the RGB metrics, I have absolutely no idea what they are telling me. I just tinker around until I think the natural colors have been brought out to their fullest (I notice patterns, such as a connection between brightness and contrast, hue and saturation, etc, but I do not know how they are related). I’m looking forward to understanding these concepts better as time goes on.
However, I have noticed that when the three colors are more uniform (i.e. there are no major spikes of one color or the other), the image is MUCH friendlier to deal with in post. This is the case with this photo. The RGB colors were practically symmetrical (can someone tell me why that is?), and when I went to bring out the natural highlights in the image, it happened without any pain and suffering — giving the !squirrel! that fresh-from-the-salon look.
Squirrel make-over reality TV show anyone?