A difficulty of choice

27 12 2009

We had a fine winter week with couple of centimeters of snow and temperatures below -10°C followed by couple of days with rain and temperatures above 0°C and one day with 15°C! It seems that Mother Nature can’t decide if we should have winter or still autumn.

When I woke up today everything outside was covered by thick frost. Temperature was at -4°C and it was rising very slowly so I grabbed a camera and a tripod (for the first time oustide) and spent an hour looking for some interesting frosty themes. I focused on meadows around our house which are full of Golden Rods, Queen Ann’s Laces and other plants. I found following one.

1/25 sec. @ 100mm, f/8, ISO 100

This image mirrors the reality probably the best. In me it evokes the atmosphere of freezy morning as it should. Nevertheless, when I was post-processing this photo I tried another ways and got another 2 results which I like also for some reasons.

The conversion to black & white is a reasonable choice for me in this kind of photos and I like the result even though I think that someone may find the background a bit disturbing.

The third image has significantly higher contrast, warmer colours and dark vignette which makes it look more… live. I can’t come up with better word for this.

I like all 3 results and can’t really decide which I like the most so I decided to post them here and let you choose. I’d also like to hear if you have such difficulties of choice when processing your photos.

That’s all for today, enjoy the Season!

Technical information: the photo was taken with Canon EOS 450D camera and Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM lens upon a tripod under natural conditions – overcast, thin fog.

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10 responses

29 12 2009
edvatza

I think the frost brings interest to what would otherwise be something I would have passed by on a walk. My biggest concern with this image is that the head covered with frost is too high in the frame… feeling like it is pushing against the top. Otherwise, the background looks fine and I would probably opt for the third choice, Tomas.

29 12 2009
Tomas Turecek

Thanks, Ed. Without the frost I would pass this plant by, too 🙂 This image was cropped from horizontal photo and it was cropped only from left and right side. I took this also in vertical composition which evoked stronger feeling of solitude but after all I decided for this one. You are right that it may be a bit tight on top but I tried to have the same space on left side, right side and top and even though there is a negative space in lower left corner I think that it looks better than with more space on top. That’s why I decided for this composition and framing. Your critique is always appreciated!

31 12 2009
Jemny

the last one for me…

31 12 2009
Tomas Turecek

Thanks!

1 01 2010
Anita Bower

I like first and third. Maybe a bit more DOF?

1 01 2010
Tomas Turecek

Thanks, Anita. I agree that a bit more DOF might be better. Unfortunatelly, in this case it meant that the background became too prominent even on f/9 (this is f/8) and stacking didn’t cross my mind.

2 01 2010
Barbara K

Hi, Tomas. I like 1 & 2 – I vote for the less contrasty look! There are lots of creative choices! I would prefer a little more room at the top, as was previously mentioned. You have a difficult choice as to whether the entire top of the goldenrod is in focus or your background remains non-distracting. When in doubt, shoot at f/22. Then you can come back, with an entire goldenrod in focus and select it, inverse, apply a feathering effect, then blur the background to taste. Alien Skin’s Bokeh does this, and you can try it as a free trial, but I just prefer to do it in Photoshop. I’ve only done it a few times when I want the background softer than what my f/stop provided but the result appeared good.

Happy New Year – may you be blessed in 2010!

2 01 2010
Tomas Turecek

Thank you, Barbara, you gave me a good tip once again. I already thought about shooting a subject at high f-stop to have it whole in plane of focus and then take another capture with goal f-stop for background but I didn’t try it so far. I think that I should, to see if it will work. I don’t like the idea of blurring the background during post-processing but who says that I can’t change my mind in future? 🙂 When looking at wonderful photos of other photographer whose blogs I follow I still realize more and more that I need to broaden my imagination and creativity. It’s a hard fight with my “natural” part which wants to capture a reality and show reality not much changed.

4 01 2010
Bernie Kasper

I like the third one Tomas, the warmth and higher contrast add to its beauty, well done !!

4 01 2010
Tomas Turecek

Thanks Bernie, I hope you feel well again. I’m glad to see you around.

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