Today we piddled around home. These snaps aren't awesome, but it's what I did today, and many people find the tech explanations very helpful.
Today was hot — about 100º F maximum!
Street, Long Island, 2:47 PM.
This is just a snap. I liked the light. Maybe next time I'll FART more clearly and hold my camera level. I cropped-off the right side beyond the dark tree; as-shot the extra light area was distracting. I prefer to have the dark tree trunk be the image's right border, as seen.
Because there is so much detail from all the leaves, I used less than my usual 141% smart sharpening at 0.2 pixel radius to ready this file for the Internet. I think I backed off to only about 70%, or until it looked right. If I used 141%, the leaves would have turned into harsh black-and-white alternating pixels, instead of staying green.
Home, Long Island, 2:51 PM.
Another snap. I used -2/3 exposure compensation to keep the light areas from blowing-out (washing-out to white). I chose -2/3 by looking at the shots on my LCD.
Poster of Things to Come, 4:01 PM.
I shot at +2/3 exposure compensation to force the white poster to be white. It still wasn't as you see here; I used the white eyedropper in a Photoshop Levels Adjustment Layer to force them to white. That's OK; if I had shot at +1-2/3 to make it whiter, I would have run the risk of making it too light.
It's easy to lighten any digital capture, but often impossible to recover if whites have been lost.
Iron LILCO Flag, 4:02 PM.
This is a round manhole cover.
I framed a rectangle reminiscent of a flag.
At home, I cropped so that the image's edge lies in the flat parts. I didn't want to cut any of the raised squares with my frame edge.
I used Photoshop's Lens Distortion Filter set to +1.5 to remove the slight barrel distortion of my 50mm Canon lens. (Nikon's 50mm f/1.8 doesn't have this minor distortion, but Nikon makes no lightweight full-frame or high-resolution digital cameras, either.)
Mom's Baked Salmon Dinner, 5:14 PM.
Mom made us another delicious dinner, and I wanted to remember it.
Since we have nasty, awful fluorescent light in our kitchen, I shot in Auto white balance, but reset my WB SHIFT from my usual A5 (more amber) back to neutral (A0). The result was still a bit yellow, so in Photoshop I made a Levels Adjustment layer, and used the white dropper on the white napkin. Of course that made everything too light and blew-out the bright forks, so I reduced the opacity of that layer to reduce its effect, keeping the colors correct, but not blowing-out the forks.
One day I need to explain adjustment layers, which are the most important things about Photoshop, and also the most difficult to explain online.
My Tree, 6:39 PM.
This shot is about great evening light. I have always loved the way the light looks on Long Island at about 7PM every summer evening.
I used -2/3 exposure compensation because it looked right, keeping color in the bark.
I cropped a little from the left and right.
Mom's Plants, 7:37 PM.
I used -2/3 exposure compensation because it looked right, keeping the flower from washing-out to light pink instead of staying magenta. To set this I look at the LCD, and also the RGB histogram to be sure that the reds aren't clipping.
Since the light was already warm and wonderful, I reset the WB SHIFT from my usual A5 (more amber) back to neutral (A0). At A5, it was too orange. WB was set to AUTO as always.
Light in the Driveway, 7:40 PM.
The light was perfect: warm salmon-colored light on the grass in the middle of our driveway. As you saw on the 25th of May, it lasted only about a minute. The light was so perfect that I left the 5D Mark II's WB SHIFT at 0,0 from the earlier shot, otherwise shot in Auto WB as everything else.
I chose the f/stop first, to give the correct depth-of-field. I looked at the LCD to see what was OK. I didn't want everything in focus; I wanted the top and bottom softer so the colors come out instead of the texture. I then chose the lowest ISO that gave me a hand-holdable speed. I made four shots and picked the sharpest, since 1/80 is slow for a 100mm lens.
Like all of my ISO 50 shots, this is made without Highlight Recovery.
I used -2/3 exposure compensation because it looked right, as I usually do at ISO 50.