The Hamptons, Long Island
Today we went to The Hamptons.
Jackets, Garage, Long Island, 12:07 PM.
These are my Dad's and Mom's jackets. Light comes from the open garage door on the right.
Stripe, Colonial Shores, Hampton Bays, Long Island, 1:12 PM.
I used -2/3 exposure compensation to keep the black black, and keep the yellow from getting too light.
This is clean because the parking lot had just been resurfaced, and as always, composition is all about simplification.
Curve, Colonial Shores, Hampton Bays, Long Island, 1:19 PM.
The light was soft, so the image looked like this right out of the camera:
To bring the image out of the original JPG, I used a Curves Adjustment Layer to increase contrast.
I used this curve:
Curves Layer used to bring out the image.
I also used a Levels layer scooted-in a little at the top and bottom.
How did I figure out how to shape this curve? Easy: I moved it around until the image looked right. I put a dot in the middle (128, 128) to lock the mid-tones as they are, which was fine. The dots on the extreme lower left and upper right simply fix white as white and black as black.
The dot partway along the lower left controls how dark are the dark parts, and the dot on the upper part of the curve lets me make the lights exactly as I want them.
When I darken the darks and lighten the lights, contrast goes up. Also, while in the usual RGB channels mode (you're always in that mode unless you change it), it boosts color saturation, too.
No big deal, play with it until you get what you want. As long as you save your work as a PSD, you can go in and re-tweak the curve at any time in the future.
The original image also has too much water at the top. It pulls your eye out of the sand to get lost in the water. I cropped some off the top so that the brighter sand becomes the central attraction of the image.
Bricks, Colonial Shores, Hampton Bays, Long Island, 1:23 PM.
How do I see this stuff? I saw it because I'm looking for shapes, not objects. I saw the grass on the brick looking just like another piece of wood: light rectangles among red rectangles.
Green and Purple, Colonial Shores, Hampton Bays, Long Island, 1:29 PM.
This shot has nothing to do with trees, bushes or fences. It's a bunch of green at the top, purple on the lower right, and light gray in the middle. Simplicity is everything; I should spot-out the little light branch on the left, which breaks-up the green.
Green Triangle with Orange, Colonial Shores, Hampton Bays, Long Island, 1:29 PM.
This shot is all about colors and shapes. The fact that it's a wall and a bush is irrelevant. This image is a green triangle on white, with a brown rectangle on the top to balance the green triangle, and an orange highlight in the green triangle.
If I had more time, I'd repair the dents in the aluminum siding with Photoshop.
I added +2/3 exposure compensation to make the white siding white, not gray. I don't ever want to go overboard; since if the white clips (gets too light), there's no recovery.
The triangular bush was much darker than the white siding. To lighten (dodge) the bush, I made a curves adjustment layer to lighten the bush, then created a layer mask, filed it with black to disable the mask, and them painted on the mask with white over the bush to lighten only the bush.
And if you haven't noticed it yet, these are the same two images, made with completely different subjects! I didn't notice it either until I published them here. Each is dark purple and green and white! Too weird!
Parking Stump, Colonial Shores, Hampton Bays, Long Island, 1:37 PM.
I made this snap looking straight down. I cropped it into a square, of course. The sides of the rectangle add nothing, so they must be removed.
The soft background emphasizes the sharpness of the wood, making it seem three-dimensional as it pops forward at you.
Hinge, Lobster Inn, Southampton, Long Island, 3:08 PM.
This shot is awful. It's horrible because I snapped it without FARTing as we walked in to lunch at the Lobster Inn.
If I was paying attention, I would have seen that I cut off the hinge's shadow, a very important element of the image. If I had moved the camera down by 1 inch (2 cm), I would also have balanced the image. As it stands, there is too much red on the top, which distracts from the hinge.
Trellis, Lobster Inn, Southampton, Long Island, 3:08 PM.
This snap is much better because it's balanced. I cropped some from the right edge, carefully chosen to leave an imaginary square at the right end of the shadow of the horizontal element.
As expected, the first shot washed-out the white strips because the red is dark, so -2/3 exposure compensation got everything right. I set this by instinct; LCDs and histograms don't see the small area of the white stripes well. The only serious camera which can read a histogram off small selected area is the LEICA M9, which does this automatically as you zoom.
I made this completed shot 30 seconds (and several shots) later than the crummy hinge shot as we walked in for late lunch.
Black, Lobster Inn, Southampton, Long Island, 3:09 PM.
I wanted to keep this dark, so I set exposure compensation to -2/3 by instinct.
This creepy thing is the lacquered floor of the Lobster Inn. It's all about black, shiny, and the rough triangular alligator-back creepyness. The fact that it's a floor is irrelevant.
Marnier Lapostolle, Lobster Inn, Southampton, Long Island, 4:46 PM.
I added +2/3 exposure compensation because it looked right. This is a light source, and needs to be light.
I also knew from experience that an image of a light source would really pop off a black page, as it does here on your backlit screen.
Evening Door Light, Long Island, 6:36 PM.
Just like the shot above, this shot is all about light. It's about how Long Island's evening light drapes around anything over which it falls.
Notice how I used a 50mm lens for almost every shot today. It was a waste of effort carrying anything else.