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El Matador State Beach, Ca – The Fog and mousetricity.
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Image by ™ Pacheco
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Thought you might enjoy a different perspective from the last image I posted. This was taken with my 17-40MM at 17MM and the previous "Infinity" image was taken with the Canon 70-200MM at 200MM……….. i packed up my wide angle about 6 shots after this snap crackle pop… then fired off a few 200MM shots of the point before those clouds finally consumed the point and I was off… outrunning the fog while thinking about john carpenter :), thru the darkness… carrying with me these moments in my metal box like a fat kid in a candy store. All the while…peeking around dark corners in the woods and around every turn… waiting for those creepy fishermen with the seaweed and metal hooks for hands to come and snatch me up….ewww… I liked this moment.

Some afterthoughts about this image and my post workflow.

I stared at this image for a while in post…. the RAW file was dark, I used a GND filter on location so I got the whole image exposed correctly… but my exposure was dark…. i go thru this same dilema in my mind when i shoot late into the night. It was almost night after all… so how dark should this image be… to truly represent the moment… all this whooplaa… in PS…. Whites and Blacks and HDR and all these tools to SEE everything in the image….. sometimes it just is what it is. Sure I could lighten all these rocks, which would make the green mosses pop… and I sure could lighten this image substantially with not much effort…. but…. how dark was this moment…. let me tell you…. it was dark and in the end I chose to keep it that way. This was a good lesson in control for me. Perhaps in a few days I’ll look at it again when my mind isn’t strained from lack of sleep and when the sensitivity to color returns to my iris’s… maybe then I’ll bump it up… I hope in the future the struggle I find in restraining my fingertips to grab a curve or use D-Lighting subsides a bit.. so that I can better present the moment for what it iz… so that I can be more selective on my trigger in the field, allowing the simple scene I so choose in itself to capture you… and not my mouse trickery…. or what I like to call mousetricity. So there you have it… here is a simple moment… hardly touched and manipulated at all.

More rambling thoughts about exposure and workflow bouncing off the walls of my caffeine soaked skull:
I shot 50 speed Fuji slide film for some years… and in that time I learned to underexpose my images a bit… it seemed to saturate the film in the most interesting parts of the image, in my opinion anyway, those areas of the image where the light was reflecting very subtly.. in clouds or on objects like water, of course a lot of the image would be underexposed when I would do this… so… with film, where I wasn’t combining images in PS ever, the trick was getting it ALL in one shot… GND filters played a large part in that… capturing rich reflections but also exposing subjects and objects in the image. Oh boy, how we’ve come a long way… and i still read articles form people telling me that i don’t need to underexpose on my 5D anymore…. oh really….. well… I’m not buying it. NEED? ok, what about… WANT! Even with the flexibility of shooting RAW… I still find that I like doing this… in actuality I’m not underexposing…. i mean, what is underexposing… relative to what… the scene… the metering system of the camera…. the area in question… all I can say iz… i find that… just like using film… personally I like an underexposed image for those areas.. like the clouds and along the horizon line of this image… where depth, color, luminosity and saturation are critical to me. Of course I always snap a few images each a few stops higher and lower anyway (something I even did with expensive film) depending on my thoughts on the composition of course. Yes, I have this image a few stops up… i have definition of those rocks and cliffs. Amazingly clear and perfectly exposed as though it was daytime… but.. it isn’t daytime and standing there at that moment , take my word for it, I couldn’t see definition in those rocks. So why should you? Are you an alien? Now that’s a question!

In closing. These are just thoughts and opinions. Find your own way and love every thing about IT. It’s yours and no one can take it from you. Beauty iz in the eyes of the beholder. Happy shooting you alien light junkies!

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