|Mackerel Sky Sunset - DxO Optics pro and Film Pack Porta-160NC|
I have decided to take some time off from Blogging, and cannot say when I'll be back at it. The reason is that I feel I've said all that I can say about Photography, and until I discover something new and great in this art worthy of discussion, I've simply hit a wall. The Blog, with all of it's existing posts, will remain up - otherwise, there will probably be no new content for quite awhile.
I thought I'd leave you with a very recent picture, and strangely, I think of it as one of the best I've ever taken. I know it doesn't look like much, just a pair of old houses' back yards no less. But there was something about the sky which caught my eye at first, and then I immediately saw a strong composition. Using the camera I always have with me, I exposed on the sky (using RAW of course), and made just the one shot. The JPG output looked like this:
... quite dark and fuzzy, although the sky is what I actually exposed on, so it's not bad. I did a work-up on the RAW file using many different software RAW processors - RawTherapee, UF-Raw, Rawstudio, Photivo and DxO Optics Pro. It was the DxO final product that got the prize - time and time again, I've seen that nothing comes close to beating DxO, although Adobe Lightroom is the industry standard, and I've never tried it. Perhaps I should give the trial version a go, but I know right now that I will not be buying it, as it's not worth the high price of admission.
The important thing here is the degree of latitude that Raw File Processing can give you. I re-set the white balance a little bit - just a touch warmer, and in DxO Optics Pro, it was all single click after that, simply using the software like a camera, which is what I love about it's interface - I can take the photo all over again, so to speak, using Centre Weighted Exposure, instead of Matrix, then selecting stronger light, and finally, selecting the Leica M camera body for the highest, but still natural, colour saturation. (yes, you can do that with DxO).
After doing this basic re-exposing of the picture, I exported the file as a JPG, and then opened the JPG wit DxO's other product, called "Film Pack". I tried every colour film choice available in the software, and decided that Kodak Porta 160 NC did this photo the most justice, and so this is what I ended up with (top picture), and this is what I think my sub-concious saw in the first place.
So these are my closing words - if you don't have a camera that shoots a Raw Data File format (RAW, or also known as "DNG" - short for "Digital Negative"), you're shooting with your hands tied. With a RAW equipped camera, you can take, and then re-take the picture to give it all the glory you originally saw in your mind's eye.
Well, for now - God-Speed, and I'll see you sometime on the other side of everywhere.