“I wish I would have…”
Hate to have those words pass through my mind. Usually, you won’t hear them unless enough time wasn’t taken shooting options at a scene. It doesn’t take much time and the heartache saved, especially when photographing a place where conditions are very good or it might be difficult or impossible to return.
I’m talking about trying different ideas when photographing a subject. Many times over the years I’ve caught myself not looking for more than the obvious when making images. Let’s look at some of the options in composition that were added for a totally different feel in each image. This was from an infrared session in the red rocks of Sedona, Arizona. The scene is Courthouse Butte in the Village of Oak Creek. It happens to be a few minutes away from my house and I photograph it often. Even then, especially when the clouds are working, I want to get the most out of the session or even a quick stop, as possible.
The main scene Courthouse Butte
A relatively small change in framing can make a big difference in the feel of a place. Let’s look at some possibilities.
A vertical version that features the tree as subject with Courthouse as a secondary subject.
Another vertical version with lots of open sky. Possibilities include full page magazine or cover option.
How about square??
Another possible cover use with slightly different composition, totally different feel even though it’s the same basic subject.
The Capture Process
Images were captured with the Lumix G6 which was converted to IR by LifePixel. My current workflow when shooting is to bracket one stop over and one stop under in RAW plus jpeg. For the jpeg the camera is set to process to black and white. This gives me a very good feel for the IR look as I shooting right on the back of the camera. You can set your camera to black & white but if you are only shooting in RAW Mode you will only see the BW image on the back of the camera. When you download your images the BW preview will be stripped from the image because you asked for ONLY the RAW info. The camera’s settings are only ‘baked in’ to the file if you are capturing jpeg files.
For this particular set of files I used the RAW file with the middle exposure. I processed in Adobe Camera RAW. The settings were to bring the Temperature Slider all the way to Blue and the Tint Slider all the way to green. Contrast was bumped up. Highlights brought down a little. Shadows up. Whites up. Blacks down. Clarity up a bit. Remove all Saturation.
Here’s what the settings looked like in the Camera RAW dialog box.
After the files were opened in Photoshop I used the (recently made free) NIK Color FX Pro 4 plugin with the Glamour Glow setting to get the IR ‘glow’ in the highlights.
One more thought when you are working a good subject. Sometimes it makes sense to get a totally different view. Got in the car and looked for a totally new composition.
Yours in Creative Photography, Bob