Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Real and Unreal

(Click on the thumbnail to view larger image)
My first impression of this picture, as I browsed the archives, was, "Wow, I must have gotten carried away with processing on that one." Curious, I checked and, surprisingly, there was minimal work done on the file. As it turns out,I had brought the raw file into Lightroom and I hadn't touched the vibrance slider, or any of the color sliders. I had brightened the shot a tad and added a smidgen of fill light. That was it.

The experience reminded me of one of the favorite stories told by the head of the drama department where I got my undergraduate degree. He chided us to study nature and to be more bold with our choices in lighting designs. He delighted in telling us that after living in the southwest for a time—being an east coast native—he returned to the northeast to work in theatre. While he was certain he was holding "as ’t were, the mirror up to nature", his lighting designs were met with derisive comments, and he was frequently asked to alter his plans. He told us that more than once a director pointed to the stage and informed him that, "That light outside the window looks fake. I want something much more realistic."
At first glance, I was certain that this image wasn't "realistic". It was lovely to remember Mr. M.—all my memories of him are fond ones—and pleasing to remember that sometime sunsets really are that spectacular.


  1. That is a beautiful picture and a wonderful post. It's funny how people have a hard time accepting that nature can be so bold and beautiful.

    I've been asked a number of times if I enhanced something in Photoshop. The answer is usually the answer that you gave; just a bit of this and a smidgen of that. Nature doesn't need much help from me to be impressive!

  2. Paul,

    Words to live by! Thank you.

  3. Paul, I left that last phrase hanging. I wanted to thank you, not only for the wise words, but for the generous comment. Since I am a fan of yours, a thumbs-up is most appreciated.

  4. Hi Jesse:

    I just wanted to drop by and say I enjoy your photos and the beautiful commentary. I wish words could flow as easy with my writing.

    This blogger world is great as you never know when reading a blog and people's comments, where you will go next.

    Niels Henriksen

  5. Neils, welcome. Thank you for the kind words. I look forward to visiting your blog this evening. As for words flowing easily, I defer to William Brohaugh's book "Just Open a Vein". His anthology included Red Smith's observation on the ease of writing: "All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein." Still, I enjoy the process and appreciate your having taken time to read my thoughts.


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