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Sign Of The Times Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

26 June 2018

We captured this shot at 1/125 second and we probably thought about it less than 1/250 second. It was obvious the moment we saw it that the traffic sign was posing for us. And we obliged.

Sign of the Times. Nikon D300, 18-200mm Nikkor at 26mm, f8, 1/125 second and ISO 400 with circular polarizer. Edited in Adobe Camera Raw using Adobe Landscape color profile.

The edit was just as fast. For fun, we applied the Adobe Landscape color profile to it and liked what we saw. Which didn't keep us from tweaking it a bit.

That included a slight crop from the wide angle original to make the sign a bit more prominent. It also included a trip to the Nik Collection by DxO where we used several Viveza control points to adjust the tonality of the image.

Click the thumbnail above for a closer look at the five control points we set, one of which is expanded. We darkened the sky, opened up the shadows in the foliage and darkened the sun-faded arrow. Below you can switch between the final Viveza rendering and the Adobe Landscape rendering.

Other than that, there isn't much to say about this image. Technically.

The puzzle, Alfie, becomes determining what it means. As the guy behind the camera, we're exempt from stating an opinion. That task is left to everyone else.

But we do get to title it. And we couldn't resist calling it Sign of the Times. Or publishing it today of all days.

Here's a few reasons why:

  • Reading left to right, it suggests abstractly we simply Go Back. You know, in time. Revert. Undo.
  • As a traffic sign, it's warning you to turn left to avoid the cliff beyond it. Seriously. It seems to be fabulously successful at that, given the healthy growth around it.
  • It's actually pointing west, as in "Go west, young man."
  • Numerous political references we leave as an exercise of one type or another for the reader.
  • It made us laugh. Well, chuckle. OK, smile. Briefly.

We were tempted to try a combination monochrome/color image like Nolan Beck with only the sign in color. But we really liked the blue sky (and faint hint of clouds at the bottom) conflicting with the wild greenery. Heaven and Hell, as it were.

But there's one reason we like it just the way it is and titled it the way we did. Its profound, overriding ambiguity. Which, nevertheless, is quite insistent.

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