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Friday Slide Show: Refreshed Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

11 January 2019

One day last weekend it rained continuously for the first time in a long time. The next day we poked our head out the door and saw the garden in a new light.

We've photographed in this garden for almost 16 years now and while it has remained essentially the same design with different species flourishing, it always seems fresh to us.

And after the rain storm, it even seemed refreshed.

Why is that, we wondered. And we found a good explanation on A Life Spent Wondering:

The storm has ended and the sun is shining once again. But now, before the sunlight can hit the leaf it encounters water droplets. When the light hits the water, its angle will increase due to refraction, sending the light at a steeper descent toward the leaf below. With the light now hitting the leaf at a more direct angle, those wavelengths that once had a chance to be reflected off the dry surface now have an even higher chance of being absorbed. At the same time, the leaf's molecules still have no interest in the green wavelengths of light and so those are still being reflected back to the observer. The net effect of this is that the reflected light is diminished of more absorbable wavelengths of color, making the green that reaches our eyes that much more vibrant. Extrapolate this phenomena to every plant, tree and flower in nature and you are then presented with a picture-perfect outdoor scene.

Got that?

Our case was complicated by the overcast sky, which diffused the sunlight above it. And by scenes that had a background in deep shade with the subject in the open.

To manage that, we switched to Manual mode and settled on an exposure for the light level in the open.

The first four shots in today's slide show were taken with a Lensbaby Edge 80 on a Nikon D300, using the Edge 80's macro mode to get close. The rest were taken on a second shoot using the Lensbaby Twist 60 on the same D300.

We processed the first four images in Photoshop because we thought we might write about one of them. But we like all of them. In fact, there were six in the set but we thought we could do better on two of them. Hence the second shoot.

The second shoot, though, was processed in Lightroom. Again, all the images were Raw captures. And the edits produced an image that was a far cry from the JPEG thumbnail the camera created.

And, we should add, a far cry from all the computational photography you could throw at a smartphone capture. Because, simply, we didn't make mechanical decisions about how to handle each image.

In the end, it was a slightly different technique that not only captured our refreshed garden but refreshed our approach as well.

There's six days of rain ahead of us, starting later today. Wonder what that will look like.

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