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Houses on a Hill Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

12 March 2019

Beautiful views come at a price. And not just the price of the real estate. There is the assault of winter storms bringing hard rain and strong wind. And, yes, they are getting worse. Harder rain, stronger wind.

Houses on a Hill. The dark sky isn't threatening without the white houses below.

Steel shutters come to mind but then, we wonder, why are all the shutters around here merely decorative? Why are there no functional shutters?

We suspect it's because the weather here has traditionally been mild, moderated by the ocean which takes all summer to warm and all winter to cool. The warm summer air from the valley hits the cool air over the wintered ocean to create fog while the cool winter air meets the warmed ocean air to keep things stabilized.

On our Sunday walk, this is the storm that pelted us with hail as we turned home. We saw it coming. From the east, oddly.

We suppressed our terror and took the lens cap off the 18-5mm zoom on the Canon Rebel XTi to line up the shot.

It wasn't a color image in the viewfinder but looking at it on the screen, we realized the drama was in the tones, not the color. With the white homes clinging to the top of the hill, the dark clouds imposing themselves on the lighter sky told the story.

We processed this in Adobe Camera Raw using the B&W 03 treatment. We tried them all. Most were a bit too much contrast with no detail in the shadows. Even with the one we selected, we had to lighten the green hues to pick up detail in the foliage.

On the day's timeline, this shot fits right between the two color images yesterday (whose palettes, we hasten to point out, complement each other). It's not a series, strictly speaking, but would it be if this one was in color? Hmmm.

A series?. The horizons, such as they are, aligned.

We shudder to think what this capricious thought would have cost us in the darkroom. But we didn't bother to make another cup of coffee before finishing this test of the concept. Piece of cake.

The problem with this series is that tall middle image. To let the eye float across all three images as it might scan a line of text, we aligned the horizons, such as they are. A mountain, a hill and the ocean don't properly match up but the images scan better with the darker bottoms aligned.

Something to think about. And another illustration of how post processing is more than half the fun.


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