Look closely


imageBranches, Woodbury, Connecticut © Steven Willard


There is still snow on the ground, in more places than not, but there is some warmth in the air, and the sun is no longer just an empty promise.


Once again Wally insisted on taking his time finding just the right spot to conduct his business, and I can’t say I blame him. He has been cooped up far too much and it seems only fair to give him the time he needs to choose. I still had the old 50mm f1.4 on the camera with the thought toward using it at a wide aperture for limited depth of focus. I may post some of those images later, but the light was changing from dreary to interesting just as the sun was setting and I liked what was happening to the sky. It’s important, at least to me, to pay attention to what’s happening and how the light is changing. It’s too easy to be fixated on what we thought we were going to photograph and in doing so miss something better.

The lens, a manual focus standard focal length that were often sold as standard lenses, is not bad used wide open, stopped down to f2.8 is impressive, especially on APS-C format where you’re using the central area where it’s sharpest. Shooting at f5.6 or 8 it’s very sharp. I stopped down to f8, I think, and let the meter choose the sky as the main subject because I wanted the branches in silhouette anyway. I wanted the strong graphic of branches rendered black against a multihued sky. Do not be fooled by the apparent hazy nature of the image, I added a bit of blur in Stackables for artistic reasons. I wasn’t performing a test of the lens and I prefer the atmosphere; maybe it’s just that this looks more like what my tired eyes see. I can’t explain the red and green branch effect. It’s there even in the raw file. Strange, but interesting.

Look closely and you can just make out the buds on the tips of the small branchs. Spring is almost here.

Bless Wally for his unerring ability to lead me to a photograph.

Pentax K5IIs with 50mm f1.4 legacy manual focus lens. Image was imported to my iPad Air and processed using PS Express, Snapseed and Stackables.


3 comments on “Look closely

  1. JohnAmes says:

    Steve am I correct in thinking that you process your photos solely on an iPad? I am tempted to do that myself but so far haven’t got the nerve to do it.


    • I’ll gladly admit that I have become a regular iPad photo processor. While I haven’t forsaken PhotoShop all together, for the bulk of my blog posts Snapseed, Stackables, PS Express, and a few other apps, serve me well, and in some cases produce results I haven’t been able to duplicate in PhotoShop when I’ve tried.

      A caveat; I have not attempted to make fine prints from the resulting files, and to date don’t know how they might fare. This points to a laxity in my behavior, but other things have been occupying my mind lately. If you go for it and do the tests I’d be grateful for any feedback.

      I don’t foresee a time when I will give up PhotoShop altogether, Making fine prints, “distortion” correction in architectural images, and fine cloning/retouching work are just some of the areas you just can’t-at least not yet-do with these apps.

      My suggestion; try it. The cost of the apps is very reasonable, even free for many, and while the interface can be a bit off-putting at first, nothing is destructive so what’s to loose?

      Always nice to hear from you, good luck!


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