Woodland light

imageWhite birch, Woodbury, Connecticut © Steven Willard

Wally and I usually walk down the street to a patch of common grass that seems to attract most of the dogs nearby. If nature hasn’t taken it’s course by then, we sometimes take a path through the woods that passes this birch. If you have been visiting this site for a while, you might remember this unique tree*. It stands out from all the other trees around it. Its white bark and bent shape are hard to miss. I consider it a friend.

I processed this image in Snapseed on my iPad Air using the Saturation slider to remove most of the color. I prefere that method to using their black and white conversion filter. I also used the vignette filter to draw the eye into the scene, and I also add some blur to take the edge off. Contrary to many, I often find digital images to be too sharp, too “clinical” in appearance. That’s fine for some images, but not everything. It took me a while to figure this out for myself because, I believe, manufactures and wonks place way too much emphasis on overly sharp images, and I bought in to the hype. I finally came to realize what it was that I was missing one day when I uncovered a print I had made almost thirty years ago. The camera used was an old 4X5 view camera that I had fitted with an even older Turner-Reich triple convertible lens that was probably made before the First World War. It produced a surprisingly sharp print up to 16X20, but it was uncoated and was susceptible to flare, consequently the negatives had to be printed with a little bit more contrast. The thing is, it worked on some scenes in a way that a modern lens just can’t. There is a quality to the rendering that I can only discribe as “romantic”.  It is a quality that I have missed with my digital images when I try to take full advantage of modern cameras and lenses. Ironicaly, it was the incorporation of another modern technology that brought me back to the look I was searching for. The iPad, and Snapseed help me bring the look I want to the monitor and in print. Who would have predicted that?

*Visit “Awarness” from May 6th.

Olympus OMD EM5, kit zoom.


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