season

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I can just hear you think: “Pff… That guy is ranting all the time about how not to overdo it with the saturation sliders and all, and look at him, totally out of control there!”

But no. I wasn’t. What you see here, is pretty much what I saw out there. It was beautiful. It was breath-taking. It was like the sky was ignited. I took the last image from the previous blog post. Check it out from the screenshots below, and you’ll see that I didn’t touch the saturation sliders to saturate the colors. I even DEsaturated the blues slightly.

Lauttasaari sunrise

D700, ISO200, 1/20sec @ f/11, Nikkor 70-200mm.

What you see above here is the original. The untouched, unedited RAW file. I underexposed it on purpose, because I didn’t want to blow out the shades in and around the sun. Shooting in RAW will give you so much leverage that you can easily underexpose with a few stops without the risk of screwing up your image.

I imported the image in Lightroom, where I tweaked it slightly. The screenshot below shows I didn’t touch the saturation sliders. Just the lens correction, some fill light and some clarity, which made the image look like this:

Lauttasaari sunrise

The original image after some minor adjustments in Lightroom

After that I opened it up in Photoshop. The first thing I did was pull up a curves adjustment layer and gave it some more contrast:

Lauttasaari sunrise

A curves adjustment layer to give the image a bit more contrast for that little punch

See what that does to the color? This would almost go for a saturation increase, wouldn’t it? That’s what contrast typically does to a picture, it gives it that little extra punch that makes it from flat into… well… flamboyant 😀

The next thing I did, that’s a personal thing, I guess, is desaturate the snow at the bottom. Even if the dark clouds above reflected their deep blue hue in the snow, and it really looked blue, I don’t really fancy it. So I made that look a lot less blue (as I did in all the images from the previous blog post. I think in the first one it shows most clearly).

Lauttasaari sunrise

A hue/saturation adjustment layer including layer mask to desaturate the blue tone from the snow in the bottom part of the image.

And finally a levels adjustment layer, also for the snow at the bottom part, to lighten it up a bit so it didn’t look too grey. Be careful not to lighten it up too much, otherwise it’ll look unnatural with the rest of the image.

Lauttasaari sunrise

A levels adjustment layer to brighten up the snow a tad bit, so that it doesn't look grey after desaturating the blue.

So there you have it. The end result. No out of control saturation stuff. Just the way it was. And gorgeous it was! Worth withstanding the cold every second.

Lauttasaari sunrise

D700, ISO200, 1/20 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 70-200mm

… you gladly return to freeze your ass off. Seriously!
The forecast was bad. The forecast was full cloudy, with chances of snow. But I had to get up early to bring the Better Half to the airport, so I figured I could take the camera anyway. To drive down there, have a looksie, and if it wouldn’t look good, go home and back to bed.
It didn’t look good. You know… for once… the forecast had a point. It was cloudy. Very much so. But owwell… I was awake and cold (the temperature was only -4°C, but that wind… that wind was MEAN, I tell you!), so it would be stupid to go back home and to be now, right?

Right! Good things will come to those who wait. Patience is a virtue. And so on and so on.

Lauttasaari sunrise

D700, ISO200, 10 sec @ f/6.7, Nikkor 50mm

I was out there well before the sunrise started. It was still full dark. But when the light hit through, it started out like this. The sky opened up slightly for a moment, which was when I shot a few pictures like the one above. Then it got totally cloudy again. But then, when the actual sunrise started, it opened up again slightly.

Lauttasaari sunrise

D700, ISO200, 1/10 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 70-200mm

Lauttasaari sunrise

D700, ISO200, 1/20 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 70-200mm

Lauttasaari sunrise

D700, ISO200, 1/20 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 70-200mm

I think I have a few more days before this gorgeous autumn will have run its course… Shame. I’ve been out way too little.
The other day, when I brought my friends to the airport for their trip back home I passed this beautiful stretch of land which was … can’t even describe it … explosively lit by the setting sun. Clear blue sky, autumn colors, camera at home… Right… Crap… Will have to come back. Sun will have set, light will be different. Tomorrow, same time… Drizzle, overcast… Double-crap! Day after tomorrow… Triple…! ARGH! Don’t you just hate it!
But today…! I’m allowed to have some luck, right? Patience is a virtue!

Autumn in Finland

D700, ISO200, 1/125 sec @ f/16, Nikkor 50mm

Autumn in Finland

D700, ISO200, 1/250 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 70-200mm

I think tomorrow still… Then the fire’ll go out quickly. There was frost on the windows of the car already, and there’s even been some snow already downtown, so… But I saved some for a home-studio experiment. More on that another day 🙂

When I was in Missoula last summer one of my friends gave me a DVD to watch. A movie called Once.
It was a bit funny. It’s an Irish movie, but not the blockbuster type of movie. It was made in 2006 and it was released in Finland in July 2008, hence I hadn’t really heard of the movie until my friend pointed it out.
And it was a great movie. Well… Movie… More musical-ish.
Great music, great play.
And guess what…? This week, The Swell Season, the band with the guy and girl from the movie, played a couple of gigs in Helsinki and we were there. And it was great all over again.

We were a bit late with booking our tickets, the whole thing was sold out within 2 hours, so we ended up high up on the balcony on the back row. But but…. lo and behold… A couple of people didn’t show up and a guy came up to the balcony and offered us and some other people on the back row the seats from the people who hadn’t showed up. So we ended up all the way in the front, right up near the stage.
Oh, and did I mention it was great?
Wish I brought my big camera, but that would’ve probably been a bit obvious, so I had to make do with my cellphone.
But it was still great 🙂
Totally recommended!

Swell Season in concert in Helsinki

Swell Season in concert in Helsinki