Monday, November 23, 2020
Monday, November 09, 2020
Unless you've been living under a rock, you're probably developing a reflex that makes you retch any time you hear the words election, vote, recount, etc. So here is something complete unrelated to politics
The year 2020 has been a lousy one for many things, and my photography is no exception. At the rate of one post a week, I have taken enough post-worthy photos to fill up 6 months or so. Luckily I started the year with enough photos to take me through the end of 2022, so I should have a chance to catch up as long as we don't descend into a full-on Mad Max style breakdown next year.
I have become a bit better at squeezing in opportunities for photos after work or on minor detours from my routine. This is one such photo
Driving home from a job I crossed the Potomac at Paw Paw and took a right hand turn into a small park on the Maryland side. It was a short walk to an old C&O Canal tunnel so I grabbed the camera and hoofed it down the trail hoping to get a few pictures before the light ran out for the day. The picture above was the 2nd to last from my little jaunt. It was on the north end of the tunnel and it was taken about 15 minutes after I probably should have headed back. I was out of light but figured I might as well give it a shot anyway. I found a solid place to anchor the camera, cranked the aperture open and backed off the (digital) shutter speed until I got the ISO down to 640. (I prefer 320 and below for anything with smooth surfaces, but nature shots I'll tolerate higher)
I didn't even review the picture. I just snapped one more shot (which will be featured at some unspecified point in the future) and hoofed it back to my car. A couple days later I looked at this and was astonished. To my human eye this was going to be a very moody looking, almost colorless image. In the low light the cones on the retina simply don't have enough photons to operate well. The rods can still detect light, but they don't give you a true sense of color. The CMOS sensor on my camera doesn't care about such things as long as you give it enough time to collect its photons, so while I was unaware of all the color around me the camera kept on snapping up gems like this one.
I had to go back and do some post processing to better replicate what it looked like in my head. I like the moody feel, but I'm very glad to have the vibrant (and yes, unedited) colors in the photo above.