Envisioning the Weather

 Ansel Adams said he was not photographing the landscape as much as he was the weather.  He also was known to spend days in the darkroom manipulating his negatives to get the prints to look the way he envisioned them.

 As a photojournalist that type of vision was something that I was not allowed to have. I would see interesting things and interesting light and the way they got printed is pretty much the way they came out of the camera. The pictures are supposed to be a close to reality as possible when working with news. There are times when photographers have to color correct or fix contrast and brightness  to make the image visible and clear for the readers, but otherwise it is hands-off. (Or, it is supposed to be).

After having snow on Saturday and rain on Sunday we had some interesting fog this morning as I was driving to work.  This first frame is what I got out of my camera with the default Adobe Camera Raw settings.  The fog is interesting, but what the camera recorded is not what is shown here.  One thing is that the scene did not appear this blue. To my eye there was also more contrast and separation between the different hills, and the Pyramid Rock in the back left of the frame was certainly more visible than this.

This is not really the fault of the camera. Just like when I worked in the film processing lab the camera and film had the details. What was missing was a proper processing for the image. With film it was often a bit of contrast adjustment and making some color adjustments in the printing machine.  With digital files it is telling Photoshop (or Capture One or ACDSee or Lightroom or.....) to adjust the pixels to show the way they should look.

The details are usually there in the image. It just takes some coaxing to get them to show through.  It also takes some decision making for you to determine what the image should look like to express your vision.  For this image I decided it should look like this:

All the details are there, the pixels are there, recorded and just waiting to be coaxed out. 

Don't be afraid to make your images look the way you see them inside your mind.
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