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Yesterday on Tracking the Light, I mentioned how on the morning of 31 July 2015, Markku Pulkkinen, Sakari K. Salo, and Juhani Katajisto provided me a tour of the new Helsinki Airport line by car.
Mr. Salo selected this location as being one of the best places to try to get a plane and train in the same photo.
While this didn’t line up the way we’d hoped, the location did allow me to make a variety of dramatic photos. My challenge was in capturing a high-contrast scene digitally.
The sky was dressed with some impressive clouds. So how to best work with such a scene?
I opted to gauge my exposure to retain detail in the sky, while allowing for underexposure of the train. I intentionally included the array of electrical wires to show the advantages and disadvantages of various digital treatments.
With the following four images, the first is the un-manipulated camera ‘RAW’ file. The next three show various types of post-processing adjustment using Adobe Lightroom.
Back in the old days, I’d routinely make adjustments to contrast and exposure when I printed my black & white negatives. Often, I’d expose and process the film in anticipation of manipulation in the darkroom. (I’d also make prints from color slides using Cibachrome and Type R materials, but that’s a story for another day).
In effect, my digital manipulation of the RAW file is a modern interpretation of this traditional processing technique. I’ve not added anything to the original file, I’ve simply altered contrast, exposure, and color saturation using controls offered by the program.
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