Curator Jessica and I were headed back to Athens, Ohio, after trekking over a muddy trail to the allegedly haunted Moonville Railroad Tunnel in Vinton County. (More about that soon.)
The sun was thinking hard about going down when we passed over a low-water crossing and saw the sky splashing orange over Raccoon Creek. When I spotted the house glowing dimly in the distance, it was time to stop for a photo.
The first photos were just a little bit “cool,” or blue, so I changed the color balance adjustment on my Nikon D3100 from “Auto” to “Shade” and dialed in a bit of blue because the orange was TOO orange.
I won’t say this was entirely faithful to what Mother Nature provided, but it’s close enough that I don’t feel guilty.
Wife Lila took over what had been a gardening blog from Son Matt. She does a really good job with her Canon point-‘n’-shoot camera and her cellphone camera, but today she came in to say she couldn’t quite get the photo she wanted of some poinsettias growing in the corner of our yard.
I handed her my Nikon D3100 camera with a Hoya polarizing filter on it and explained how to rotate the filter to kill the reflections on the leaves to make the colors more vivid. I also showed her where to adjust the exposure, explaining that most of my photos are usually underexposed anywhere from 1/3 stop to as much as 3 or 4 f/stops from what the camera wants to set automatically.
She came back saying that the pictures still weren’t right.
I forgot to change the color balance
She was correct about that. I usually leave the white balance set on AUTO, but I had been shooting under tungsten light and had moved it. That gave the photo a blue cast in sunlight.
On second glance, though I LIKED this shot. I played a little with the levels and contrast to produce a photo that isn’t the literal representation she wanted, but is still striking. It really didn’t take much tweaking. That’s pretty much how it looked coming out of the camera. Click on it to make it larger.
You’ll have to wait until she gets around to writing about her poinsettias to see the real thing.