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Thread: Snow drift in the evening sunlight.

  1. #1
    Member Floyd_Davidson's Avatar
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    Default Snow drift in the evening sunlight.

    I was going to drive out to the end of Gaswell Road, which goes about 10-12 miles southeast of Barrow, to see if there were any caribou to take pictures of. But we had a lot of wind last week and the road crews haven't cleared the snow yet, so I didn't get very far.

    But then, in the evening sun there were these snow drifts... and this is what happened:



    Shot with a Nikon D2x with a 400mm f/2.8 + 2x TC. At f/11, 1/250 second shutter speed, and ISO 800. The contrast was boosted significantly, and the grainy texture was accomplish with a bit more than the usual amount of Unsharp Mask. Note that before the contrast was boosted, the snow looked white and the sky was clear "blue" though it was pretty flat and tending towards grey in the evening. The extreme brightness of the snow is demonstrated by how black the sky became while still maintaining detail in the snow.

  2. #2
    Member Floyd_Davidson's Avatar
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    Another snow drift image, this time in BW. Otherwise it is pretty much the same detail as the previous image.


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    Member letshunt's Avatar
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    Nice pictures.

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    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Can we see 'em not grainy? They look...well odd this way...

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    Member Floyd_Davidson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunt_ak View Post
    Can we see 'em not grainy? They look...well odd this way...
    Oh, I agree! But "not grainy" they look pedestrian. Non-odd pictures of snow drifts are boring, eh?

    But these are odd looking, and that is why I posted them.

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    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    I think the second B&W shot with smooth clean lines coupled with the various shadows would make an elegant photo...

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    Member Floyd_Davidson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunt_ak View Post
    I think the second B&W shot with smooth clean lines coupled with the various shadows would make an elegant photo...
    Well, just let me say that 35 years ago I was very happy with souping Tri-X in Rodinal.

    It took me quite a while with digital to figure out how to manage a similar look. :-)

    I'm sure that virtually everyone can take pictures of snow drifts that produces nice "smooth clean lines" absent that grainy look. It's sort of like taking pictures of fireworks or sunsets. They all look nice enough. The trick is doing something that stands out as oddly different than the rest.

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    I think like them both, but I prefer the black & white.

    I'm trying to imagine a larger print of them though. I think a large print would make the "grain" more apparent and therefore better. As a small screen image the grain looks like it was something the photographer had to put up with in order to get the image, but enlarged it would look like the deliberate effect it is.

  9. #9
    Member Floyd_Davidson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Strutz View Post
    I think like them both, but I prefer the black & white.

    I'm trying to imagine a larger print of them though. I think a large print would make the "grain" more apparent and therefore better. As a small screen image the grain looks like it was something the photographer had to put up with in order to get the image, but enlarged it would look like the deliberate effect it is.
    Hmmm... that's interesting too.

    Actually, what I was thinking of when I shot them was the BW image. The color version was the first one I worked on, and the way it turned out was a surprise. The reason for working on a second image was to get something closer to what I'd originally been thinking of. Once I had both of them, I couldn't decide if I like one significantly better than the other or not. Initially I liked the BW image more, mostly because it was what I had wanted to make. But the color in the first one keeps growing on me...

    If I get a chance, I'll go shoot a few more shots, but using a D3S to get rid of the grainy look (and also a smaller lens that is easier to handle). Can't promise hunt_ak that I'll post anything, but if I get something interesting I'll post it.

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