SOMERSET LEVELS 401 – WILLOW 2 (MONO)

 

 


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These images will benefit by being viewed enlarged – there is a lot of fine detail here.  Click onto them to open larger versions in separate windows, and click onto those imaged to further enlarge them.

Two looks at an old Willow, leaning precariously, out on the fields near Swanshard Lane: the weight of its dense and heavy crown will soon cause collapse, and all the sooner if the soil becomes waterlogged by floods this winter. 

So many trees, some of them my old friends, have gone in this way. 

I liked the shape of this tree but it was far off and in the relative gloom of early morning: and thus to a long telephoto and, taking no chances with camera shake (despite using image stabilisation), 16,000 ISO gave me 1/400th at f8.
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The upper image results from processing of the raw file in Lightroom (details below), but the lower one has been entirely produced by in-camera processing of the raw file by the Z 6, using the camera’s Graphite profile amended by 1.7 stops of overexposure.  I suppose that the lower image is slightly the more radical of the two, being higher key, and – by a small margin – I prefer it >>> so, being a fan of the Terminator films, here is the Rise of the Machines or, to put it rather more prosaically, Camera one, FATman lost ….  And do I mind?  Am I going to take this offending technological gem outside and back my car over it?  Not in the slightest since, for me, the resulting image is always the most important thing in photography, completely irrespective of the means by which it was produced.

Which image, if any, do you prefer?  And, in photography, is the resulting image the important thing for you, or do you think means of production also a factor?

There is another Willow image here .

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in DX (= APS-C) format to give 450mm; 16,000 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the B&W Green Filter profile and adding a slight pale vignette; North Moor, southwest of Wells on the Somerset Levels; 30 Aug 2019.
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About Adrian Lewis
Photographer working in monochrome, colour and combinations of the two - with a great liking for many types of subject, including Minimalism, landscapes, abstracts, soft colour, people, movement, nature - I like to be adventurous in my photography, trying new ideas and working in many genres. And I'm fond of Full English Breakfasts and Duvel golden ale, though not necessarily together.

16 Responses to SOMERSET LEVELS 401 – WILLOW 2 (MONO)

  1. bluebrightly says:

    I think, between the two, I’d choose the second one. No matter how you got there, but I guess it’s odd to process a photo in camera. Just as it must have been odd to switch to a computer from film? My Olympus has some in-camera effects – not quite processing but some are very nice, and you can make a number of choices with the effect. I should play with them again! I’m glad you keep experimenting.

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    • Adrian Lewis says:

      I don’t know that odd is the word, Lynn; but keeping experimenting is certainly the thing! I am of course biased to some extent because of owning a Z 6, but I can only say that I find the Z 6’s in-camera raw processing to be actually exciting, and a great aid to experimenting and creativity too. The Fujifilm X-T2 has similar facilities, but the Z 6 is slightly better – including showing the effects of manipulations in real time, ie as soon as they are made, and before the “final OK” produces the end result. The TG-5 has something similar also, but its not as productive as the other two, and I find it hard to get to grips with. For me, LR, with its many camera-related profiles, is the ideal processor. A 🙂

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  2. Meanderer says:

    Well, I opened them both and enlarged them as far as they can go and spent a while flipping from one to the other. I’m going to plump for the second image too – I like it’s light ethereal dreamy quality but I do like the extra detail in the first one.

    With regard to your question about the end result or the means of getting there, I think there is a satisfaction in playing around with an image a bit in order to produce an effect – a feeling; part of ourselves is going into it. When the camera produces an image without any interference from me I sometimes find the image boring …… plain ….. emotionally unmoving!

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    • Adrian Lewis says:

      I’m so glad to hear that you enlarged these images, my friend, as I’m sure this is how they’re best viewed, and – in this rushed world (tho maybe its not so rushed down where you live, and like me you’re retired too) – I’m grateful to you for taking the time to compare them. And I agree with your conclusions re the extra detail vs the dreaminess – thank you!

      As I also agree with your words “part of ourselves is going into it” – which is also in the theme of Harrie’s response >>> the subjective (and artistic) side of photography, as against the pure technicalities. I value your thoughts, M. A

      Liked by 1 person

  3. They are both so lovely, Adrian. I don’t want to choose.

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  4. 😂😂😂 ‘Rise of the Machines’.. I agree on ‘only the final result matters’ and you! are the only one who decides what the final result ‘is’… In case of this sad and beautiful willow, I think that the final result should be when you ‘know’ that the shot shows what a tree that dies because it loves life too much, means to you. A machine can only show how smart it’s creators were… 🍻✋

    Liked by 2 people

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Harrie, my friend, these are profound and very meaningful words, and I’m very grateful to you for them. First of course, yes, the photographer is the one who decides what the final image will look like – within the range of setting everything up personally to letting the camera + auto processing do everything.

      And, second, I’m going to repeat your words because I totally agree with them, while also thinking that they express a great degree of sensitivity on your part – “In case of this sad and beautiful willow, I think that the final result should be when you ‘know’ that the shot shows what a tree that dies because it loves life too much, means to you.”. Wonderful stuff, my friend.

      However, with regard to “A machine can only show how smart it’s creators were”, I’m wondering about the current rise of Artificial Intelligence, machines that can learn – and I think such things are already making their way into photography. Inevitable, I suppose, but it leaves me uneasy. A

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thanks Adrian, for the appreciation of my contribution to this post. ‘It leaves me uneasy’, you say at the end, and I’m with you completely. Movies like the Terminator you mention; the Matrix and one of my favorites; the brilliant 2001: A Space Odyssey, with HAL 9000 (Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer), who at the end of it’s dismantling is only capable of singing ‘Daisy, Daisy’, have always fascinated me; but I was always on the side of the few humans who refuse to surrender. I don’t know what AI will bring us; but I refuse to believe that ‘AI-creatures’ (or cameras 😃) will ever have a consciousness or a soul, like us. My, and I asume our, uneasyness comes from the possibility that those who develop AI, like your selfdestructive willow, will take things to far, blinded by their enthousiasm. The name Oppenheimer pops up…

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        • Adrian Lewis says:

          Yes I’m absolutely with you re the consciousness question >>> tho mention of a soul is another thing altogether – that has far too many other connotations, in my view. But yes, taking things too far, = a characteristic / facet of Human Nature? And yes, Oppenheimer but, as with all such things, once Pandora’s Box is opened, there’s no going back. Very, very good to hear your thoughts, my friend. A

          Liked by 1 person

  5. oneowner says:

    As much as I’m not a fan of in-camera processing, the Nikon did a fine job with this subject. It’s almost an infrared look, and I like that.

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    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Thank you, Ken! The Nikon is very useful in-camera, and there are two ways really. One is just for experimenting and “playing” around with captured images; but also, in some cases, I think that the pictures produced are ready for posting; its quite an intriguing addition to the camera’s other abilities. A

      Liked by 1 person

  6. paula graham says:

    The willow, excellent tree for insects and therefore for wildlife. Lovely shot too.

    Like

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