After a second look through the images I shot the other day I decided to do a bit of editing. A few tweaks later I suddenly liked a few more of the shots a lot better and decided to include them in the article. This is the great benefit to using Post processing image editing software.In this shot I got a bit more depth of field and it was the vibrant colour that brought me back to it.  The light and fog in the open meadow in the background is the intended subject like a portal.   However, the post with the barbed wire is what draws the eye first bisecting the water and leading to the lit meadow. There is not enough light on the water but what is there is a nice counter balance to the meadow tone. The light in the meadow is also a nice counterpoint to the thick foliage framing it. The colours are vibrant in spite of the low light conditions. The shot is slightly side lit by a cloud covered western sun. At 1/30sec shutter speed I am surprised I was steady enough to focus this hand held shot.images © RebelOptics

Slight depth of field with an 18-55 zoom lens.

Exposure time: 1/30sec Aperture: f/4.5 ISO: 800 Focal length: 18mm

This image required a little post processing.  I made a slight adjustment to the exposure tone curves and tried to adjust for the over exposure spike in the histogram.

Such vibrant colour captured by ISO 800 only slight editing.

From the histogram I can see some blue spectrum over exposure. Perhaps white balance is off or I simply over exposed the shot a bit. I could further adjust the exposure compensation to lessen this spike and maybe pick up some background details in the meadow. Below is the shot with some exposure compensation and I switched the white balance to cloudy setting instead of auto. At some point you have to stop changing stuff so you don’t loose the whole simplicity or character of the shot. The edited shot below does look more natural, less blue.

adjusted exposure compensation and white balance settings.

This brings out more colour in the background meadow. The barbed wire is slightly less blue. I still like the first image though.

The next images below were taken 2 days later with morning sunshine and a dusting of snow in the forest. I used my 18-55mm zoom lens with camera in Aperture priority mode.

The first image I shot  directly into the sun and over exposed it.  Initially I couldn’t see the detail in the trees above the creek in the right background of the frame. A huge spike on the right side of histogram. I then adjusted the exposure compensation slider and tweaked the tone curves and I really like the result. Light is clearly the subject of this shot. I made good use of the rule of 3rds to frame the light in the shot.

an over exposed image corrected

Exposure time: 1/125sec Aperture: f/10 ISO: 100

I barely touched the tone curves after adjusting the exposure compensation. the banks of the creek balance the shot diagonally. The light reflected on the water lead the eye into the area in the background that is now visible due to the correction.

lowered the spike that was at right side of histogram

Light leading to the bridge

Exposure time: 1/200sec Aperture: f/5.6 ISO: 100 Focal length: 27mm

In this shot we have a return to the bridge. This time I shot toward the morning sunlight. I used the tree in the right foreground to shade the lens so I didn’t over expose the image. I think this shot shows some improvement through this article with vibrant colour and detail. I did very little editing on this. I like how the shadow from the bridge balances the tree in foreground.  There is good depth of field as I can see the leaves and forest in the right  background 3rd of the shot.  Clearly I have a thing for foot bridges and streams.

The next image is posted as I shot it. The tone curves were spot on as is. Other than converting the RAW file to jpeg so it was bandwidth friendly I made no changes. Some how shooting into the sun didn’t over expose the shot. The shadows cast across the path by the side lighting from the sun really help with the diagonal balance of the frame. The eye naturally goes to the sun in the top left but the path provides balance with the bright snow.

Exposure time: 1/320sec Aperture: f/7.1 ISO: 100 Focal length: 18mm

Light illuminates the path

Below is how it loaded into my editing software. It may be possible I am getting better.

No edit needed.

     I learned a lot shooting natural light in difficult forest conditions.  The Last couple images had better shutter speed and exposure settings and required less post processing.  I encourage others to shoot light as there subject in a compositional way. Also converting several images to black and white really simplified the composition of a shot. It became easier to just observe the light and dark balance in a shot.  I think my final few shots taken in the snow with better light show an improvement in my understanding of the exposure triangle.  I can’t wait until my next photographic outing where I harvest images from a seemingly mundane scene and edit them in high end software to discover a deeper meaning through simplicity of form and light.