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A Grey Day in Autumn


I am an amateur photographer based in England. My main interests are photographing the English countryside, gardens and flowers. But, for various reasons, not the least the pandemic, I now photograph mainly flowers.
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A Grey Day in Autumn

3 Oct 2021 7:17PM   Views : 477 Unique : 377

Back on home soil, my walk today was around Quy Fen. Right from the start, things did not look promising. It was a dull day, beneath an undifferentiated grey sky. If it were not for this blog, quite frankly, I would have left my camera at home.

I start off with probably the shot of the day of some ivy. The maturing ivy flower heads provide a nice contrast against the dark foliage.


However, it was a day that tested my self imposed constraints of square, black and white images straight out of camera to breaking point. This picture of umbellifer (?hemlock) seed heads against the grey sky is acceptable, but would definitely be improved with more contrast.


Much more substantial post processing is required to make the most of this image of an ivy flower head.


As this version of the same image shows, this is undoubtedly a colour photograph. This version was produced with a minimal conversion from the raw file, and without the use of any local controls.


In general, I think the lack of colour is going to make it very difficult to produce good straight out of camera images during autumn. Autumn is the season of colour in the countryside - with the woods and hedgerows full of reds, oranges and yellows in the berries and the leaves. Of course, without filters (I don't have any) or post processing, reds tend to show with the same tonality as the greens, and berries in particular just disappear.

For these maple keys, the monochrome is almost unreadable, whereas the colour version is quite clear.



I started this blog to test my ability to produce good monochrome images straight out of camera in a square format. In two cases, I have had to resort to colour images to produce an acceptable result. In one of these cases - the maple keys - it would take far more processing of the black and white image than I am capable of, to create a create an acceptable result. I know a bad workman always blames his tools, and maybe, I'm a bad workman. But equally, a SOOC image is only ever going to be as good as the subject in front of the camera. A photograph still has plenty of tools available, but for a black and white image, if there is little or not difference in tonality across the image, then the photograph is always going to be poor without further processing.

One other point of interest is the difference between handling of raw files between cameras. My Olympus E-M5 has unfortunately developed a fault, and I am waiting to find someone to repair it. So I have used my Panasonic TZ70 today. With both cameras set to monochrome, an image ratio of 1:1, and to save both JPG and RAW, both give me a black and white and a colour image. However, the raw file from the Olympus has the native 4:3 aspect ratio, whereas the Panasonic, the raw file has the square ratio of the JPG.

Tags: Autumn Grey Monochrome

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