Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas, One and All

Sea Ice Breakup, Port Lockroy, Antarctica
Tomorrow is Christmas, and we'll be heading out soon to spend it with family on the Oregon Coast. A week ago, however, we were busting through the pack ice in Antarctica.  As I have previously posted, the light was not always what I might have hoped, with almost constant clouds and snow. But when conditions are less-than-generous with color, it's often a good time to switch to black and white.

This image was originally shot in color, but with digital cameras it is easy to transform a dull color landscape into a rather nice b&w one. There are many ways to do it, but my technique is to simply de-saturated the color image (saving the original RAW in case I ever want to go back to color) and add needed contrast through Levels or Curves - the ideal is to create a histogram with the complete spread of gray tones from left to right (rather than bunched up in the middle). Snow, it turns out, is filled with all sorts of nuances - light and shadows - and lends itself perfectly for this kind of treatment.

Enough Tech Talk - go spend some time with your loved ones, and stay warm...

Nikon D3, Nikkor 24-70mm lens

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