After I posted the “Fire in the Sky” photo last week, both John and Rod seemed to want me to get in closer, cropping out much of the foreground and really focusing more on the clouds. And I thought, “Well, but that would be a different photograph.” I realized, however, that I actually took the picture that John and Rod were asking for as part of that same shoot and here it is. I remember when taking this picture that my wife and I both said the same thing at the same time, “The sky is on fire!” So even though this may not be an exact reproduction of what I actually saw (I can’t remember precisely anyway) it is an attempt to capture what I was feeling when I took it.
I also thought I might use this photograph to further the discussion that we seem to be having about “fake” photographs and the extent to which post processing might be considered “cheating.” I’ve posted three versions of the same shot. The first is how it came out of the camera in RAW. The second is how it looked after I’d done some basic post processing in Lightroom. For me Lr processing is where I decide whether or not the shot is worth doing further work on. All I did and typically do at this point is work with five sliders in Lr Basics: Temp, Highlights, Blacks, Whites and Shadows. The third is the shot after extensive work in Photoshop largely with the TKv5 luminosity mask panel. This is where I work with colour, contrast and clarity in an attempt to bring the photograph in line with my experience. In this case, I’m fairly pleased. The composition isn’t quite what it might have been but I feel like the image gives a sense of the awe I felt when I took it.
But I’d also ask any one who cares to consider it, “Which of the three images is the “realest”? The first image has absolutely no pp and is exactly as it came out of the camera. But it conveys nothing of the experience I had when I was shooting it. So is the post processing “cheating”? All that matters, in my opinion, is what the photographer is trying to convey or share through the photograph. Maybe in real life the clouds were more red than gold but to me it doesn’t matter. What matters is the extent to which I have been able to convey the sense of awe that I felt in that moment.
I’d be very interested in what you all feel either about the photograph itself or about what is “really real.”
Fiery Sky RAW (1 of 1).jpg 351.03KB 0 downloads
Fiery Sky Lr (1 of 1).jpg 468.4KB 0 downloads
Fiery-Sky-Ps.jpg 1.04MB 0 downloads