Monday, February 8, 2016

Picture Process Before and After: Gatlinburg Trail with the Sony RX100M3

It's a new year and I have been in slight hibernation. Just a bit though. A different photography has kept me busy. Which is working with high school performing arts, mainly dance at this point. So my artistic images have been playing second to the other events to cover. That was until this past weekend. As a traveling soccer family my youngest son had a tournament in our favorite place. The Smoky Mountains.  Recently a wonderful sports facility has opened. Rocky Top Sports World had a tourney for boys senior teams. The schedule allowed us to take some brief walks in the park. Located very close to our hotel on the strip is the trailhead to the Gatlinburg Trail. A very nice quick 1 mile trail that is both people and dog friendly. We had walked the trial twice. One day in the late afternoon the other in the morning. Both days I carried my Sony RX100M3 camera and a travel tripod. My Olympus OMD EM-1 was setup to cover the soccer action, so I did not feel like changing settings on it. So I walked the trial with the smaller Sony. Call me lazy.

One thing Sony does with their cameras is offer software to create feature sets that do certain functions. I have several of theses apps on this camera. The most recent one called (Smooth Reflection) mimics an ND filter. To get the effect of moving water the camera takes 8-10 exposures at different shutter speeds then composes these into one JPEG image. The application does a pretty good job of doing this. However, you must use a tripod for the camera needs to be on something solid to capture.

So walking along the trail mid afternoon on Saturday I came across this scene with the sun coming through the winter trees. The sun coming off the river and creeping through the trees, highlighting the green moss was beautiful. So lets see how the little one inch camera sensor can handle the direct sunlight. Looking at the first image out of camera the light on the river and the light on the moss came out well. The app also did a good job of not blowing out the sky away from the sun. The water at this time was running quite fast with melting snow from the week before and 14 hours of rain just two days before this. The camera app did a good job of creating some motion in the water flow. I knew I had something to work with.

Sony RX100M3 using Smooth Reflection camera app.JPEG out of Camera
Over the last four to five months I have been making a major change to my work flow. Gone is Adobe products as my main tool and, in is CaptureOne Software by PhaseOne. There is a learning curve coming from Adobe products. However the quality of camera RAW and the manor of image adjustments is better. And the latest version 9.0 has even further improved on features and controls.

So knowing what I saw and what I would like to see in the finished image I took the image into CaptureOne software and pulled some color out. Next I import the image into Topaz Impressions for my working into a painterly effect. Inside Topaz Impressions I chose the water color effect for completion of my vision.

Finished image completed with CapturOne and Topaz Impression
I took a number of images in this area. Being this time of year you never know what the weather will do. One week before this image was taken there was a good fives inches of snow on the ground. So I was pleased to get one workable image on a very brief and limited visit to our favorite place. Safe travels and take care.