Forest Floor South Downs
This shot was taken in woodland to the East of the A29 road near Slindon in the South Downs in West Sussex. The shot was taken later in the morning after taking the tunnel of trees shot at Halnaker.
The aim of the picture was to get the fungi as the main focus but also showing the context of the woodland. To get the lowest pov I put the camera on the ground and improvised by using sticks to get it lined up right. With movement not being an issue I used f8 for a little more depth of field. The shutter was triggered with a remote release. The camera used was a Sony A550 with a Sigma 28-80 at 35mm. This has the advantage for this sort of shot of Live View with a flexible screen.
Many purists take the view that a picture must be taken perfectly in the camera and processing is wrong. However many steps which are done in processing can also be done in camera, Examples which apply to this shot are adjusting exposure a little in the RAW file, warming up the image by adjusting White Balance in RAW or using a filter and also cropping. As long as you do not have the problem of being a purist it is a lot easier to make adjustments on the computer rather than struggling while trying to see the screen in low light while sitting on a wet forest floor.
Lets first have a look at the original image and discuss what’s wrong with it.
Because the forest is shaded the auto white balance has come out too cool or too much towards blue. The image needs warming up. Next there are a lot of quite bright highlights in the background which take the viewers attention away from the main subject of the Fungi. For better composition cropping needs to move the fungi more off centre.
Next the processing used –
1) Editing in RAW, White balance temperature increased for a warmer look. Recovery to tone down highlights, Clarity and vibrance increased.
2) Topaz Adjust for more warmth and detail and Topaz DeNoise to remove noise.
3) Topaz Clarity for more detail and then crop for better composition.
4) Topaz adjust but just using the vignette tool to darken the corners and focus attention on the Fungi.
5) Brightness contrast adjustment layer to reduce brightness on the highlights in the background using a layer mask for selective adjustment.
The final image is as follows.
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