Mud in a low minor key

bridge mudThis shot taken in Bristol of the Avon Gorge is very moody and relies on low contrast to provide the atmosphere.

It is in complete contrast to the shot taken in Salford Quays and posted a few days ago, that relied heavily on high contrast.

This type of picture is said to be in a low minor key, it is not about brilliance of tone, as it’s about mood and atmosphere that is best described with subtle dark low contrast. It is worth noting that my normal style of printing is in a low major key that relies heavily on pushing the boundaries of contrast in both the highlights and shadows. Here we are looking at something much more subtle and difficult to achieve.

The low minor key is perhaps the most difficult type of picture to print and get right in the selected output medium. I have three versions of this picture, the original Cr2 file converted to monochrome, an sRGB version for the web and a print version viewed through the printer / paper profile. Each file is subtlety different, applicable to is output medium.

It was taken after the sun had set behind the hills to the left, the camera recorded it as being normally bright to present the picture in this way would have lost all of the atmosphere that was there at the time. It’s worth saying I don’t under deliberately under expose in the camera to retain the mood of the time and place that only introduces noise in the shadows.

I’ve said many times on the blog that there is no direct relationship between the lighting or contrast of the original scenes in front the camera and that of the final expressive print. Once that relationship is seen for what it is and broken, then personal interpretation of the image can take place.

A big hello to the nine hundredth follower of my little blog this week.

(c) Andy Beel FRPS 2013

http://www.andybeelfrps.co.uk

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7 responses to Mud in a low minor key

  1. crystalight2012 says:

    Love this image Andy, lovely lighting and what amazing mud!

    From what you are saying I am not sure whether in fact you did under expose in the camera on this occasion or whether the effect was achieved with post processing?
    It would be interesting to see the straight out of the camera shot.

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    • andybeel says:

      Hi thanks for the appreciation. It’s worth saying I don’t under deliberately under expose in the camera to retain the mood of the time and place that only introduces noise in the shadows.

      The effect is achieved in the post processing.

      In my next post I will put a before and after pictures just to illustrate the difference. Andy

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      • Adrian Lewis says:

        Andy, I think that’s very useful advice – something I need to keep firmly in my mind. I look forward to the before and after shots.

        On another line, I used to take colour shots into SEP2 just as they were, but now I sometime prepare them in colour first – eg I darkened the sky in the latest Colston Hall shot, I made it an unnaturally dark blue, so that I’d have no trouble making it black in SEP2 later if required. Adrian

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    • andybeel says:

      Hi Adrian thanks very much. This is very much a technical exercise as well artistic, the trick is how does it look on the blog and what is every body else seeing due to monitor brightness and contrast variations – that is only ever a guess! Andy

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  2. crystalight2012 says:

    ‘In my next post I will put a before and after pictures just to illustrate the difference’
    I will look forward to it thanks Andy.

    Like

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