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Summer Coda_Day 13

Canon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 70-200mm f2.8 L series lens @ 70mm. Exposure Details: 1/60 second @ f5 ISO 400

Here we are back in Mildura. It’s day 14 on the set of the Australian motion picture film Summer Coda. Directed by Hollywood-bound Richard Gray the film’s stellar cast includes Rachael Taylor, Alex Dimitriades, Cassandra Magrath, Angus Sampson, Susie Porter and Jackie Weaver.

Today was a little surreal. After last Thursday’s maximum temperature of 43 degrees celcius, I arrived early evening to humid conditions with rain threatening. True to form the end of the day brought heavy rain. Lightning and thunder provided a touch of extra theatre.

The above image was made just prior to the storms arrival. The clouds tumultuous shape was beautiful, yet a little frightening to behold. It seemed to symbolize the very essence of nature: creator and destroyer. It’s no wonder various elements of nature (sun, water, fire, etc) were revered by ancient peoples.

What color is a cloud? Most would say either white or grey. The fact is that the color of the cloud is dependant on the amount of water it bears. White clouds are commonly found under a bright blue summer’s sky., while rain-bearing clouds are actually blue in color. The more rain they carry the darker the shade of blue. It’s quite complex as to why the untrained eye doesn’t see the blue evident in rain-laden clouds, albeit to say that, because the average person thinks clouds are either white or grey, that’s exactly how they will remember them.

One of the great things about photography is that it helps us see the color of light present in the environment in which we work. The fact that our camera’s LCD screen provides almost immediate feedback only enhances the learning experience. But be careful, your camera’s Auto White Balance (AWB) can be the death of a great image. The melancholy power of an approaching storm or the radiant glory of a sunrise can largely be diminished by the camera trying to eliminate such color castes to produce a so-called correct white balance.

I made the above image with my camera’s white balance set to Daylight which, on other cameras, may be referred to as Sunny or Direct Sun. This setting is basically the same as using normal (daylight balanced) color print film. If the light is neutral colors in the scene will be rendered neutral. If the light is warm or cool then the color of the light will mix in with any colors present in the scene to produce colors of slightly different hues. While I almost always set my camera to Cloudy white balance, I like to set it to Daylight whenever the actual color of the light is central to the success of the image.

Image processing was conducted in Adobe Lightroom 2 and Adobe Photoshop CS4.

© Copyright All Rights Reserved

Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography


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