Friday, January 01, 2010

Cornfield, II

Ansonia, Pennsylvania

These two cornfields are an example of a funny phenomenon I run into from time to time. I can go quite a distance without finding anything that inspires me to set up one of the big cameras, but when I do find subjects that say "take my picture," there often seem to be several in a cluster. Even stranger, when I've found something to shoot, I've learned to turn around and look exactly the other way. It's surprising how often something is there, too. This picture was made by picking up the tripod after the picture in yesterday's post, and carrying it across the narrow paved road to make a picture facing west instead of east.

2 comments:

Markus Spring said...

Two overwhelming (for me) images of something really mundane. After some comparison I find this one even more convincing: it really takes you into the midst of the scene, no barriers or bounds.
And the rendering of the plant details is just amazing. My idea was to blame the 7x17 format for it, but on the screen a pixel should be a pixel - so there is probably some scanning and postprocessing magic added.

Carl said...

Thank you, Markus. I don't think there's anything magic in my scanning or postprocessing. It *is* important that I used a lot of "tilt" (aim the camera steeply down into the scene and then return the back to vertical) to set the focus plane to reach from the nearest foreground plants out to the hazy horizon.

The only "trick" is that I scan As Positive because I've yet to find a scanner than understands the density range of b&w negatives (vastly greater than color negatives that scanners all seem to expect, even in grayscale). I keep all the negative tones well away from both ends of the histogram in a 16-bit grayscale scan. After Inverting the tones, in both these cases a single Layers Adjustment Level was sufficient to get what I wanted, though it takes very delicate point-at-a-time balancing of the center and right sliders to get the misty distant view rendered well. No magic, just careful craft.