Friday, October 26, 2012

The BIG MO

Monetta, South Carolina

The Big Mo is a charming drive-in theater. I've been able to find out little about it, and attempts to contact the owners have been unsuccessful. But I got there Wednesday late afternoon, in very harsh light, and tried to make something work. It turned out that my best bet for a room was just 13 miles south in North Aitken, so Thursday morning I was able to return and try again in early morning light. A couple 8x10s at pretty much this framing should be good, and I like this color version as well, even though it strains the digital sensor to the limit. You see the back of the main screen behind and between the marquee and the ticket booth, and the corner of one of the other two screens can be seen in the gap between the trees on the left.

5 comments:

DerekL said...

I think this is one of your best yet... Great light, and something different than the empty parking area.

lyle said...

..."strains the digital sensor to the limit". Looks damn good me! Carl, how do you know when the sensor is being pushed? ... (digitally impaired, lyle)

Carl said...

Lyle, the camera's histogram is a very useful, though limited, tool. Limited because it's based on the nominal .jpg file, not the RAW, so you have to learn to interpret it. This shot actually goes past the sensor's limit and, as planned, I've introduced some neutral gray into "clipped" bright areas--they didn't have any visual information for the naked eye either, so tone-without-detail isn't a real problem--in order to use settings that retain rich detail in the shadow areas.

Derek, the "grooming" of the fields is an important part of the documentation, with regional styles as well as specific preferences of individual owners. But I was really taken with the wonderful "presentation" of the entry to this theater. How much is luck of the draw and how much is careful intention is a mystery because the owners have not responded to any attempts at contact.

lyle said...

not worrying about areas of tone-without-detail, worrying about detail in the shadow areas....starting to sound a bit like film....

Carl said...

Except the reverse of negative film: limited range above middle gray, more range below. So when there's a lot of range in the subject, you end up "underexposing" the capture to keep as much highlight detail as possible, then bring up the darker values in RAW processing. Expose for the highlights, develop for the shadows.