Silent Nature and A. J. Windless
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Yellow trees of autumn front a mountain of multi colors with clouds and light ever changing
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How to Take a Good Photo
September 29, 2019     f/22   1/15 second
If you have looked at very many of my photos, you might have asked, "What makes his photos so much better than the average amateur?"  And some of you might want to know what you can do to take photos as impressive as this one. This image, for example, is not something I just happened to see and then, like child's play, I lifted a "point and shoot camera" pressed the button. Far from it, the images you see on this website are not snap shots.

This area is a place I have been coming to for 30 years. While I lived in Utah I came here several times every fall, and since I have moved to Thailand I still return for multiple more visits every year or two. I am very familiar with the area and have scouted out the views and angles all over this mountainside. I know what pictures I have taken in the past, and I continue to look for new ideas. I sat my camera on its tripod and watched this scene for an hour, constantly snapping frames with different shadows and light as the clouds moved through, occasionally opening up enough to reveal the mountain face. I wanted to see the mountain face, but I also wanted to have clouds drifting by, which meant they would have to be to the far left, so as not to obsure the shape of the mountain where it tapered off. Then I still needed the right light on the trees, both in the foreground, and on the side of the hill. Once I returned home, I sorted through all of those images and decided which ones carried the best potential to finish my work.

My camera captures a lot more information than what you see on a monitor, but your monitor selects a very narrow piece of that work to display to you. Before digitalization photographers like Ansel Adams had to develop their prints in darkrooms with fluids, and if some areas of the film were too bright or too dark, they had to block the light from hitting parts of that print so that the final exposure would even out more. Working with digital images, I do essentially the same thing with Photoshop. I spent over an hour bringing up the light in the shadowed areas and lowering the light in the areas that looked washed out. Other than correctiing the amount of exposure in those different areas, I have done nothing to adjust, enhance, or improve the color in this image. The colors you see are very real.
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