In April Christine Hauber and I had the opportunity (Thanks Kathy!!) to photograph on a private ranch in the heart of the Texas Hill Country for a couple hours and that is where I photographed my newest release titled, "Lassos Paired".
Texas Hill Country
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We arrived in the dark a little before sunrise and the weather was not being very cooperative as it was windy and raining. So we waited a while in the barn as the sky lightened from sunrise and we looked at the radar on my iPad to confirm that the morning's shoot was going to be a washout.
When the weather isn't cooperating, trips like these basically end up as scouting trips to plan for something in the future. Before we headed out scouting the property I paused to photograph this pair of lassos hanging on horseshoe hooks inside the barn.
The only light I had was a little bit of ambient light coming in from outside the barn as well as light from one lightbulb inside the barn. I put my camera on my tripod and started taking exposure readings. This was photographed at ISO 200 at f10 with a shutter speed of 8 seconds.
In the photo above we are looking at the RAW file as-is with no adjustments made inside of Capture One Pro (what I replaced Lightroom with). This is exactly how the camera captured it, but far from the vision I had with this image. This was going to need quite a bit of work to get the look I was after.
If you look closely you can notice the top of the photo is a little warmer due to the light from the overhead lightbulb. You can also see the outside ambiant light filtering in from the lower right hand side. I am not concerned about this as I will be converting it soon to sepia and we won't notice the different light sources any more.
The photo above shows some of the adjustments I made to the RAW file inside of Capture One. It was converted into a slightly toned black and white image. The photo was cropped and then exported just like this from Capture One. On to the next step.
I next brought the image into Silver Efex Pro 2 where I converted the image into a warm sepia color. This gave me the foundation I needed to start completing the look for this image.
Next up was a stop in onOne's Perfect Photo Suite to start bringing this image to life and give it some energy. Using a combination of a few different effects in Perfect Effects brought me to just about where I needed to be with this image. (Note there is a FREE, basic version of Perfect Effects you can download and use that comes with over 70 effects.)
I finished the image with a layers adjustment and some dodging and burning in Photoshop - something that I also could have accomplished in Perfect Photo Suite.
After all of those steps I arrived at the photo I had in mind when I first photographed it. Scroll back up this post to the original and final versions again to view the big difference between how the camera captured the image and what I had in mind for it. A perfect example of how boring a straight out-of-camera, non-enhanced photo can look compared to a fully enhanced one.
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