Storm Freya raged through the Shire today, and I stayed in the house and avoided her.
Apart from the quarter hour I spent setting up and taking this photo, and an hour in the kitchen this evening, cooking and eating a meal with R, I’ve spent most of the day at my desk, editing files from a long exposure photography workshop I took nearly eighteen months ago. A couple of hours in, I remembered why it is that I’ve been avoiding these files for so long: the basic processing isn’t difficult, except for a slightly tricky issue of colour balance in some of them, but they all need extensive cleaning up to remove “ghosts” that walked through during the exposure, plus large numbers of sensor spots and hot pixels. I do most of my normal processing in Lightroom because it’s so quick and easy to use, but the clean-up tool is hopeless, so every one of the files I worked on today had to be taken into Photoshop for that part of the processing – sometimes more than once, if I spotted another camera artefact after exporting the file to jpeg.
The only thing to be said for leaving stuff half-processed for such a long time is that I’m a better editor now than I was eighteen months ago, so I’ve been able to extract more from the files than I would have been able to then. I’m also more ruthless than I used to be when it comes to deciding what simply isn’t worth the effort of being worked on, so quite a few raw files have gone in the trash over the course of the day.
Working with these files has reminded me that landscape photography is quite good fun; but also that the whole business of tripods and filters is quite a faff, and not necessarily the best fit for my personality, which is better suited to rushing around after wild things. Wildlife photography also has the benefit of not heating the camera sensor to the point of spattering red and green pixels across my images, and shots taken at 560mm have too shallow a depth of field for sensor grunge to be an issue.
Nonetheless, I do like landscape photos, and the very fact that I find landscape work challenging makes me want to be better at it. I have all the requisite gear, so there’s no reason why I can’t just take myself off to an attractive location and get stuck in. And yet…. I know myself well enough to be pretty sure that without a prompt, I won’t do it. So I probably need to book myself onto another workshop, on the principle that if I’ve paid for the experience I’m more likely to actually go and do it.
One of the shots I’ve processed is here, if you’re interested.