On this day last year Burnt Embers took life. The image at the bottom is from my first post. I took it with the camera set on monochrome – one of the few times I have used that setting as I now realise the value of having colour against which to apply filters and so on in post-processing. The image I posted then was straight out of the camera with no processing. I still like it, but as the version above demonstrates, it had more to offer, had I but been able to extract it at the time.
As it happened, I hand-held three exposures from this same location as I was trying for the best compromise to express this idea. Surprisingly I still have all three ‘brackets’. Thus, the top image is an HDR treatment I did a couple of days ago. The middle picture is recently tone mapped from a single image, the same one I posted originally.
I have included these reworked images as a nod to the improvement in my post-processing ability and symbolic, I hope, of the general improvement in my photography skills over the past year. I think the composition stands the test of time fairly well, and the idea of the bright rail leading the eye to the white house, both lit in the afterglow of sunset against a darker background, still works well for me. Each exposure had slightly different framing, hence the mildly unfortunate crop off the right side of the HDR version, which is why I tried tone mapping the single image as I like the way that line of logs leads the eye.
It is hard for me to think that it has been a year of blogging now. My first post was followed for two days without a post, and then on September 17th I began an uninterrupted run to this day, at least one post every day. In that time there have been 373 posts, more than 2200 images posted, I will likely hit 60,000 views today (thanks everyone!), nearly 2,500 of your wonderful comments (thanks again!), 350 subscribers and I have met a number of people on the internet that I correspond with nearly every day, several that I am in touch with via email and and one I have met in person as well. I have even collaborated in the field with a blogger met on line, bringing our different talents to the photo documentation of a heritage site (coming to you soon, I hope). It is a great community to be part of, supportive of my efforts and encouraging in many ways. I plan on sticking around, though once I get under my belt a full 365 posts in a row without a missed day, I will probably scale back a bit. I find that post processing is taking ever more time as my level of skill increases, and I really should aim more for quality and less for quantity. We will see how that works out, it could be hard to break the daily habit. One image a day, most days? That could work too.
Canon 5Dii, Canon 50mm/1.4 lens, ISO1250, f5.0, 1/3200 (+/- ~0.5 EV for top image, 3 brackets).