Summer Memories

Summer Memories
Pentax 645z with 45-85mm f/4.5 @ ISO 100
2 seconds @ f/22


Photographic images don't exist in an emotional vacuum. They can elicit emotional responses from both the creator and in his or her audience. It's all about personal experience.

I recall a swing just like this hanging from a tree in front of a family member's country home in upstate New York, back in the 1950's when I was a child. 

One morning in mid-August 2014, as I was driving through a back road in rural Ontario I caught a glimpse of this scene though the roadside trees, and made a quick U-turn. I found myself standing there for some minutes staring at the scene because it was so evocative for me.

raw image as shot 

The technical side was simple. A medium focal length, fairly tight framing, and enough depth of field to hold from the swing through the trees to the building. Though f/22 seems like it would be into diffraction, in fact I have found that with medium format (even the smaller size of the Pentax sensor) it really isn't apparent even at f/22. There was little wind and a two second tripod mounted exposure was what was needed to keep ISO 100 for optimum image quality.

What I found when first looking at the image on-screen was that it held none of the nostalgic feel that I experienced standing there before taking the shot. I tried boosting the saturation and warming it up, but that just made it look sappy. An emotional component was lacking.

In the end I did a monochrome conversion and added a bit of warm tone to both the highlights and slightly to the shadows. This, I found, added an element of timelessness to the shot that was evocative of what the image meant to me personally. 

Other than that, a bit of tonal adjustment on the greens to lighten them, and some burning and dodging of the swing and foreground to balance luminance levels to the way that I wanted them was all that was needed.

100% crop


This image and its analysis may be discussed on the LuLa Forum