(Note: For the best viewing experience, click on each image and view in Lightbox Mode)
Hi everyone. This past week has been somewhat quiet, thankfully, and afforded me time to catch up on image processing and begin to think about some overall changes to my website. I also was able to get out for a little bit of photography at a family dinner event. This stunning red barn has been high on my list to photograph but I have just not been there at the right time when all of the conditions you might want - think clouds and light - have come together. As we pulled into the farm I knew it was going to be great, though I had barely a half an hour until sunset, which meant I had maybe 45 to 50 minutes of shooting time. While my wife went on in to the dinner I was running through a pasture of emerald green grass to get to the barn.
My typical approach is too start from a longer position, maybe shooting a wide set shot and then moving info tighter shots. But as I had not totally scouted the location I was simply making decisions on the fly which perhaps is more fun. I had a lot of elements I could play with. The sun was setting to my left and provided some beautiful light on one side of the barn - a classic side-light scenario; there were some soft beautiful clouds moving over the site; a pasture of stunning green grass; and the long, winding line of the white fence; and some trees. Given the short time I had, those were the elements I was going to work with and I ultimately wanted to keep it all pretty simple.
My set up shot was actually taken from the far side of the pasture on a small knoll that gave me a slightly elevated camera position. I had brought my Fujinon XF50-140mm R OIS WR with me and this was the first opportunity I had to make my first images with the lens. It is with out a doubt a fantastic lens and one that should have been in my camera bag a long time ago. It is built like a tank, its sharp and contrasty, has a smooth focus mechanism, Optical Image Stabilized, and of course weather-sealed. I have some more testing to do but my initial impressions are that it is a deadly combination when paired with the Fuji X-T2.
After the set up shot I just worked through several camera positions, and lens combinations including the Fujinon XF14mm f2.8 R and the Fujinon XF16-55mm F2.8 R WR. The fence line provided a nice leading line and the trees added another line as well as a nice framing device to set off the barn. Of course the barn's color, and the color complement of red and green were important components of the final images. Given more time, the dinner bell started ringing about a half hour after I started, I would have worked more angles and moved to the other side. It just means I will need some trips here.
For processing I worked two different conceptual themes. One that was slightly cooler in tones and one that brought out more of the late sunset warmth. I think both are successful and I probably lean a bit more towards the warmer tones. To achieve those tones I started with a Sleeklens Preset in Lightroom CC called "Sunset in the Soviet Union". From there I dialed back the preset and added my personal development alchemy to warm up the shot and accentuate the color luminosity. I saved this out as a new preset in my folder and named it "Warm Blush". I was then able to apply it to other files in this series to quicken the RAW development process. The final files were finished in Photoshop CC. The cooler tone shots followed a more "traditional" process of adjustments and were finished in Photoshop. No presets were applied to these. I hope you enjoy these images. Feel free to drop me a note with any questions.
Thanks for stopping by today! RHC