Katie, Polly, and I had a beautiful day up in the Sierras on Saturday. We started out with a late lunch an Sorenson's Resort, and then continued up into Carson Pass, exploring US Forest roads. This was a digital day for me, using my Fuji XE2 and a Fuji 10-24mm lens. By all accounts, this lens is one of the finest ultra wide lenses ever made. I have no idea if that is true since I have nothing to compare it to, but so far I am extremely happy with it. I've collected a humongous pile of undeveloped film, so I'm not going to shoot anymore until I get the rolls I already have developed. Since we're moving in a few weeks, nothing is expected to happen in that arena.
The one thing that has really impressed me with the Fuji is the ability to pull highlights and shadows out of the RAW files. The JPEG files had white skies and very little shadow detail. Looking at the LCD screen while I was shooting made me consider shooting multiple exposures and blending them. But I'm lazy when it comes to post processing so I knew I'd never actually get there. Instead I just used Lightroom to pull back the highlights and boost the shadows and I've got incredible dynamic range with detail on both sides.
That does leave a little bit of a flat looking file, so after running the adjusted RAW file through Nik Define to remove any noise, I pop the file over to Photoshop to do a contrast boost and selective toning. I wish I didn't have to use photoshop, but I use luminosity masks for my contrast and color work and I like to do selective sharpening using layers. The end results are photos that have the range of a blended HDR file but are more natural looking. Also less artifacts from blending multiple exposures are evident when doing 30-400 second exposures.
Even though long exposure times weren't needed for the color photographs, I used a 6 stop filter to expand exposure times out to 30 seconds so I could add my secret glow technique (hot breath on the lens for the last 5 seconds of exposure) to give the pics a dreamy appearance. Of course, that can be done post with the digital files, but I like to keep my workflow as similar as possible with film and digital. Their is some weirdness in the sky on these photos. I "forgot" to take off the polarizer and polarizers don't work when shooting at 12mm and there is sky in the picture.
We also found a little waterfall on the backside of Blue Lake, CA that I've never seen in guidebooks or maps. It's so much fun to go on these excursions with Kathryn. She is such an adventurer and climber. She did shy away from the lake with the "Leech Alert" however.