... blog post:
How do you like your landscapes to look? Well, take an image in DNG format and post process it in lots of ways to create a number of different looks, as many as you like. Then ask yourself what's really real?
So here above is the image as it came out of camera 'exposed to the right' to avoid clipping the highlights. This is the Jpeg captured along side the DNG raw file. It is the latter from which all of the subsequent images are then generated.
The image above is my 'normal' DNG conversion and the neutral starting point for any subsequent of my landscape looks i.e. pre-sets I may choose to apply.
If I want an image with warmth and drama I might apply my 'golden hour' look as in the picture above.
For those that like such things, I could apply my pre-set that brings out the shadow detail even more to create that modern 'HDR' look, as above. Hmm!
There again I could go for a cooler look that enhances the blueness of the sky and the water with a pre-set for that 'perfect blues' look, as in the image above, nice!
Interesting isn't it? Ask yourself the question, "Which look made out of the original image do you prefer?". The neutral one, the warm one, the HDR one or the cool one? For the photographer it is matter of intent and for the viewer one of taste.
Interestingly, so far, there has been no discussion of reality. As I remember it, the image that is closest to what I saw when I made it is the last one. Taken early/mid-morning the light was still blue, the sun relatively low and thus the tones were cool. Blue Skies, nice!
Of course, none of these images are really like reality as there is no such thing as true reality, what is real is totally subjective (don't get me started on this again), but for me the blue skies image is my reality.
Asked what image I like most however and I would choose the 'mid-afternoon' look above which is dialled back a bit from 'golden hours' one and is perfect for this particular scene, which is ironic considering it was taken mid morning.
As for the HDR look, I just don't get the modern obsession with this false, unnatural, weird, strange, freaky, just 'cause I can with the technology, thingy - especially in scenics. Put another way, it's not to my taste.