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Stepping Into the Digital Darkroom #1 – White-winged Dove

November 22, 2013
White-winged Dove

© jmillerphoto.com – White-winged Dove

Some of the most vivid memories of my childhood was working with my dad in his chemical-based darkroom.  Truth be told, I didn’t do it very often.  In the winter it was cold and in the summer it was barely tolerable.  It reeked of a vinegar-like smell coming from the stop-bath.  And the safe-light after a while gave me a heck of a headache.  But that was his escape where he would spend hour upon hour, honing his craft and making some incredible prints.  I’ve said it before and I will say it again:  In many ways I’m just barely qualified to carry my dad’s lens cap and I wish I had spent more time observing what he did both in the darkroom and in the field.  I would have made far fewer mistakes when I picked up this craft again.  I sure wish he’d do more photographic work these days.  But I digress.

For me, stepping into the darkroom means walking into our office in the house and pulling down a series of images to turn a couple of them into a print-worthy image.  And since the winter months are now firmly upon us here in Texas (tonight should hover in the high 30’s with scatter cold rain falling), I will be doing a ton more work in my digital darkroom than I will in the field.  And through these blog pages I’ll try to talk about the images I’m working on and why I am working on them.  This may either be a great series of blog posts, or yet another great idea foiled again by other distractions.

This week I worked on 2 images for print purposes.  The first image was a variant on the Ladder-backed Woodpecker that I posted to Flickr earlier in the week.  The frame I chose had the beak turned a little more towards me.  However, this shot was a vertical orientation and doesn’t work well as an image in this blog.

So instead let me talk about this image of the White-winged Dove.  I picked this one out of the stack because I thought it was a solid image that had enough detail to make a good print.  The foreground was great–good focus and clarity.  The slightly blurred distant leg gave a sense of implied motion.  I cropped it a bit, but full size was about 3950 x 3150 pixels.  I fussed a bit with color temperature in Lightroom, then tweaked a little on the midpoint and curves in Photoshop.  And with that I was definitely satisfied.

It’ll make a dandy 11×14 or possibly a decent gallery wrap.

About the Image:
Additional technical specification on this White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica) is the Standard Gear, on tripod w/no flash, ISO 400,
1/800 sec at f/8.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. November 22, 2013 10:08 pm

    Such a beautiful photograph of a fabulous dove.

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