Stepping Into the Digital Darkroom #1 – 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.