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05 February 2013 -- 36/365
Lincoln, Rhode Island
It's been snowing lightly all morning, so there is a light dusting on the ground and a fair amount of gently falling flakes in the air. To take advantage of that, I headed over to Lincoln Woods State Park. The majority of the park is closed to vehicles in the winter, making it a fantastic area for walkers. I had just taken a couple of exposure test shots when these two walkers came into view. They completely ignored the camera, allowing me to get some nice candid shots, and then as they came by me we had a brief conversation about the snow, and the pretty scenes around the pond. This situation is a great example of when to shoot first and ask for permission later, since there would be no way to duplicate the scene doing it in the reverse.
A brief note on the overall composition is in order. Placement of the walkers at the extreme right is intentional. When I first arrived at this scene, the snow-dusted boulder on the left caught my attention, and the trail of boulders leads us into the scene. I really wanted that boulder in the scene. The dark leaf in the foreground is enough to provide compositional balance, so all I needed was a walker or two. I've walked this area often enough myself to know that anyone coming around that turn would be hugging the edge. With the line of darker trees behind them, I had sufficient contrast to catch the falling snow. That they were wearing black outfits was unexpected, but perfect for what I wanted to show. I did have an interesting internal debate about raising the perspective a bit, since that horizon line is too close to the center line for my comfort. In the end, I left it where it is, though, so as not to show too much of a blah sky, and to avoid bringing that leaf closer to the bottom of the screen.
Post processing started with a low contrast detailed filter in Topaz B&W FX. From there I adjusted the color sensitivity sliders. I adjusted adaptive exposure, details, contrast, boost black, boost white, and protect highlights. In PSE I added a levels adjustment, a brightness/contrast adjustment, and finally, a sepia photo filter.