Snow blindness | Processing Winter.
I’ve taken my New Year’s resolution ahead of time, one I intend to work seriously hard at keeping: I want to find my Winter Voice. Which is really just a fancy way of saying I need to work at it. A couple of posts ago I again mentioned how hard it was for me to shoot Winter scenes, how uninspiring this season was for me — apart from the Holidays, the baking, the lights. And I’ve always sort of dismissed it offhand… No problem, I can work indoors, I can stay in the studio… Who needs all this cold, white and grey stuff anyway?
But when I wrote about it last time, something clicked: I’m being lazy. I’m always talking about pushing boundaries and yet here I am, living in a northern climate, spending most of the year on standby mode, waiting for an entire season to go away. I still shoot but I’m never really happy with it and I usely mumble and grumble… Snow… Bah, humbug. So I sat myself down a few days ago and thought about it. What’s the problem here? I wake up in the morning and see the coat of freshly fallen snow, and it’s beautiful. To my EYES it’s beautiful. To my CAMERA it never seems to translate. The problem, I realized, is with the colour palette: the neutrality of it is simply not what I usually look for. And when there is contrast it’s somehow much less layered; it throws me off, period. Essentially, the softness is too soft and the harness is too hard.
This also means my processing is out of whack with what’s in those files, even if I expose the way I should. I can’t apply the same curves or work global exposure the same way. Basically: it’s not about right or wrong, it’s about finding a Winter look that I actually like. So I’ve been playing around with Classic Chrome on my X100T, forcing myself to shoot those scenes and starting from scratch in post, putting aside my usual reflexes. Contrast down. Blacks up. Whites compressed.
Results below for your approval. Baby steps. And the X100T is awesome in case you were wondering, but I’ll be reviewing it after the Holidays to spend as much shooting time with it as possible.
P.S. It’s a Fuji Xmas today: firmware update!!!!!
P.P.S This. Below. I can't tell you how happy I am about this addition. It's now assigned to the front FN button of the X-T1 for life.