Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry

Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry
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Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Light Press


PHOTOGRAPHER'S DIARY: Reflections While Shooting at Olson House, Part 10

I'd been shooting buckets, basins and brooms in the shed. From behind me bright, north light spilled over my shot. When I turned, light and shadow sprayed me. I didn't even think to stop and ask what the thing was used for. I used it to wring out sunlight.

I wish I could have everything in sharp focus. I used my best macro lens and stopped it down to f25. Even so, depth of field is short, and I chose to focus where bright light first leads the eye.

I had many questions in processing the image:

How much shadow detail to squeeze out? It's tempting to adjust curves to lower contrast and make the shadows glow, but ultimately I decided that drama had soaked me, and I preserved only a shimmer to show that something was in the shadows.

What makes this shot color rather than monochrome? When I tried it in monochrome I couldn't tell whether the light source was daylight or electric light. I prefer fresh-squeezed.