Photo: Magical Light
And yet another photo from Shiratani Unsuikyo on Yakushima island 🙂 But despite the fact I already shared a few photos from there I have strong feelings that each of them is completely different. That’s one of the benefits of quickly changing weather as it is the case on Yakushima island. You walk for just a couple of hours and the mood changes every 10 or 20 minutes – from dark mysterious one with dense fog, to more optimistic with patches of light on the path (or sun rays going through the leaves), to almost magical one.
In this case there was a bit of fog so the light going through the leaves was really really soft (it was as if someone put giant softbox just above the forest). Also this fog caused some nice glow between the branches. All this created some fantastic light conditions so I had to take a photo 🙂
Camera and post-processing info
What you might find interesting is the relatively long exposure time of 6 seconds. Despite this photo was taken in the middle of the day, it was so dark in the forest that longer exposures were required to expose the photo correctly.
In this case I used manual blending using luminosity masks to create the image. This photo was quite tricky to edit as the sun light going through the fog made the frame really overexposed. So I had to blend in darker exposures for that part. I decided to leave some glow, however, as it makes the light much more interesting I think. Also I brightened up some of the darkest shadows using +1.0 and +2.0 EV photos. I then improved contrast of midtones, made the glow a little bit strong and that’s all.
Now funny thing is that I could make most of all this in Photomatix as well, as when using Details Enhancer I was able to achieve similar results much faster. So why I haven’t used Photomatix here? Main reason is that from time to time I edit my images with manual blending so I don’t forget how to use this technique. Most of the time I don’t need it but with some very difficult photos (or when I want to have control over every single pixel of the resulting image) it might be the best technique to use. So when I come across such photo, I have to be ready for the challenge 🙂
And finally here’s EXIF info for this image:
Lens: Canon 16-35 f/4 L IS USM (read my review)
Focal length: 23 mm
Exposure time: 6 s (“middle” exposure)
Number of exposures: 5
E.V. Step: 1.0
Flash used: no
Technique: manual blending with luminosity masks
Software: Magic Lantern, Capture One 9, Photoshop CC 2015, ON1 Effects 10.5, Nik Color Efex Pro 4