Early on a Foggy Morning

A made several mistakes when I took the above picture.  I took the picture last spring with my Panasonic G3 camera.  That camera gave me fits and I eventually sold it.  Due to its’ size, the buttons on the back left little room for my hand and I was often pushing buttons and changing settings while I carried it.  The morning I took the above picture was foggy and I shot into the sun which was shining through the fog.  I ran outside and took the picture quickly and then didn’t realize the settings were off until I came back in and downloaded the pictures.  By then it was too late to retake the picture.   Due to the camera settings, the picture was terrible and I thought unusable.

Today while I was sitting here and thinking about some of the mistakes I have made, I went back to see if I could recover anything of interest from the screwed up picture.  Fortunately, I had taken the picture in raw format with a 16 MP camera and that left me with a lot of latitude to correct the picture.  In the original composition, the sun was in the frame, the exposure was off, the noise was high, and the colors were weird and unnatural.

My first step in recovering the above scene was to crop the sun out of the view.  I then made major changes to the exposure and converted the picture to B&W in order to eliminate the weird colors.  I then applied copious amounts of noise reduction to remove the grainy looking noise.  The picture was taken at ISO 6400 on a micro 4/3 camera and it had quite a bit of digital noise.  My final change was to add a blue tone to get the picture back to how I remembered it looking in the fog.

Lessons learned:  always shoot in raw format and never delete a picture until many months have gone by and you have made several attempts to recover it, and use LR4 to develop pictures since it is nondestructive and you can go back and revisit previous development.  In this case I ended up with a picture of the style I tend to like … simple but mysterious and makes me think. I’m wondering what was hidden by the fog and how much is out there that we never see, usually because we don’t try hard enough to look with an open mind.