Saturday, January 06, 2007

Got to be dark to be bright

I will explain. But first, look at some pretty pictures I took today.

Yes, it's winter in the Old Pueblo, a more wintry winter than we usually get around here. I'm sitting in my office in a shirt, a sweater and a jacket, and I'm still a little cold. I should switch to my pink robe; it's right here on the chair.

Anyway, as you can see, there was snow on the mountains again today, and the sky was impressively cloudy. It didn't snow in the city, as far as I know, but there was a light sprinkling of rain. And this: the thickest band of rainbow I've ever seen, and quite possibly the first one I've seen over the Santa Catalina Mountains (north of the city of Tucson) instead of the Rincon Mountains (at the eastern edge of Tucson). That's in 20 years of living here.

I took all of these a little after 2 PM as I came back from lunch. No, it wasn't this dark outside. Not remotely. The problem in capturing the rainbow in a digital photo was one of too much light. To make the rainbow reasonably visible in the three photos above, I either reduced brightness and boosted contrast or darkened midtones - a lot. That's why you can hardly see the cars in this shot. But if I lightened the shadows, that looked odd, too.

From the parking lot. For this one I tried to lighten up the cars again after a brightness and contrast adjustment, and ended up with kind of an interesting high contrast effect.

And this is the same photo with no adjustments. All I did was crop and rotate.

How did all this look to the naked eye (or eyes wearing glasses)? The rainbow was considerably more visible than in this last photo, but the snowy mountains weren't all that obvious in the glare of a cloudy white sky. Sure did clean up pretty, though.


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Carly said...

I told ya you would get the rainbow picture... and look... really beautiful ones to be exact! :)

julie said...

Wow, you got some great rainbow shots there.