Birds, Hills, Windmills, Split Tone

Livermore, CA

I’ve been going through the archives and taking a second or third look at photographs that did not catch my eye for one reason or another.  This photograph of birds taking flight in Livermore was one that I had great hopes for but initially disappointed because of the time of day it was taken.  The sun high in the sky and gave everything to a uniform washed out feel.

This was another planned photo day.  The plan was to arrive at Altamont Pass for half a day of photographing wind turbines, then a quick break in downtown Livermore before heading to Brushy Peak Regional Park for a hike and maybe more photography, before heading back to Altamont Pass for sunset photography with the wind turbines.  This pond captures winter runoff before evaporating in the summer and is on the road to Brushy Peak.  The birds resting at the pond would occasionally take to the air en masse before settling back into the pond.

With this photograph, I was intrigued by the various lines and forms intersecting.  The birds form an triangle/arrow that intersects another triangle/arrow formed by the surface of the pond.  The birds also contrast well against the dark hills, which are set against the bright sky with a line of wind turbines in the distance.

The post processing in Nik Silver EFex Pro was a little different than what I had done in the past.  Instead of just choosing a colored tone, I elected a split tone so that I could adjust both the silver and paper hue and tones separately.  Silver hues and tones affect silver densities while paper hues and tone affect the paper (normally white) color setting.  I selected the yellow range for paper and blue for silver.  By doing so, it would be as if the photograph were printed on yellow toned paper.  Areas of white, like the sky and birds, would take on the yellow paper color.  The darker areas of the photograph would be toned blue.

Posts of other photographs from that day:

EXIF data: Nikon D50, patterned metering mode, 55mm, ISO 200, 1/15 sec, f/22

Birds, Hills, Windmills, Split Tone.  Livermore, California.  February 05, 2011. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved. 


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