Substantial post-processing is not a route I usually take with color landscape images – unless you count monochrome conversions as substantial. One exception to this route is when I am working with images containing large amounts of green. Green on green on a dark surface such as tree bark results in a very vibrant yet flat photograph. This holds true for many images where vibrant green moss on oak trees look spectacular in-person, but are less so despite all your post-processing efforts.
The end result here is desaturizing and adding exposure the light mint-colored lichen, dialing back the green a bit from the moss, and even the bark has been lightenten. The photograph is no longer as much of a green bomb.
Processing Notes: With this in mind and confirmed through the first processing attempt falling a little flat, I went through my seldom used library of Lightroom presets. The goal here is to find a good starting point and edit further. Photographers tend to have a style. The style starts with what we photograph, extends to our composition tendencies, and carries through into how we treat the image in post until the final resulting photograph. This is our style and it can potentially limit the boundaries of our creativity. By going through and trying different presets I am looking at the image in a way I typically do not and will likely find a processing route that matches closer to either what was seen in-person (realistic) or closer to the final photograph envisioned.
The series of moss and lichen photograph have evolved even over the course of the last few weeks. Besides capturing the minute details and, at times, the striking color of these tiny plants, the evolution is now to create photographic versions of abstract art. Can the photograph stand alone as a abstract painting would? That is the challenge creatively.
EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO100, 35mm (prime lens), f/16, 1 sec
Green Springs Ranch (CA), Moss, Lichen, Bark, Desaturized. Green Springs Ranch, El Dorado County, CA. February 18, 2017. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.