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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Pinecones

Fall in the Midwest: crisp mornings and beautiful trees.  Years ago, we had to take down our poor old oak tree, and all that we have left is a massive white pine that had been planted by the previous owner.  Blah.  Pine needles are not full of fall glory!
After 15 years, I have finally started to pay attention to the cycles of my pine tree.  Every year it loses some, but not all, of its needles.  And some years it produces a few pine cones, some years it seems there are none at all.  
This year is going to be an exception.  The top branches are struggling under the weight of  all of those pine cones.  Only a few pine cones have made their way to the ground so far.  There will be many many more where this came from.  Let me know if you need any.  ;)
I went out in the evening to take photos of the pine cone.  The first thing that I did was purposely underexpose the image, by two full stops.  I wanted the photo to look like reality, not how the camera thought it should look.


I love a lot of bokeh, so this was shot at f/2.0, 1/20, ISO 400, 35 mm.  In an ideal world, I would have increased the ISO for a faster shutter speed, but this was shot with my old camera and I don't like to push it.

I transferred the photo to my computer and took a look.  I was pretty happy with it, but in the digital age, there's no such thing as leaving well enough alone, so I started editing.

The first thing that I did was a slight levels adjustment.  I made the photo just a little darker to reflect the actual light.  And then, because I had missed the warmth of the sunset, I tried to add some warmth with one of Love that Shot's glows:  "Golden Glow Top." I applied it in soft light mode at 50%.


Next I wanted to try out a little texture.  "Fire" from the Simplicity Collection is my go-to, so I made myself try something different.  I chose " Woodsman" from the Fairytale Collection.  I applied it in Soft Light mode at 50% and then added a layer mask to remove just a little of the texture from the pine cone.  I used a soft brush at 50% to wipe away just a little texture.


It's so much fun to play.  You can check out Love that Shot's Photo Veils and Textures here