California's Gold Country
Today we went to the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, in Chico of course.
Beer Tool, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Chico, California, 2:50PM.
THis shot takes our eye from the bottom, and lifts it up to the upper right. Maybe it would look better flipped vertically; I haven't tried.
I snapped this from the catwalk above some big tanks with my S90.
Schlangen Racker, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Chico, California, 2:56PM.
I can imagine one of my grade school teachers asking "Mr. Rockwell, do you find this amusing?"
Yes, I do.
Snapped with my S90.
Beer Floor, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Chico, California, 3:16PM.
Snapped with my S90. I think I corrected the colors with a Curves layer.
Beer Dairy, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Chico, California, 3:19PM.
This shot pulls us in from left, and leads us to the light at the end of the tunnel.
Snapped with my S90. I added some contrast and made things look right with a Curves layer.
Honey Run Bridge, Chico, California (1894), 5PM.
This shot is all about the big tan area at the top left grabbing you, and leading you down to the red bar at the bottom. The fact that it's a bridge is irrelevant; it's all about shapes and colors. I could cut out pieces of construction paper and make the same image. As a photographic artist, I only use what appears in nature as devices to generate the shapes I need on film.
I used a Curves adjustment layer to lighten the areas of interest, and used a mask to eliminate some of its effects in the sky, keeping the sky darker, to keep your eyes from wandering off my intended path.
I also darkened the very top left, which was brighter than I wanted. If I left it as it was, it was the brightest part of the image. Your eye would have gotten stuck there. I wanted to grab you with a big tan trapezoid, not just a shape with a very bright upper-left point. I made the brightest spot just about left of center, so you go in at the top and are attracted down, and then your eyes keep following the line from inertia to the red reward.
Honey Run Bridge, Chico, California (1894), 5:13PM.
Snapped with my S90. I set a very warm manual white balance to keep the wood warm instead of gray. Auto ISO pulled ISO 500, 1/30 at f/2. Again, even in daytime, the superior f/2 lens of the S90 lets me do things for which other zooms would need ISO 1,000 at f/2.8.
Green Canyon, Chico, California.
Between raindrops we arrived at a secret location, the Grand Canyon of California, which is bursting-out green with Springtime.
I designed this image to lead your eye up the hill from left to right. The clouds from the clearing storm combine with the rugged landscape to give us the incredible play of light and dark, known to us as chiaroscuro. When you have the sun shining through a clearing storm, great things happen. Good photographers chase storms for exactly this reason. We just happened to luck into it.
I was able to add some emphasis to the center of the image by taking advantage of the LEICA MACRO-ELMAR-M's natural light falloff at f/4.
The sun went away after I got this snap, which was captured on Fuji Velvia 50 through a B+W MRC 39mm 81A filter on a LEICA MACRO-ELMAR-M 90mm f/4 on a LEICA M6 TTL, f/4 at 1/125, so we headed back to the brewery for dinner.
Beer Tools, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Chico, California.
I snapped this through a window as we waited for our table. I balanced the big blob that is the left half of the image with the smaller, sharper blob on the upper right.
I used a curves adjustment layer to lighten everything. Then I used a mask on that adjustment layer to avoid lightening the parts that were already too bright, which is the wall at the back and the mungdungus out the window. Here's a small PSD file so you can see what I'm doing.
I needed a long exposure, so I rested the camera against the glass window. I stopped down to f/2 for better depth-of-field.
Beer Sampler, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Chico, California.
I got in close to put the spin on the tray, otherwise it would have been a boring rectangle. By getting closer, I brought your eye into the first two little shot glasses.
Snapped with my Canon S90, which grabbed ISO 800, f/2 at 1/40. I changed the exposure compensation with the front wheel to -1/3, a little lighter than the usual -2/3 I use outdoors.
We headed back to The Vagabond Inn and called it a day.