Running... Again?

  If you know me you know there was a time about 10 years ago or so where I was running. A lot. At least 5 days a week and at least 5 miles a run. I wasn’t training, I wasn’t preparing for a race or a marathon. I just found myself enjoying the time spent running. I wasn’t obsessed with numbers, but I kept track of them all and liked seeing improvements in time and distances. It was good physical health and mental health. Then I tweaked my knee. Not bad enough that I couldn’t walk on it, just a tweak that told me I needed to back off of running for a little bit. So I decided on 2 weeks. At the end of 2 weeks I aborted a run very early as the pain was still there. 2 weeks became 3, became a month, became 5 years. 

Little House in the Valley

Valley Living
In the Valley
Today's shot is an unintentional re-shot actually. I had originally shot this valley almost exactly two years ago back when I was using the Canon SX10is, and had the chance to shoot it again, though not exactly remembering how the first one was composed. It's interesting to compare the two shots. Sadly the originals of most of my Canon work were lost in a horrible twin hard drive failure (computer and backup drive) so I can't look at them in full size. The scenery looks to be little changed over the past couple years, though it looks like the overhead lines have been replaced with what I can only assume are underground lines. Compositionally I think the two shots cover just about the same area, though with different lenses and sensors it won't be an exact match. I do remember purposely catching the road in the bottom left corner of this shot, though I probably purposely made sure to leave it out of the original shot. This shot was made up of five vertically, or portrait oriented, shots. I think there were also five horizontally, or landscape oriented, shots for the original one. I prefer the vertical orientation for panoramas as it gives you more options for cropping.

In processing the shots I took a very different turn. I took both of these shots in the middle of the day, so not the best lighting. In the original shot it looks like I made HDR brackets out of the DNGs that my SX10is was taking back then by just pushing the exposure sliders up and down respectively, then running it through my usual HDR routine. Doing HDR was my "I don't know what else to do so I'll HDR it" to get more out of my photos. Some parts of that original photo worked well, and others didn't. For this photo I did not HDR the photo and did some careful work in Topaz Labs Clarity and Detail and feel I got a more natural looking photo, though I'm still not happy with my skies.

It was fun to revisit a shot taken two years ago and to unknowingly seemingly take the exact same shot with a different camera, a tripod, and a more experienced approach to post processing. I think it's really helpful to a photographer to do this exercise every so often to see not only the differences a better camera can have but to see how their post processing tastes have evolved.


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