Kyoto Fall-Color Preview With Impact: Impressionism in Lightroom
NOTE: Images with an icon next to them have been artificially shrunk to better fit your screen; click the icon to restore them, in place, to their regular size.
a fall-foliage sceen at the Eikando Temple, Kyoto Japan, with post-processing to create a strong, artsy vibe
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/2.5, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
Photo
with just a few tweaks in Lightroom
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I can't believe it's been a week since I last posted... time has just evaporated as I've been working on a new Lightroom project. Taking a break from that, and realizing that Kyoto is just a few weeks from the start of its most glorious fall-foliage season, I thought I'd dip into my archives from last year for some “Fall Foliage Preview” shots for this year. I was dumbfounded to find several thousand photos from a bunch of outings that I'd not even looked at yet. Always just too busy.

Anyway, I was futzing with a throw-away photo in Lightroom, applying some extreme develop settings (definitely beyond “tweak” that I jokingly use above), and came up with some highly-affected photos with a vibe I like. It's difficult to see in the tiny version above (click through for a larger version, or try one of the desktop-background versions), but the various changes conspire to make it look more like an impressionist painting than a photograph. It's not quite like what one can get with Corel Painter Essentials (as described earlier this year in “Dabbling in Some Fine-Art Printing for My Office”) but it's fast, easy, and can be interesting.

For reference, here's the rather bland original:


Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/2.5, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
Original Photo
Prior to those few Lr tweaks

This was the second picture I took on a visit to the Eikando Temple on a cloudy day in mid November last year, a short walk from my house here in Kyoto. That temple is famous for its autumn colors (as evidenced in “Holy Cow, the Gardens at Kyoto's Eikando Temple are Gorgeous!” from a few years ago, and countless other posts over the years that present themselves when you click on the “nearby photos” link under any of these pictures.)

This kind of extreme processing can get old quickly, so I don't want to overdo it, but I had great fun using the settings as a base when playing with some other photos, so today's post are some of those results.

They all look much better when viewed full screen... I think it's the combination of fine detail you get with a large view with the overall vibe that makes them appealing.

a fall-foliage sceen at the Eikando Temple, Kyoto Japan, with post-processing to create a strong, artsy vibe
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/2.5, ISO 360 — map & image datanearby photos
Deep
Desktop-Background Versions
1280×800  ·  1680×1050  ·  1920×1200  ·  2560×1600
a fall-foliage sceen at the Eikando Temple, Kyoto Japan, with post-processing to create a strong, artsy vibe
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/2.5, ISO 220 — map & image datanearby photos
Ultra Crisp
Desktop-Background Versions
1280×800  ·  1680×1050  ·  1920×1200  ·  2560×1600
a fall-foliage sceen at the Eikando Temple, Kyoto Japan, with post-processing to create a strong, artsy vibe
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 — 1/640 sec, f/1.4, ISO 200 — full exif
Dynamic
Desktop-Background Versions
1280×800  ·  1680×1050  ·  1920×1200  ·  2560×1600
a fall-foliage sceen at the Eikando Temple, Kyoto Japan, with post-processing to create a strong, artsy vibe
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 — 1/100 sec, f/14, ISO 6400 — full exif
Dreamy
Vertical Desktop-Background Versions
1050×1681  ·  1200×1921  ·  1600×2562

I mentioned that I had thousands of photos from last fall that I hadn't even looked at yet; in rummaging through them to select the photos above, I got only about 2% into the batch before I felt I had enough for this post (like I said, I didn't want to overdo it). 98% remain uninspected, so I'd better get cracking if I want to get through them before this year's season starts.

I'll leave with one last example with processing along the same lines, but whose result has a more subdued vibe...

a fall-foliage sceen at the Eikando Temple, Kyoto Japan, with post-processing to create a strong, artsy vibe
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/2.5, ISO 1400 — full exif
Relaxed
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I like this as well, though it was only on a whim that I even bothered to try the processing, for I never would have thought it would actually lead anywhere.

For reference, here's the original.


Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/2.5, ISO 1400 — full exif

Continued here...


All 3 comments so far, oldest first...

What is this exciting new Lightroom project ? =D

— comment by Chan on October 19th, 2011 at 5:08pm JST (5 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink

To be honest the last photo of this set is the one that I enjoy the most. The guy in the hat taking a picture ‘makes’ the picture for me because of the way the sunlight illuminates him doing something no-one else in the small crowd is doing.

— comment by Derek on October 19th, 2011 at 5:15pm JST (5 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink

Nice effects. I look forward to seeing more along these lines. Tom in San Francisco.

— comment by Tom on October 20th, 2011 at 12:58am JST (5 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink
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