As our thoughts turn to Italy, a look through the photo album reminds us of time spent around Siena. This photo is taken from the front terrace of the cottage we called home for 6 months at Casavacanza Vesta and is looking towards Siena on a warm October evening.
When we arrived the view was almost completely obscured by trees but while we were away one weekend the kind owners thinned the trees – providing us with this fantastic sunset show each evening.
A few years ago we found ourselves in the hiiltop town of Monteriggioni about 20 minutes north of Siena. It was late in the afternoon and there was a view through the Eastern gate looking out across the Tuscan countryside that just had to be photographed.
When I saw the shots on screen I was disappointed. In some shots the gate surround was almost black and the shot lacked colour and contrast. In others, when the exposure was long enough to show the gate surround the countryside beyond was over exposed. The obvious thing was to load the shots into Photoshop and do some work. Which is what happened.
One of the great things about digital cameras is that they store a huge amount of the detail lurking in dark areas of a shot. The area may look black but with a little coaxing the detail can be brought out. Usually without affecting the exposure in the rest of the shot. This is what I did along with increasing the contract and saturation in the shot.
I guess the test of the finished shot is whether it represents the scene as I remembered it at the time? And yes it does.
Monteriggioni’s eastern gate before retouching
Monteriggioni’s eastern gate after retouching
And yesterday the song lyrics were pretty much right. We had strong winds and rain, and the view from our front window was less than idyllic. But it was Sunday, a chance to hunker down and to do nothing much in particular. It was a challenge we were happy to take up.