One Four Challenge; Fork in the Road

For the last few months I have been taking part in the One Four Challenge. This challenge was created by Robyn from Captivate Me; the challenge is = one picture and each week edit it in a different way. At the end of the month you will have four interpretations of one picture.

March has come but winter is still in the air. Although the icy tinge is fading it is not quite spring; I have seen new buds on the trees so hopefully it won’t be long. The picture for this month’s One Four Challenge was shot in February, while taking a stroll a few days after a light snow fall. I came across a fork in the path and while thinking about how to compose the shot a man walked past heading down one of the paths.

Since there was snow on the ground I set the exposure compensation to +1, over exposing the shot by one stop. I do this because of the way the camera meters the exposure. Snowy scenes are bright, due to the snow reflecting the light, the camera tries to create an average grey and in doing so unintentionally underexposes the picture. With the exposure compensation set to +1 the light meter calculates the exposure for its average gray and then adds one stop countering the under exposure.
If you don’t have exposure compensation on your camera you may have a snowy mode or a beach mode, which will do something similar.

Winter Fork in the Road

Since I had overexposed the image I did have to lower the exposure slightly. I then did something different and went straight to the camera calibration and set all the saturation sliders to 0 and started playing with them. I was really experimenting as I didn’t (at the time of writing don’t)  really understand how the combination of sliders would affect the image. I played until I got a tone that I wanted and continued with my normal editing process. I used two gradient adjustments, one to brighten the trees and warm them up and one on the bottom to burn it in slightly. I am not always a fan of cold shadows but I think it works quite nicely with the tone of the overall scene.

I would love to know what you think of the edit, as well as any ideas you may have for future edits in this challenge.

Remember to check out Robyn’s post as she is the creator of the challenge.

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26 thoughts on “One Four Challenge; Fork in the Road

  1. This is a good one. Sadly, I have to travel 10 hours, in India, to be in the snow. We don’t get much opportunity to photograph it. It is always challenging.

  2. I like it, and what I like most is that it looks very real, very in the present. I feel like getting those tones in such a situation is not always easy but you did well here. The shadows of the trees mesh well with the brightness of the snow, just as I can imagine how they really were. Good job. The only suggestion I might throw out there for one of your edits is to highlight the forks themselves. The one going to the right is not immediately evident. Otherwise, Good Luck with this image! I find it a bit difficult to pick a new image really, even as I’m only in my third month of this challenge. 🙂

    • I agree that you can’t see the fork on the right clearly, I will work on this. The tones I am really surprised that I got them, I am going to have to play withe the camera calibration settings more to see what else I can get. I think those real tones you mentioned come from these adjustments.

  3. hmm…if I had remembered the “trick” about exposure compensation, the photo I used for this month’s challenge would have been off to a better start! I love the blue shadows..

  4. I like your explanation of how to capture images of snow, it can be tricky. This is a nice image, I’m looking forward to where you will take it next. 🙂

    • We get quite a bit of snow, so in the winter my camera is always set with a +1 exposure. I like that in new compacts there is a snow mode, as well as a huge number of other modes to help people take the best photo.

    • Hi, it makes me happy when people say that they have learnt something from my blog, as it is one of my passive aims. I think the contrast between the snow and the woods is what makes this image pleasing and it is something to remember for next week’s version.
      Thank you for taking the time to comment.

  5. Hi Ben, just found you 😃
    Firstly, I love the image and the wonderful shadows.. and the man! Fabulous timing 😀
    Did you use centre spot metering for this image or an overall? I usually try to meter on the midtones to achieve my best result (and EV when needed) and Im really interested reading anout how you shot and then experimented with processing.
    I think you finished with a really pleasing result!

    • I spot meter for the midtones as well if i can off something green because it is the closest you can get to midtones woth out a grey card. With landscapes I meter and then take a test shot then adjust. With this shot I had already taken a few shots in the area, so I used my last settings for this shot as I didn’t have time to make a test shot and it worked.
      I still experimenting with camera calibration but it is really interesting to get a specific feel to an image.

  6. Its great to hear how you go about things too Ben. Is camera callibration in camera or LR? Maybe I read over that 😜 anyway I like your results.
    BTW, looking again, from a design pov, the vertical and horizontal lines are awesome.. and make up the whole image. Nice ‘seeing’!

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