Tajik Wedding Crash, Batken, Kyrgyzstan - Sony A7riii, 24-70mm f2.8 G-Master lens.
(f/3.5, 39mm, ISO250, 1/3200sec)
Hitchhiking through Kyrgyzstan...or well, I often had to pay for rides. Bit of a blur in this part of the world since any vehicle can be a taxi. Just stand with a handout and someone will stop. Sometimes drivers picked me up for company; usually, they wanted a little money. Totally fair. Passing through this small town of Batken, I met a nice young man who offered to show me around. We both barely spoke Russian (he spoke Kyrgyz), but we managed to connect alright through gestures. In this part of the world, many are so excited for the rare opportunity to meet foreigners. That's one of my favorite reasons to choose the unbeaten path: I feel valued as much as I value the people I meet. We have much to share. Batken is one of the poorer areas of an already poor country: subsistence living, bread and lamb, plenty of dogs running wild. Cows walk in the roads, toilets are holes in the yard.
I didn't mean to overtake a wedding but that's what happened. Hoped to blend in the background and snap off a few...of course, suddenly I was the main attraction. Schrodinger's photographer? I felt ashamed and didn't stay long.
Original image (SOOC):
· Took it in a notch from the bottom left. Just looked better with the Rule of Thirds. In this instance, I'd say it was a preference. Felt like dead space in the corner, but one could argue it represents their future?
❷ Raise Shadows, Clarity
· Lifted Shadows a lot (+86). Shooting without flash makes this almost always necessary (for my style). Although, looking at my settings now, no idea why I was shooting so fast (1/3200) with such low ISO (250). Shrug. Although I'd rather not foul these settings and have no idea why I did, the situation is acceptable to me. Miss scene or focus, however, and the photo is garbage. Shoot Manual, RAW, and don't tell anyone I messed up these settings so badly, okay? 😛
· Lifted Clarity (+14) and Sharpness (+64). If this was a close-up of their faces, raising Clarity would have aged them. In this case, it works to bring up the detail of the environment.
➌ Spot Removal
· Really, really quickly, I spot-removed the little green plastic bottle from the ground behind the couple. Maybe nobody would notice but I did. One-click later, it's gone. Worth the click. Thanks, Lightroom!
I didn't get anyone's contact info from this event. If you know them (you don't), please let them know I have others. And always shoot faster than you need to. Easier to lighten than to fix blur.
The high shutter speed is probably from the auto-exposure system looking at the overcast sky that dominates the photo.
I only shoot Manual, though. Was pilot error and not important. Far better than shooting too slow!
I also use an a7r iii, and this has happened to me too. It's quickly done to accidentally turn the front dial without realizing, opening up the aperture. If things are moving fast it's easily missed. Only later do you wonder why all those shots are f5 instead of f8 as intended.
I don't know if it's a design "flaw" with that camera, I can't recall that happening a lot with my Nikons. In any case, something to keep in the back of the head.
But truth be told, I tend to stop down a lot less with these high resolution sensors (and optics too match). There's really no such thing as "depth of field" anymore. The plane of critical focus can be paper thin, and it's either in focus or not. It's more critical to pick the right focus point. You have to make an active choice. So it can be an exercise in improving photographic technique.
...oh, and as for general exposure being a bit on the low side - that happens with all cameras nowadays. The camera manufacturers push the sensor data until they scream for mercy. It's a competitive advantage with a customer in the store: the brighter image always wins. So they push it. But Lightroom/ACR is still conservative, aiming to preserve sensor data.
It's very consistent now: Lightroom always appears about one stop darker. I first noticed this with the Nikon D800, then the D810, and then with both my Sonys a7r ii and iii. Lots of forum posts from Canon users tell the same story: camera preview about one stop brighter than Lightroom.
Remember that it's exactly the same sensor data. Lightroom isn't really darker. In fact, I wonder if it might be time for Adobe to do the same thing. Set default 0 exposure about 2/3 to 1 stop brighter. Modern sensors with their 14 bit dynamic range can usually handle that (as long as you're a little bit careful).
Had I known this was going to stick to the front page as a "featured post" I would have responded differently. And now I see it's part of a series as well.