Three years ago I was hanging around with my reflex, hunting for some interesting subject. Near Salsomaggiore there's a nice road on the hillside, and if you are lucky enough to go to there at the right time, you'll be able to see some very beautiful landscapes with the sun going down between the hills.
That day I was in the process of testing my Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4.5 DC Macro lens, just returned from customer service. This was a perfect situation to see how it can cope with hard lighting situation.
I love this shot, in the full resolution image you can count the leaves of the tree :-)
This shot was one of my first RAW image, and shooting in RAW definitely payed back: it wouldn't has been possible to craft an image like that from a JPG photo.
It was a hazy day on the Iseolake, and dark clouds were approaching the lakeshore. Sometimes it seems that the haze has the will to embrace everything...
I find these kind of photos easy to take, but hard to "develop". They tend to have few colors, and a lot of grays and shades. Usually my first intent is to try to render the hazy atmosphere of the day, but it doesn't always works... so in this shot I tried a more dramatic interpretation, trying to put emphasis on the line of the hills, the waves, and the approaching clouds.
To do this required a bit of work: balancing the lights and the shadows isn't easy so the final result is achieved thanks to some local filtering: a bit of brightness on the water, a lot of contrast on the sky, a "hard" tone curve, a local emphasis on the right "curling" cloud, some grain and a bit of vignetting to make the central part of the photo stand out.
I still remember the day I took this shot, it was a rainy day of the 2004 autumn. I was walking with my girlfriend near a park, over a carpet of yellow leaf. Then my eyes caught something different, something red.
I took a step back, I took out my loyal camera, and I grabbed this shot.
I still remember the voice of my girlfriend asking why I was loosing time photographing wet leaves... (but she appreciated the photo afterward :-)