09 April 2010

Tin whistling

One of the reasons Palmerston North's such a great place.
Few musical instruments are simpler than the tin whistle, yet played well it's a delight either alone or accompanied. Paul at the Celtic in 2007 (Movember, if you hadn't guessed), playing with Slate Row.
[Canon 20D, 24–105 mm f4 L at 105 mm, ISO 3200, 1/13 at f4.0. A hint of grain added in Lightroom at the very end of the processing.]
All content © 2010 Pete McGregor


Paul said...

This is a great photo; truly. Is this pure sepia? And why was the ISO 3200? I really like the translucent ear and the slight 'graininess' gives it depth almost like 3-D

pohanginapete said...

Good questions, Paul. Sepia toning can vary widely from strong, rich browns to just a subtle hint of toning (which I generally prefer) and a range of hues. It's arguable at what point sepia becomes something else, particularly now it's usually done digitally rather than in a traditional wet darkroom. (Incidentally, the original sepia process used hydrogen sulphide, making it a particularly smelly procedure!). For this, I used Lightroom's split toning capability with the balance set to 100% blacks, and tweaked it a little in Photoshop on a B&W layer. In retrospect I'd skip the Lightroom toning.

ISO 3200 because, despite the appearance, the light was almost non-existent. It was actually from two light sources, one red, the other green; both very low. Nice atmosphere when you're watching and listening; difficult for photographing (second in difficulty only to bright direct sunlight; i.e. extreme contrast). I happen to like graininess in some photos, and most digital SLRs have noise at high ISO that's either indiscernible, or resembles film grain, or can easily be disguised with a little artificial grain. Moreover, sharpening grain can be an effective way of giving the impression of overall sharpness in otherwise slightly soft photos (it's similar to increasing acutance).

I saw Paul the other night and had a chat — I'm sure he'd be delighted with your appreciation of the photo. Cheers Paul.

Paul said...

I agree with you Paul - this is a great photo. The only thing I find disturbing is how old this photo makes me look - I guess a mirror does that also!
You capture the muse Pete.

Slainte Mhath
Paul the whistler.

pohanginapete said...

Paul — really pleased you like it. Thanks for being such a cooperative subject — and for the most excellent music :^)