Mom says you have to go now, October

And take your abstracts with you.

twilight colors reflecting in Jordan Lake
We have a handful of abstracts this month, more luck than effort really, though I admit the first here was wholly intentional. I set my alarm to leave precisely when I needed to, to arrive on site just as the light was hitting the ideal saturation and exposure values, and timed the ripples of the lake to fall exactly where they needed to in the frame.

Man, that’s an ugly look you’re giving me – I was only kidding. But at least I knew when I took it that this frame would be in the running, and here we are. I doubt I have to tell anyone what we’re looking at, but as the twilight faded on Jordan Lake one evening, I shot the reflections in the lake ripples for some very soft, mildly streaky colors.

Let’s go starker. (No, not “starkers” – that’s Bri’ish slang for “nekkid.” I just mean “more stark.” Sheesh.)

seven bare yellow leaves on empty branches
On the most recent outing, one tree had the barest number of leaves still adhering to their branches, so I highlighted this denudement – actually, “starkers” is more appropriate than I thought. There were a few other thin branches intruding into the frame, but I cropped them out – just because you managed to get into my photo doesn’t mean I’m going to let you stay.

And the last is a two-parter, or at least, two versions of the same frame.

dew on unidentified flowers
I also knew this one was in the running when I took it, but when you have sunrise light causing the dew to burst with sparkles, well, you do something about it. Shot wide open at f4 with the Mamiya 80mm macro, the out-of-focus dewdrops rendered as clean circles instead of the pentagons that any smaller aperture setting would have rendered; that’s one bad point about the Mamiya, because with only five aperture blades, the ghosts and bokeh do not render very nicely at all. I’m not sure why they did this, really.

But that’s not how the original looked. It looked like this:

dew drops on unidentified flowers, showing purple fringing
The difference isn’t huge, but it’s noticeable: it’s those brilliant purple highlights from the bright spots in the frame, notably lower right and upper left. ‘Purple fringing’ is a common trait of digital sensors, and it can exist in film cameras too, but it’s more prevalent in digital because the sensors capture a range of violets that film often doesn’t. It’s a combination of this sensor sensitivity and chromatic aberration, which is trait of lenses themselves. Not all wavelengths of light get bent by the same amount as they’re focused through the lens, and in some cases this leads to color edging, especially on bright subjects against dark backgrounds. Many lenses were optimized to correct this, especially apochromatic lenses, but the Mamiya is not one of those.

It’s easy to fix in post-production, however. In this case, all I did was completely desaturate the magenta registers, and the only place this showed was in the fringing – nothing else in the photo really had any noticeable magenta in it at all. At other times this might be more detrimental to the colors of an image, but a little effort in selecting a narrow range of the affected color, before then desaturating, will solve that problem.