Forest of Nisene Marks State Park‎

2011.12.31
Day Thirty Nine. Popped on up to the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park to celebrate the impending new year. Went back to the 50mm f/1.4 to see if I could climb up another chunk of the learning curve. For about the first two thirds of the hike, I was once again fighting with the light meter. Trying to guess how many stops to underexpose each image was getting to be significantly less than fun. Then, for absolutely no reason at all, I switched from point focus mode to area focus mode and all of a sudden, each shot was properly exposed again! This, I still do not fully understand. Why is the focus area linked to the light meter? When would I ever want to completely blow out an image for the sake of correctly exposing a tiny portion of it? And, more importantly, why can't I separately select focus area and light meter area? Oh well ... I'm just glad that it was (as it always seems to be) user error and my D70 is just fine :). Back on the post-processing side, I downloaded a trial of DxO Optics Pro to see what it could do prior to importing into Lightroom (or possibly replacing Lightroom). Though some of the greens seem a bit too green and the overall images don't seem to be quite as warm as I usually like, I'm sure a bit more hunting through the (numerous) options in DxO will yield a method for fixing this. Additional processing in Lightroom is definitely still required though, in the case of heavy noise in the bokeh. Lightroom 4's new Luminance noise reduction algorithm is amazing. Where DxO really shines in is it's "purple fringe" chromatic aberration removal (something I couldn't get Lightroom to do at all, which is overly apparent when dealing with the edges of harsh whites with the 50mm). Supposedly, it's also really good at correcting lens distortion, but the 50mm distorts so little, I'll have to reserve judgement on that feature. Overall, I'm pretty happy with the results for a first set :)
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