Only the Dog Knew

Only the Dog Knew - Austin, Texas

Only the Dog Knew – Austin, Texas

This is the third and last photo from this Mount Bonnell mini-series, where I featured people from this popular Austin overlook. Like the two previous photos, I took these in January before the city, and much of the world got locked down.

I made this on the second day with my new Fujifilm GFX 50R — part of my early test to get familiar with the camera. The picture above looks pleasant enough, but it was enhanced with a fair amount of post-processing. I really should have exposed it better in the first place. I could offer a lame excuse like I wasn’t familiar with the camera, but that’s not really valid. This medium format GFX 50R shoots nearly the same as my more diminutive Fuji X cameras. It’s just a bigger camera.

Luckily, the larger than full-frame sensor gives me a lot of post-processing latitude. The photo below is the original. You can see how dark it is, especially the dog.

Only the Dog Knew - Austin, Texas

Only the Dog Knew – Austin, Texas (original)

I’ve mentioned in my previous posts how I love the resolution of this 51MP camera. True, it is very nice. And yesterday, I featured a brilliantly colorful photo, featuring its robust color. However, what this camera really excels at is dynamic range. The ability to pull details from the shadows and to tame bright areas.

I used the excellent Capture One 20 software to post-process, lifting the shadows, primarily, along with a slight crop. I also used the brush tool to dodge (brighten), the dog. I think it made for a convincing set of edits. I’m not an expert at post-processing, so I give much of the credit to the big sensor on the GFX 50R.

Incidentally, for any camera, dynamic range decreases as the ISO is increased. I shot this at ISO 200, close to its base value of 100, which gives nearly maximum latitude. I detect no noise or loss of acuity on the dog, even viewed at 100%. Something that lessor cameras with smaller sensors can’t do as well.

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4 thoughts on “Only the Dog Knew

  1. Nah, give yourself the credit you deserve for an artful job of processing. My first reaction to the top image was “Wow! He really nailed that raking light!”. Looking at the original suggests you’ve really developed a mastery of the software. The sensor characteristics contribute, but only in providing the material to work with.

    1. Well, thanks for your kind words. I have used Capture One for a few years now and that’s all I use. I don’t even own Photoshop. Version 20 added some nice features.

      I still prefer to nail my in-camera exposures better, and I usually do. Nice to know that effective post-processing can recover some of my misses.

  2. So glad I moved to Austin 1.5 years ago from Daytona Beach FL…. I do miss the coast but its always just a plane ticket away… Great photos… I have some great photos of some of the creeks, trails, nature, and other images. I been featured on the local Austin news the year n half here 2 times.

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