Another Chiang Rai landscape.  I’ll never have enough of these.  Properly captured and processed they make some of the most memorable photographs I’ve taken in South East Asia.   

Another Chiang Rai landscape.  I’ll never have enough of these.  Properly captured and processed they make some of the most memorable photographs I’ve taken in South East Asia.  Last weeks Feature Photograph was also a Chiang Rai landscape which I told you I captured while driving down the road and observing light.  I’d left my friend sleeping while I stepped out of the car and made the capture.  30 minutes later we came upon this scene and I made just enough noise, jerked the car just enough, so he’d wake up and see this splendid scene and share it with me.

This capture is significant because the aged toning fits the scene perfectly.  In this landscape time stands still, small lakes which have been here for generations remain unchanged, and a traditional fisherman in his hollowed out boat fishes for his families evening meal.

We’re all familiar with the term “there’s  a time and place for everything?”  When processing images and applying toning techniques this couldn’t be more true.  Toning can set the period and mood of the image.  Does it make sense to apply a tone that was common 100-130 years ago if something in the scene has only been around for the last 20-30 years?  In most cases the answer would be no, but you’ll often see an aged toning applied to an image that just doesn’t look or feel right.  If you look hard enough you’ll discover that a technique common a century ago just doesn’t look/feel right on an image of a modern bus going down a modern street.  Toning must fit.

The composition is solid.  In the right hand bottom of the frame there is a foreground for reference.  Try to image the scene without it.  Could you estimate the distance and scale as well?  Without the foreground element the image would be much weaker, yet it’s just a small patch of dirt.  The mid-ground of the fisherman and marshes is obvious, but what about the mountains in the background?  Would the composition be as solid without the mountains?  I don’t think it would.  All elements in a composition must come together if you want a really solid image.

 

I probably could have applied the same toning technique to this landscape as well, but the effect would have been lost.  With the picture of the fisherman there wasn’t a lot of color creating interest in the scene, toning only improved it.  With this image the color and light play wonderfully and a monochromatic toning would distract.  Notice the bright green rice fields, the light hitting the straw roof, more light on the tops of the trees to the right?  And the contrast of the dark cloudy sky to the side lit foreground and mid-ground  

I probably could have applied the same toning technique to this landscape as well, but the effect would have been lost.  With the picture of the fisherman there wasn’t a lot of color creating interest in the scene, toning only improved it.  With this image the color and light play wonderfully and a monochromatic toning would distract.  Notice the bright green rice fields, the light hitting the straw roof, more light on the tops of the trees to the right?  And the contrast of the dark cloudy sky to the side lit foreground and mid-ground?

There is a foreground in this image.  The rice.  But since it blends into the background it doesn’t stand out nearly as strong as a something that stood alone.  A tree trunk, wagon, big rock, almost anything else would have anchored the foreground in a much stronger way.  This is why this landscape is relatively weak, even though it’s an attractive image.