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Winter in Australia

With the final days of autumn upon us and winter about to commence,  I thought I’d dig back into my archives and find something to match the seasonal theme!   The image is one that I took several years ago at Lake Mountain,  an alpine area a couple of hours drive from my home city of Melbourne.    The photograph was taken on 6×7 film using a Mamiya 7 II,  the film was eventually scanned with an Epson V700 to bring it into my Lightroom catalogue.

By way of processing in Lightroom,  I found it necessary to boost the green and yellow values a bit to get to a realistic representation of the foliage and tree trunks in the scene.   How much yellow to add?   Well that was made somewhat easier by the traffic sign in the image which I can use basically as a known colour reference point!  :-)    I also spent a bit of time getting the contrast to what I believed was the appropriate level.  Plenty of contrast in the scene from the white snow to the bushfire blackened trunks of some of the trees.    During my film days I preferred to use colour negative film rather than transparency film as it was a bit more forgiving with a wider exposure latitude,  what we would now call dynamic range!

Having processed the image in Lightroom and carried out noise reduction,  which as it happens does a nice job in subduing film grain too,  and sharpening as well,  I ended up with what I thought was a pleasing image.   However I decided to continue my recent exploration of Nik’s Color Efex Pro plugin and, after throwing a few different filters at the image,  settled on a ‘Classic Soft Focus’ filter.   Having gone through the process of sharpening in LR,  I then went soft anyway!

The image is presented here a bit larger than normal on my blog,  if you need extra viewing space within your web browser try the F11 key on your keyboard.   The image is a bit of a screen filler!  If anyone has difficulties viewing the image, please let me know.

Snow covered road, Lake Mountain, Victoria. Soft focus effect.
Snow covered road, Lake Mountain, Victoria. Soft focus effect.

Finally it occurs to me that when many people,  particularly those living outside Australia,  think of Australia,  this is probably not the type of scene they visualize.    Not desert, not beach, not tropical!    When a homesick Dorothea MacKellar wrote her most famous poem “My Country”  back in 1907-08,  she pined for her;

“…sunburnt country,

A land of sweeping plains,

Of ragged mountain ranges,

Of droughts and flooding rains.

…. her jewel-sea, Her beauty and her terror – The wide brown land for me!”

She went on to write about,  forests and mountains,  floods, fires and famines,  thirsty paddocks,  etc.    At no point did she mention snow!

For those not familiar with the poem,  it’s worth a read to get an insight into the Aussie psyche.   (check the link above)   And now,  if you’ll excuse me,  I’m going to put on an extra layer of clothing!     :-)  ~KD.