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on Jan 25, 2010 in Moose Adventures, Photography

The Thought Just Popped In

It’s Friday morning and we’re cruising for bull. No, not for me…Bison Bull and in particular one called Crusty. We had a good snowfall and the air temp was just hovering around double digits so there was a possibility of finding him. We headed to the one place where there are always bulls, Gibbon Meadow (and we were told the Canyon Pack from the day before were heading that way). We made the turn in the road and….nothing! We had some nice hoar frost so we worked it and then kept heading down the road. We made the turn in the road and off in the falling snow is Crusty so we slammed on the brakes and started to walk.

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We ended up walking a couple of hundred of yards in the snow to get the cleanest background possible while staying on a rise to shoot down a little and stay out of the grasses. It’s snowing and the light is kinda flat. I’m shooting along and not really thrilled with the results, the flat light just grayed out the bull and that made the snow less white. Then the thought just popped into my head.

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What if I switched the Picture Control from Standard to Vivid? Would its tonal curve pump up the contrast even though there isn’t really any vivid color to bend? I checked my results on the camera’s LCD which I totally don’t trust so I asked Tom & Jim to try the same and tell me what they saw. This is what we all saw.

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Yeap, just a little pump in the contrast which makes all the difference in the world to the photograph. Keep in mind I am a fanatic about getting it right in the camera. I wouldn’t even go so far as to pump up the contrast in post when it comes to my wildlife images so I really like this in camera solution. The top & bottom images shot on Vivid, middle photo on Standard, WB=Cloudy, Exp Comp=0.

Photos captured by D3s, 600VR w/TC-17e on Lexar UDMA digital film