Sometimes, nothing goes right.
The camera, the weather, the location, the post processing.
We landed at Agra station at 10pm, having taken the Shatabdi from Bhopal. That was a fun ride, which also made us realize that a trip to Khajuraho from Jhansi would be quite epic.
As we walk out and meet our driver and rental, we were hit by a thick smog-fog colloidal mix that was driving an AQI of 440+
Chatting about what to visit the next day, he suggested heading out to Fatehpur Sikri as the Taj might not be even visible in that thick fog. The windy nature of Sikri made the probability of viewing that UNESCO site higher, in his mind.
Driving into Sikri the next morning at 10am, we could barely see more than 100 feet ahead. It wasn’t as cold as it was made out to be – we had walked around Bratislava in the dead of winter about a year ago – but it wasn’t comfortable.
The wind that was supposed to blow away the fog was more of a slight breeze, gently brushing the fog against the grand maroon cityscape of Sikri. Dull gray skies, no contrasts, no colors. Flat and un-interesting. It sucked.
There wasn’t much choice. We were booked on a 3 hour personal guided tour, and the crowds were increasing. So I started shooting away. Within the first few shots I realized something was wrong with my images. The center was tack sharp, but the edges were horribly horribly soft. Soft enough to be evidently visible in the tiny LCD screen at the back of the camera.
I tried changing aperture, changed lenses, to no luck. Disgusted, I continued shooting and blamed it on a faulty new body. Almost 30 minutes into the tour, I realized that the settings had slipped into some “creative” mode on the camera. Maybe mimicking the Lomo (Holgas) of the 80s.
Ah no worries, I can always fix that in post.
As I started fiddling a bit more with the camera configurations, I realized (horror of horrors) that all of these Holga-shots were in JPEG. There went any hope of fixing those in post.
By this time, the crowds had started becoming worse. The fog had become worse. And there was no color, contrast, or dynamic range in sight.
Sometimes, it just sucks. And no amount of post processing will do anything to change that.