Love the sensitive artistic touch so evident in your work.
Nice. I know that silence. Waiting for it.
I remember from childhood how quiet it used to be when snow was falling.
Yea for the quietness of snow. Beautiful photo of the two leaves.
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I am glad that you enjoyed this, Yvonne.
Very cool Steve.
That’s a nice under-snow understatement.
Sometimes the understated speak the loudest.
Agreed: they spoke loudly here.
Good to see this one in the blog, Steve. One to be very happy with.
I adore this one ❤
Thank you, Lottie.
Did you wear your snow shhhhhhhhoes?
Nice warm boots, Linda. Lots of warm layers. I get cold a lot easier in my old age.
Peace on earth
Isn’t that a nice wish, Melissa.
Nice. I’ve tried to envision this as black and white and think that the hint of color is appropriate. I wonder how you kept the snow from washing-out. I notice the detail and like that it has been retained. Any professional tips for retaining that level of detail? D
I considered Black and White too, David. But this just appeals to me more.
In a scene with mostly white, I metered the snow and then added 1 2/3 stops to bring out the white. The meter registers for middle grey so adding 2 stops of compensation would bring middle grey up to white, but I wanted to be sure to not lose detail. Expose to the right.for maximum data and review the histogram. Reviewing the enlarged image on the rear LCD can sometimes give you a sense of the amount of detail retained although you are looking at a processed jpeg and not the actual raw file.
I’ve found that my Canon cameras usually underexpose a scene that’s as uniformly bright as this one, so I typically add at least one stop of exposure to compensate. Because I shoot in RAW, I expect to be able to adjust the brightest and darkest parts of the image afterwards.
I am not sure whether it is a Canon thing or not. Most meters, either handheld or TTL, will try to expose any scene for middle or 18% grey. So the metered exposure will underexpose white or overexpose black or both depending on the dynamic range. While raw files do allow us to make some impressive adjustments that are beyond what transparencies could give us, the closer to the right we expose our files, the more data that is captured for those adjustments. So adding that stop or more is a good strategy.
I never do make use of the histogram much … are you saying that if the thing had topped out to the ‘right’ I would have blown the thing out … and to stop down a bit would have moved the histo to the left, thus pulling the thing away from the right wall … and retaining detail? As I say I don’t know much about use of the histo but what I do know tells me that you don’t want it bottomed to the left (too dark – no detail) or topped to the right (too light – blown out – no detail). Right? D
More or less, Yes. If you really want to get a handle on this you can Google “Expose to the Right” for articles.
Basically….digital exposures are linear. So, thinking in zones, half of the data collected will fall in the highest zone. Half the remaining data will then exist in the next, half of that remaining in the next and so on. So to have the most data to work with in your RAW file one should expose as close to the right as possible without going past and clipping the highlights. Once highlights are clipped that information is gone and cannot be recovered. If you think about what is more pleasing when looking at an image, given a choice highlight detail is more important than shadows. Ideally, there will be enough dynamic range to have data in both the highlights and shadows which is why HDR is popular.
In the Zone System, having the blacks in Zone 3 and the whites in Zone 7 was the ideal and Adams would burn and dodge to accomplish that goal. Someone I read, Bruce Barnbaum ( I recommend his book “The Art of Photography” ) feels that we should expose the blacks for Zone 4 and then adjust downward to retain the shadow detail.
So that is my rough explanation. Reading online articles for understanding digital exposure or Adams book “The Negative” for explanation of the Zone System will help you much better than I can.
BTW, in this regard…when shooting cascades or waterfalls, I usually meter the water at the point where there is the most activity so I do not blow that out. Most else falls into place. Metering elsewhere will often cause that crashing water to overexpose and it turns into a mass of featureless white.
I just found something at Digital Photography School and what I read there did made good sense (and was simply a repetition of your explanation above). So, over-expose just enough to keep the histo from topping out and when adjust exposure back in post-processing … this ‘pushes’ the lower end up (more information) and this can then be processed down once more. Makes sense. Thanks. I’ll store that away.
Just be careful about that over-expose idea. Exposing to the right is not over-exposing. I think this is just semantics, but I don’t want you to have the wrong impression of what I was describing. It is more like increasing exposure. In the pre-digital days, and now too, if using a handheld meter, one would sample several places in the scene and then assign values and settle on an exposure. That is what I am suggesting in my explanation. For instance, I know that my meter exposes for middle grey, so I sampled the snow and then opened up, by way of exposure compensation, just shy of two stops for the white to be white. That isn’t over exposing, but increasing the exposure.
OK, now you’ve done it. In what way can opening the aperture, by way over exposure compensation, not be considered over-exposing? Is it that folks don’t like the term and ‘exposure compensation’ sounds like a less radical thing to be doing?
Also … and perhaps I’m missing something very simple logic. It seems that snow would be highly reflective … and cause your meter to tell you to shut down the aperture for proper exposure of the snow. And you purposefully opened up. Wouldn’t that have made the white, bright, washout even worse? Or did you push it just far enough such that your histogram told you you weren’t pushing the limit just yet?
Exposure compensation is you making the decision to compensate for your camera’s meter’s shortcomings. It’s just the mechanics of the situation. When I aimed the meter at the snow it wants to expose things at 18% middle grey. If I shoot it that way the snow would be dingy. By compensating, in this case extending the exposure, I am making up for my meter not caring what the subject is. It could be snow, it could be coal, it could be a bunch of bananas, It wants the exposure to be 18% grey. In my mind, overexposure means just that….I have overexposed the snow and it will be featureless white. Try photographing a piece of white cloth following your meter’s suggested exposure. Now use your exposure compensation adjustment and see how far you can go before blowing out the texture in the cloth. I think you may get what I am talking about that way.
Exposure compensation is you taking control of what the meter is telling the camera. Over exposure is you not having control of the camera.
It’s not a question of what sounds good. Of course, I go back to semantics and I believe you are saying over exposure simply as an expression of increasing exposure over what the meter is telling you to do, so you are going over the meter’s suggestion. But in the photographic world that is not how it is expressed. Over exposure is a bad thing. 🙂
Ok … so when I open up for detail … you want me to say ‘exposure compensation.’ When I dial the thing four stops over and blow the shot to smithereens … you want me to say ‘over exposed.’ Yes, that is an issue of semantics but I can see the rationale. I have, I think, always done this intuitively. So, I frame up a shot, and let the meter do it’s thing. I know the scene has some interesting detail in deep shadow so I dial open a bit to allow for EXPOSURE COMPENSATION – being careful not to smack up too hard against the right. That pushes my entire histogram TO THE RIGHT – providing more information (pulling in the shadows from the left). So, when I look at the image either on the LCD or the monitor the shadows look ok but everything else is a bit light … so I selectively reduce exposure there … and if all goes well the thing is well balanced and the result has more information than if I had let the meter do the work alone. How’s that?
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