Exposure: From Snapshots to Great Shots
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Its amazing how many images the worlds photographers produce! Professional or not, images surround us in our everyday lives.
What makes successful photographs stand out? What drives us to revisit the same images over and over? All images tell a story. Whether theyre produced as works of art, on assignment for National Geographic , or as part of a family vacation, images say more than just a shutter speed, ISO, or aperture setting.
We make images for a reason. Storytelling often requires the use of certain lenses, apertures, or light modifiers, but the story is what holds everything together. Myequipment is near and dear to my heart, but this book is not meant to focus only on whatI use. You can apply the techniques regardless of what digital single-lens reflex camera dSLR and lens kit that you have. We will covermy mental checklist of characteristics for shooting in black and white: tonal quality, con-trast, strong lines, and so on. Once we have our image, we are going to go over how tomanage images in Lightroom and convert them to black and white using postprocessingtechniques.
This book has been written with the beginning to intermediate photographer in mind. Black-and-white photography can be fun and beautiful, so I encourage you to share yourimages on our Flickr site as you work your way through the book. This book is intendedto be an open conversation, so please feel free to drop me a note to share your feedback. Learning is a two-way street; I enjoy learning from you as much as I hope you enjoy learningfrom me. Join the group here: www.
The light was amazing, and the skywas filled with rich, active clouds reaching far off into the distance. I quickly setup, and what was originally intended to be a colorful shot ended up being oneof my favorite black-and-whites from the trip. This was a very long exposure,so I used a tripod, cable release,and mirror lock-up to avoidcamera shake.
I wanted a high-qualityimage, so I used a low ISOcombined with a higherf-stop to avoid digital noise. Postprocessing the imageinvolved dodging lightening the tree and nearby ground toadd depth and detail. To getbetter at photography you are going to need to take a lot of photographs, soworking with a camera that feels right to you is essential.
Invest in a solid lens. I alwaysrecommend trying to build an essential kit of quality lenses Figure 1. FIGure 1. I havebuilt my kit overmany years of trialand error, with afew upgrades alongthe path of discov-ering who I am as aphotographer. Fast lenses tend be heavier due to the better quality glass andconstruction, and all that costs more, too. FlaSh cardSIt is very important to read your manual andbuy a flash card that is rated for your camera Figure 1.
Here is another suggestion: Ownmore than one card. It is like having a secondcamera battery—you will use it! One of the benefits of a larger aperture is thatit allows you to shoot in low-light conditions using fasterspeeds than would be possible at a smaller aperture. Your lens aperture rating is usually located on the frontof the lens.
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I use 1. Make sure you geta card that meets the basicrequirements of your camera. Make sureyou invest in things that make sense—get a tripod kit you are going to use. Thatmeans a model that is sturdy and rated for the weight of your camera and lens. Having a solid tripod head with a quick-release plate is must for those of us whowant the flexibility of quickly removing the camera from the tripod.
I love my carbon-fiber Gitzo GT Traveler. Carbon fiber is strong enoughto hold even the heaviest of lenses but light enough to put on my backpack for longbackcountry excursions. Ihave owned both types of release, butI prefer the cable release Figure 1.
A graduatedneutral density ND filter Figure 1. I often usea yellow, green, red, or orange filter toassist in visualizing a black-and-whiteimage while in the field. Wewill discuss filters further in Chapter 3. Nothing is worsethan shooting a beautiful landscape image onlyto find that the horizon is sloping to one side. The best part is that bubble levels Figure 1. They are easy to useand store. Clip your Spudz rag somewhere that you willactually use it, and you could save your lens. LensPen is another convenient cleaningsolution, with a nonliquid cleaning element, designed to never dry out Figure 1.
The LensPen is great for clearingyour lens of fine dust and smudges. I like to keepthings simple, and reducing steps in my workflow allows me to focus on my creativeprocess.http://checkout.midtrans.com/dating-la-campana.php
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This might come as a shock to you, but I rarely use Photoshop. I typically only use it when I have to. What might takeme three or four steps in Photoshop can be handled with the click of a button inLightroom. Coupled with plug-ins like Silver Efex Pro 2, Lightroom lets me focus moreon creating images and less on being a technician. Monitor calibration helps usreduce such problems by creating a baseline that we can match throughout the edit-ing and printing process.
Calibrating your monitor is not just about matching your color, but making sure con-trast is accurately displayed as well. Many excellent, easy-to-use calibration systemsare available. The thing to remember is that a good system will take into consider-ation ambient light.
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Even if your monitor and printer are calibrated, if your ambientlight changes significantly, you increase the likelihood of postprocessing error. I domost of my editing in a room where I can control the ambient light by using shades ora dimmer switch. Remember, calibrating your system is not a one-time deal; it needsto be done on a regular schedule. Since it only takes about five minutes, I like to cali-brate my monitor every two weeks with my Datacolor Spyder system Figure 1.
Generally speaking, the lower the ISO the better quality of the image and the morelight that is needed to expose it. I try to shoot most of my images in the to ISO range. Having a calibratedmonitor helps meknow what a printwill look like beforeit gets produced.
Time Lapse Photography, Long Exposure & Other Tricks of Time: From Snapshots to Great Shots
This feature will generatea black-and-white preview on the LCD. As long as youare shooting in Raw mode, you do not need to worrybecause your color information is still being saved andwill be available in postprocessing. However, JPEG shoot-ers should note that all their color information is beingdiscarded when they use the monochrome setting, sounless you are percent committed to an image inblack and white, you might consider photographing it inboth color and black and white, or switching to Raw.
Areas that are too bright and lack any detail will flashblack and white on your LCD—this indicator simply flags a potential problem withyour exposure. The areas that are blinking are those where you have potentially lostall detail. If you have a highlight warning in an area where you definitely need detail, you willwant to adjust. However, remember that sometimes if you are shooting with a backlitsky, you will lose some detail, and that may be OK.
Even though I shoot inRaw mode and have the ability to change my white balance during the postprocess-ing stage, I still find it beneficial to set the white balance according the conditions. The best part is you do not need any special training to know what setting to use. Most cameras today use simple symbols, like clouds, suns, and lightbulbs, to representthe different temperatures of light presented by various light sources. It is relativelyeasy to choose which white balance you need; the trick is remembering to changeyour selection as conditions change.
Please consult your manual to turn thisfeature on and remember to shoot in raw mode. If your white balance is off, it could affect the tonalrange of the objects you are shooting this is a larger issue for JPEG shooters. In turn,this can change the way the image looks when you convert to black and white. Sotake the time to adjust your white balance in the camera before taking the shot. Itwill save you a lot of time in postprocessing. File FormatI have been shooting in Raw for nearly eight years now and I have never regretted it. For those of you who already shoot in Raw, youknow the benefits of this powerful format.
But for those of you who are new to it,here are some thoughts to consider. Raw has more potential I know some people will take offense at this analogy,but think of it this way: JPEG is like a Polaroid, easy and quick to print and niceto look at, but not as high quality as a print made from a negative.
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