Saturday, December 13, 2008

Shooting with the Digital Future in Mind

I have often shot multiple exposures (using bracketing) in the past knowing that the technology of digital data is always improving and evolving. One of these technologies is HDR. (High Dynamic Range)

If you don't already know, this is the process of taking three shots of a given scene at three different exposures. Then, combining them to create one image with overall good exposure.

I shot the image to the left once and the sky looked great, but the building was too dark. I shot with a longer exposure and made the building look nice, but then the sky was blown out. Ever run into this? If so, then HDR is for you.

This is the first time I have opened these images to do anything with them and I shot them three years ago! At that time I didn't know much of anything about HDR. But, what I did know is that it was an emerging technology and I wanted to be prepared when it hit the market.

For this image I used a fairly popular HDR software name Photomatix. It's fairly simple to use and many different effects can be created. If you have not had the chance to play with this software you may download a trial version here.

HRD has caught on over the past few years, but I don't think its status has been changed to "overused" quite yet. So, take a few minutes and play with bracketing and HDR software. Especially if you are shooting non-moving objects/scenes.

There is new technology being revealed everyday and it's a good idea to keep up with it. This knowledge will help lead us digital photographers in the right direction and keep our minds aware of what we can do with this new technology.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Critiquing Images

Have you ever analyzed what goes through your mind when critiquing an image?

This post could be a bit on the psychological side, but it's important to know why we think what we think, for if we know what our viewers (target audience/client) are thinking certainly that helps in knowing what to shoot to obtain the best images possible.

Critique's can change depending on if you were asked to critique an image or if you were doing it out of your own will. It seems to also depend on who's work is being critiqued. It could be a stranger, a friend, or someones work you admire or that you don't. Such things will change how we process an image in our minds.

The first thing I notice when viewing an image is lines, shape, and color. Next are angles, depth/DoF, and contrast.

From those six components, that only take a split second to analyze, mostly subconsciously, I form a feeling about the image as a whole.

From the above process I then start to critique certain aspects of the image. Example, a certain shape or color rubs me wrong and then I begin my critique of what would make the image feel better to me.

Similar to 2 posts ago, it's about the feel of an image. Find the right feel and you have found yourself the right image.