What would you do with this image

Started Dec 23, 2011 | Discussions thread
winparkman
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,619
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Creating quality of light
In reply to eNo, Dec 23, 2011

The LCD seldom reveals everything and while the flower might remain, the OP might have gotten on down the road. Eno, I hope you aren't becoming un-receptive of your environment. Often in a photograph like this, the photographer relies on intuition and it isn't until finishing the image that reason enters.

Quality of light, per se, is a misnomer. What creates quality is what the photographer does with the light. In this case, a strong backlight may be offset in a number of ways, including EC; certainly judicious use of fill-flash comes to mind, especially with flowers. But a rose...well, a red rose is an easy flower to mess up. But, luckily, the OP has a lot to work with and adjusting this in PP is fairly easy, especially if shot in RAW.

With some work, the OP will be able to create a desirable light quality and because it is slightly overexposed, it is easy to bring out the lovely shadows in the swirl of the petals.

I am glad you mentioned quality of light and how important it is to an image. It gives me hope you haven't completely gone over to the dark and technical side of photography. Merry Christmas, eNo.

eNo wrote:

winparkman wrote:

Sometimes you don't get another chance.

I don't know... I bet at the time he took that photo, that flower wasn't in a hurry to get to its next appointment. A quick review of the rear LCD and an equally quick -EC would have gotten it.

To the OP, the over-exposure here probably happened because the focus point fell on the reds, which the meter tried to turn into a mid-tone. Especially with reds involved, you have to take charge of the exposure and control it manually. Here I would have spot-metered on that flower and closed down my exposure by 1 stop as the first attempt. Again, since the flower isn't going anywhere, you would have the time to check out the histogram and adjust exposure accordingly.

The biggest point that most responses to your question will miss, though, is the one about quality of light. The shadowed subject against a bright background is not the best way to get a solid exposure. Even if you do all the metering to perfection yourself, there's no overcoming bad light -- and in this case, a background that will be distracting regardless of what you do. If you must take this shot, techniques that improve the light, like using a reflector or flash to bring additional light to the subject (while closing the exposure to reduce ambient light) and thus reduce the dynamic range this exposure has to cover.

As for salvaging the photo you do have, I would use a selective exposure adjustments in separate layers (of the sort I describe in my latest article -- see my blog link below) to darken the subject and background by different amounts, thus seeking to emulate the lighting improvement I describe in the previous paragraph.
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Seeking the heart and spirit in each image

Gallery and blog: http://imagesbyeduardo.com
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OK, not so purely a hobby.

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