Wait… do I want to blast my scenes with light? Locked

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BigBrother70 Forum Member • Posts: 90
Wait… do I want to blast my scenes with light?

So this is probably truly a beginner question! I had been shooting portraits with outdoor/natural light without much issue. I had some sharpness questions which got resolved. But indoor shots were still coming out not nearly as sharp as I wanted.

I would set up my lighting to look “just right” but I had an epiphany just now which I’m guessing is like photo 101 stuff: is the best practice to actually blanket your scene with light, to attain the sharpness in the edges and clarity that you need, and then basically tone down the final image’s exposure?

For years I would see these fashion shoots with such bright lights and flashes and whatnot and never really understood it. Now it makes so much sense! It seems like you want to attain the sharpness you need because, obviously, you can always tone down the exposure later but you will have a much harder time introducing any sharpness.

In thinking about this just now and wanting to write it up, I was going to say that the reason this was never intuitive to me was that I come from a computer graphics background where sharpness is simply sharpness: light/exposure has nothing to do with it. The polygons/shapes are the polygons/shapes, their brightnesses have nothing to do with it. I couldn’t understand why the amount of light should at all change an image’s sharpness, even in the real world. This was one of the major reasons I’m just realizing now as I even write this (!) that many times I would chase other factors in trying to attain sharpness without realizing the light part. But anyway, it made total sense when I thought about what the sensor or in traditional photography negative/exposure print was doing, and ironically, I got it because of its analogous phenomenon in computer graphics. Everything here has to do with photons hitting either the sensor or film. If you’re getting sparse photon coverage, everything “in between” is going to need to get filled in with randomity, essentially nondescript, blurry info. You basically get either only the photons, which would fill in a rough outline of the shapes/information and nothing else (think black in between) or a “normally” exposed scene with all of the missing information filled in essentially with junk. I suppose they’re not yet using computer vision algorithms to intelligently “connect the dots”, so to speak, so you’re left with muck filled in. This is all similar to photon mapping and stochastic sampling in computer graphics. I was mistakenly assuming in real photography that the “polygons”, so to speak, were already defined and we were just exposing them. No! We are building the polygons with light :). Put in other words, this is like LIDAR.

So anyway, back to the main point- I need to paint my polygons!! Bask the scene in light so that random muck doesn’t have to be used to fill things in and voila! My sharpness. Sharpness is not really anything except a more faithful scene painting. Put another way: seek grade A distribution, not grade B which results when A is absent.

Thanks all! (Lol talk about solving it as you ask ;))

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