Monday, April 20, 2009

Just Some Pictures To Tide You Over Until My Next Post.

Thanks to Xmaskatie for sending me this lovely picture of her sunset the other night. Oh, what some people must endure when they live on the water. I feel your pain, truly I do.
My herb and driftwood garden.
Pizza! Pizza! Youngest Hawthorne found a very friendly black swallowtail yesterday.
Perhaps this little swallowtail came from this little caterpillar who was feasting on my parsley last September.
My yellow iris is blooming.
The sun was at just the right angle for this shot. I love the yellow and green together. Photographers: Listen up. Imonna give you an important lesson here. This next picture was taken with my little Nikon CoolPix P5100, which I use 99% + of my time, since my time is spent in the kitchen, with a camera hanging around my neck, an apron on that I try to remember to put my camera underneath when I'm splashing both water and hot oil all over myself. My Nikon is set on Automatic most of the time, but when I want to get the light just right on a scene, I need to override the camera's Automatic Settings.
Look at the above picture.
The composition is mehhh. (I cut off the bottom right plate.) But look at the contrast. There is none. It's supposed to be black and white. There is no true white in that picture. I let the Automatic Exposure take this picture. There's no contrast because your camera's exposure meter is programmed to average out the brightest and darkest areas in the scene. Back in the days of film photography and SLRs, the exposure meter on the camera was designed to meter on an 18% gray scale. There is a shade of gray (18%) - and I can pick it out immediately today - that a photographer would meter on (in the same light and position as his subject matter). (Also, I can tell you exactly 68 degree water temperature on my hand. Anybody out there get that reference?)
Now, this picture is in the exactly same lighting as above, but it's crisper. That's because I overrode the automatic exposure on the camera. There should be an "exposure compensation" dial on your camera. This is how you use it: If your camera is focused on something white and that means it's metering (as in exposure meter) on that white, it wants to see it as 18% gray. So you go to your exposure compensation dial and turn it to +. You want to overexpose. It will have several degrees of plus increments. Experiment. If you are focusing/metering on something black, go to your exposure compensation dial and turn it to -. You want to underexpose. It will have several degrees of minus increments. Experiment. It used to be called "bracketing your exposures" in the old days. But we were frugal, since film was expensive. Now it's all digital. Totally expendable. One click and it's gone.
Humor me please. Go back and review the last two photographs, or should I say "digital images." And compare and contrast with each other and the next. The next image is a digitally enhanced version of the last.
I sharpened the edges. I upped the contrast, the brightness, and the shadows. This is the exact same picture as the one before.
I like the digitally enhanced starkness of this photograph. But in terms of photography, I don't think digital enhancement is quite sportin'. 't ain't Kosher neither. If you can't do it on your own, then it doesn't mean that much. Does it? The above shots were taken under a totally different light condition than this shot, below. The above shots were taken with incandescent lighting from above. See the reflection of the light in the above shots?
The following shot is under natural light:
When will people learn? Natural is better.
Nothin' better than pure white light.
Back in the day of black and white photography, what you wanted to see in your photos was every shade of gray on that gray scale, which started at stark white and ended at the blackest abyss. And that's why I like the photo above. It has almost every gray from white to black. I've mentioned this before if you'd like to take the time and look at my photographs here. End of lesson. Hope you learned something about exposure. If you even got this far. : )

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