Thursday, February 19, 2009

Mind the Gap

The other day I went to the third of three Parks & Rec classes I signed up for. This one was "Demystifying Exposure", taught by the same nature photographer that did the "White Balance" class. She's an excellent photographer, and knows her stuff. The class, however, made sparse use of her skills. To be fair, it was (as advertised) geared towards noobs. I took it, and the others, because I wanted to fill in the gaps in my technical knowledge, starting at the beginning.

We (re)covered ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. I'm pretty ok there. Then we got into shooting modes on the camera. Pretty ok there too. The last part was interpretation of histograms. Now, we're talking. Not talking a lot, but talking. I understand the histogram better now, although I rebel against it as an absolute arbitor of good exposure.

A case in point: I took this photo in the evening using available light. The histogram says it was significantly underexposed. I like it as it is. It has a subdued quality that makes the brass richer and gives the hair a chance to shine along the top. Since it was shot in RAW, I opened the image in Photoshop and cranked it up to "fix" the exposure. I hated it. So I left it as it was originally.

So I'm done with Parks & rec classes I think. Time to get more advanced training.

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