Category Archives: Photography
Photography may not be the easiest profession to be in at the moment. Alas too many people think all it takes is a ‘proper’ digital camera and a few You Tube videos to earn a living at it. The briefest look back over the past years work is enough to realise I have the best job I could wish for though. During that time we have photographed a Mermaid practicing at a local dive centre, Model portfolios for aspiring new talents. There has been surprise birthday presents and family gatherings from around the world for 50th wedding aniversaries. Women taking their first tentative dip into online dating sites, others in their wedding finery.
One of the great things about photographs is being able to rekindle past memories. This morning I was reminded of how different the weather was last year. Already this morning the sun is climbing over Bledlow Ridge and melting the morning frost from the first real run of chilly weather this year.
Go back twelve months though and it was a very different scene outside. We were still clearing the last of the heavy snow. Sorting through my photos I came across these, taken in my village in the first week of January! No wonder the British talk so much about our weather when it is so changeable.
I love snow and frost scenes but they can present problems to the casual snapper. Camera phones in particular struggle to cope. They may be convenient but they lack the sophistication to cope with such scenes. Even a professional camera will get it wrong without a little help. The same problem happens on the beach with all that bright sand
The problem is cameras are really not all that clever. They assume what is in front of them is an ‘average’ scene. In most cases that means the bulk of the colours would come out around mid grey if you were to shoot in black and white. That actually works quite well with human skin and the typical landscape. Unfortunately grey snow looks less than exciting and that alas is what your camera will try to do as it thinks the image is too bright and underexposes to ‘compensate’. The same happens with sand. where you will often find the beach looks great but your friends are dark blobs
So what can you do about it? Well all is not lost. Many cameras have additional settings their owners tend to forget about and images can also sometimes be rescued later.
- Look for a snow/sand setting. Many modern compacts have extra settings designed to tell the camera things are not quite what it thinks. Some have a snow or beach setting . Use this and you images will allow the extra exposure needed to produce nice crisp snow and if you are furtunate enough to be somewhere lapping up the sun ensure your beach shots are exposed correctly too
- Use exposure compensation. You will have to dig into the manual for this as all cameras differ but essentially you need to set around +2 stops extra exposure. Remember to set it back after though, otherwise all you normal images will seem rather dark!
- Correct it later in a program like Picasa. There is always an option to increase the brightness Really I do not recommend this though. You will lose some detail doing it this way, particularly in the shadows.
Most of all though get out there and take the photos, they are always great to look back on .
Photographs of our loved ones past and present are one of the most precious things we have. Lose that special photo and you lose much of the memory that goes with it. Listen to someone talking about being burgled, having a handbag stolen, a house fire or flood and often it is not the loss of cash that hits them hardest but the loss of memories in the form of photos and keepsakes.
In the days when photos required film people rarely thought about keeping a back up. Prints were reasonably permanent and had little value to others. Even if you did damage one that was special to you there was usually the negative to fall back on. Indeed it was while forraging through fourty years of negatives for something that I was reminded of how we simply took this for granted.
Photography has left a rich and wonderful heritage to the current generation in terms of images from the past. Forgotten memories and long dead generations are brought to life by the chance discovery of some faded dog eared image. Will future generations be able to look back and remember us though? Will even we have anything to remember these years in the future? Continue reading