Saturday, February 11, 2012

Spring and a Bit of Exposure

Yesterday afternoon, I noticed that our plum tree is just starting to sprout blossoms. Gosh, is it spring already? Have I been sick that long?

The buds are so bright and hopeful I went out and took some pictures.

And it's a good thing I did because it rained last night and now most of them are gone.

Last night, Donna of Travels in Therapy wrote a blog about how she does her marvelous collages. It reminded me that I often get emails asking about my photo editing process. With that in mind, I thought I'd talk a bit about digital photography and photo manipulation.

I've talked about this before, but I think it bears repeating.

Digital photography is about information.

What I find so fascinating is that there's always so much information, sitting right there, that we can't see with our naked eye. Film photography is a chemical process, but in digital it's all about the information.

And that's where the computer and photo processing software comes in.

I usually shoot in burst mode, setting the camera to shoot three pictures in quick succession at three different exposures. One will be under exposed, one over exposed and one right where the camera thinks is perfect. I shoot this way because manipulating exposure is one of my favorite things to play with. By shooting in exposure burst mode, I get a better idea of where I want to go manipulation wise.

If I were a better photographer (or more patient) I would learn how to set the camera before I shoot, but I find this method works best for me. I think that's one of the many beauties of digital photography, the many choices we have when we shoot.

But back to exposure and all that information that's just sitting in that picture you just took, waiting to be discovered. . .

Because a picture
really is worth a thousand words,
take a look at the following examples.

The first of each of the following series is straight out of the camera (SOOC) and the picture following will be the exact same image, manipulated to my taste. Itf you really want to see the differences, click each photo so you can more clearly see the differences and details.


Exposure, contrast and a bit of sharpening.


Again, exposure, contrast and a bit of sharpening.


Cropped, exposure, sharpening.

One final SOOC.

And again, exposure and sharpening.

Now these may not be to your taste, but they're what I wanted, what my "eye" remembers seeing. So when you look at those pictures you just downloaded, don't be discouraged if they're not quite what you remember taking. There's a lot of information there and if you just take a bit of time, you end up with pictures that you love.

The very best part is that over time, you will develop a style with your digital photography that truly reflects your taste and "style".


Jerry and Suzy said...

All of them nicely done! I love to darken the background to make the flowers stand out!

Gaelyn said...

I sometimes use bracketing, other times I "fool" the camera by focusing on a light or dark area before rearranging my image. What do you use for manipulating.

photowannabe said...

Glad to see you are feeling better. I do enjoy fiddling with my shots a little bit too. I just don't have the patience to learn all the bells and whistles. Guess I will have to leave it up to you. (:0)

Russ Krecklow said...

How is Terry doing? We worry about him. Hope he's feeling better.

Donna K said...

Great editing Kate, especially the last two images. You made those blossoms pop. I have been opening my images from my baby camera in RAW even though they are jpegs. I can do a lot with the lighting and color correction and not lose anything. Isn't it FUN???

Kate said...

Russ, I PM'd you regarding Terry.

And Donna, I do 90% of my photo manipulation with Camera RAW. I love all it's possibilities.

E Squared and Mui said...

Nice -- the processed images are more to my taste as well. I've been shooting RAW since 2007 and can't imagine just shooting in JPEG anymore .. as you say, the possibilities are endless.