Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Power of Processing

        Walking back from Bighorn Falls in Ya Ha Tinda, Alberta, I wanted to take some shots of some of the smaller rock ledges in the creek. Now it was in a canyon about 9:00 pm so the light was fading fast. I found my spot, I composed my image and dialed in my settings. This may be where I goofed up. I set my exposure time to 10 seconds which would soften the water. I also set my aperture to f16 because I wanted to increase the depth of field hoping the image would be sharp from front to back. Using such a small aperture in fading light caused the photograph to be severely underexposed. In hindsight, I should have chosen a larger aperture or used a longer exposure to allow more light to hit the sensor. The result is below:

       Not what I had in mind. Fortunately there are some pretty powerful post processing programs out there that can do wonders to save an image. In Lightroom, I increased the exposure and played around with highlights and contrast levels. I am amazed at how even though when looking at the picture there is absolutely no detail, but the sensor did record what I saw when I took the photograph. Notice the result below after post:

        Another lesson: Giving myself more time in the field would have resulted in a better quality picture. But it is unrealistic to think that every time you press the shutter button you will come away with what you intended. With practice, these occurrences should happen less frequently. But it is always nice to know that making a mistake doesn't always mean a wasted shot.

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