Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ride Along Shot: High...

Greetings, volks. Welcome to Hohenfels Volks, THE place for our place! Welcoming Tuesday, Hohenfels finds a nice day breaking out and greeting us back.

Let’s visit Regensburg for another ride along shot. This time we’re going to look at a shot taken on film in the old part of town.

Here’s the image.
Hohenfels Volks: High Key Shopping
ISO 100 Agfa APX100, f/8, 1/50, 50mm
A shop window in Regensburg's old town.

This was taken outside one of the many little shops lining the square, and not far from the Dom, or cathedral. I was immediately attracted to the material, old boxes, wreaths, and some cool roses. Throw in the bottles and glassware in the window, and it really seemed like a “must have” shot.

Metering from the white portion in the bottom right window gave too little exposure, so I shot at M+3 and developed for N. This left white zone to about M+3 and leaves a nice tonal range. This also gives us a nice high key image, with a very suitable contrast, and detail in the brightest parts. The reflections in the windows could have been removed with a CP filter, but I would lose the high key effect of the light reflecting around the scene.

The meter gave me f/16 at 1/100. I think this was shot on Agfa APX100 film. I shot with a 50mm f/1.8 prime, as I did the entire day. The final exposure was f/8 and 1/50, with an ISO of 100. I didn’t want to go slower, as the old cameras had no IS, and any wider would have left the DOF inadequate to express what I had envisioned. The sun was out, it was mid-day, and the weather had warmed up a little that day. It was still snowing back in Hohenfels, which was a bit surprising as I got off the train.

After scanning the negative, editing was most certainly required. The sharpness was quite nearly gone, the contrast had come down, and the whites were nearly blown. By applying curves in an inverse S and adjusting the levels to bring down the shadows, and raise the midtones and highlights, I was nearly complete. The next step was to reduce noise and apply an unsharp mask at about 3px radius, 90 strength, and 2 clipping.

The final image grew on me. At first, being satisfied with the image, it was ok. After editing and revisiting the image several times, I realize it had become something I really liked. It showed that the system of metering for the highlights when you plan an image to be presented digitally, can lead to some really nice results.

By exposing on the plus side, it brought out some detail in the shadows, allowing just enough to bring the eye to them in the middle of the brights. Our eyes are generally drawn to the brightest part of a scene first, which is why we often keep our subject 1/3 to 1 stop brighter that the surrounding. In cases like this, it sets our darks apart and brings focus to the play between shadow and light.

I hope I haven’t bored you too much! Enjoy the rest of a lovely evening, maybe using this time to get some blue or golden hour shots in. Take care and keep shooting.

Don’t forget to post any of your images you’d like to see here at the Hohenfels Volks Facebook page. Of course, commenting on both Facebook and here is always appreciated, too! Don't forget, we're on Google+, too!

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