Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Another Exercise...

Greetings, volks. Welcome to Hohenfels Volks, THE place for our place! Hohenfels, basking in the warmth and sun of spring, has really enjoyed having the annual German American Volksfest. I hope the Hohenfels Volks has, too, with all the opportunities to get and make some great shots!

In keeping with our last post, I thought I’d share a photo from Saturday’s fireworks, and then move on to another exercise.

Hohenfels Volks: Flaming Blossoms
f/22, ISO 125, 16 seconds, Bulb mode
Fireworks from the Volks fest

I shot from the parking area, including the windsock in the image, to create some context. Notice the fest tent in the lower left to give a sense of scale. I shot this at f/22 to minimize the impact of the Ferris wheel and to create some nice starbursts with the lighting along the bottom. The timing on this shot was quite lucky, as the combined effects create a flower like appearance of the fireworks. The white “dot” below and to the right of the larger burst was the only star visible at that time. I liked having it there, but could have cloned it out. Things like that are a matter of taste.

On to our exercise, we’re going to look at taming the relationship between highlights and shadows. One way to do this is through a combination of metering and exposure. Shoot scenes with a relatively high range of contrasts, but meter for the desired range. Should the highlights be the most important meter for them, and likewise for the shadows or midtones.

When shooting these shots, keep in mind controls you can use for bringing your images into line with your intention. For instance, a high contrast scene can be tamed slightly using an inverted S curves adjustment, and lowering the contrast. Remember, less is more, as applying too much of only one adjustment can leave the scene looking like, in the words of Ansel Adams, “chalk and charcoal.”

There are ways to increase contrast and lower it at the same time. We’ll look at some in a post later this week, but they include things like toning and intensification.

Hohenfels Volks: Simulated- Skies Over Fest
f/11, ISO 125, 1/60, metered for the highlights on the clouds and exposed at M+3
Stormy looking clouds over the fest. Edited for an old time semi-selenium toning and intensification.

Get out, get shooting, and enjoy the weather while it lasts!

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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