Impossible Dynamic Range Diptych…


I have my first ‘official’ photo shoot tomorrow. To be honest, I’m a bit nervous. Prior to this, the majority of my photos have been for me (technically, even the photos I took for class were for me).

This time my photos are for someone else, eep. I’ve taken photos for this group once before, but it was kind of on the fly, so I didn’t have time to get nervous, and the photos were not going to be sold.

This time the photos will be used to gain donations for the charity. So yeah, I’m a bit nervous. Eek. I keep telling myself that the first set of photos I took for them was like a trial run. They apparently like what I did before otherwise why would they ask me to take photos again, right? That’s what I’m telling myself anyway. 😀

Ok, back to the next installment of my photography homework. For this assignment, we were to take a photo of impossible dynamic range. What’s that, you may ask?

You know how when you see a scene and think to yourself, this will be a great photo. So you take the photo and it’s not what you expected. That’s because our eyes can see a dynamic range of about double what your camera can detect. Our eyes can respond to light and dark and adjust, whereas the camera cannot.

So picture yourself looking at a scene with a bright background and a darker foreground… your eyes see it all quite clearly, yet the photo you take may have an overexposed sky or an underexposed subject, or both. This is impossible dynamic range. A scene that you cannot possibly set your camera to expose everything in the scene correctly. You have to choose, foreground or background.

That’s where photo manipulation software comes in… you can fix it in the (digital) darkroom. 🙂 This is also why HDR (high dynamic range) is becoming so popular, you can take one photo correctly exposed for the subject, one overexposed, and one underexposed and then blend the three photos. But we’ll talk more about HDR in the next post.

For the impossible dynamic range assignment, I tried out various pictures. I eventually settled on a picture I took over the summer. It’s a picture of the Bellagio that disappointed me. What I captured on my camera wasn’t what I saw with my eyes. Using layers and masks, I was able to ‘fix’ the photo.

It’s subtle, but now the lights are not overexposed, and the tree is not underexposed. Overall, you can see more detail in the scene.

I’m going to be pretty busy tomorrow, so I probably won’t be able to post again until Sunday, possibly Monday. Hope everyone has a great weekend! 🙂

Until next time…
~nic

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4 thoughts on “Impossible Dynamic Range Diptych…

  1. Pingback: HDR… « The Auspicious Squirrel

  2. Pingback: Final Exam Diptych… « The Auspicious Squirrel

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