The Digital Photo Guy

Monday Morning Tip – 04/13/09

by on Apr.12, 2009, under Monday Morning Tips, Schedule

Hopefully, things are getting back to an even keel after several months of turmoil, some of it unexpected and others, self-inflicted. This is the second week in a row that I’ve been able to write a Monday Morning Tip. Also, the MMT e-mail distribution list is slowly being culled as people who are truly interested in my ramblings subscribe to the RSS feed. A hearty, “Thank you!” to those who have subscribed because it’s making it much easier for me to maintain the dwindling list.

This week marks a return to basics of digital photography. Many of you already know how to read and interpret a histogram but others are still baffled. Today’s MMT reduces histograms to the basics and explains how, by using the histogram, you can forever banish over or underexposed photos. In those instances when a photo has too much dynamic range (spectrum of dark to light), the histogram shows you where to make the compromise so the CoI (center of interest) is well exposed at the expense of non-contributing areas.

Something I wasn’t able to fit into today’s MMT is blinkies, flashing areas on an LCD that denote overexposure. Along with the histogram, blinkies will show you exactly which areas of the photo are overexposed. If you have blinkies on your subject’s face, that’s bad and you need to subtract light. If, however, the subject’s face is well exposed but you have blinkies in parts of the sky, you might have to live with that because subtracting light may cause the subject’s face to be underexposed.

Photography, like life in general, is a series of compromises. Your job as a photographer is to know when, how and how much to trade-off in the process.

When I first started The Digital Photo Guy, I spent many days on the road, making presentations to countless PC clubs, camera groups, resorts, cruise ships, trade shows and conventions. Five years and 30,000 attendees about wore me out but it was fun. My recent webcast to the Computer Genealogy Society of San Diego reminded me of those days. If your club or group would like a webcast presentation, please contact me. All you need is a PC/Mac with high-speed access, speakers and a projector. The video is projected for the audience to see and audio is heard through the speakers.

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