One of the challenges in doing this type of “splash” photograph comes when you want not just the water to be crisp and in focus, but you also want the product to be sharp too. Leaving it to random chance that the product will fall straight with the logo oriented toward the camera could mean hundreds of takes before you get it right. This shot (including set up, tear down & post production) was executed in under one hour.
Without flash, you are at the mercy of the ambient light … and most of the time, you’ve got a mixture of tungsten (orange), fluorescent (green), daylight (gold to white to blue depending on time of day/cloud cover) and CFL bulbs (which can be any of the above colors).
The only way to get control of the light is to bring your own (i.e. flash). Continue reading →
One of the most challenging aspects of photographing live insects is something I call the “scurry factor”. The little buggers (nyuck-nyuck-nyuck) just do not like to hold still very long. Of course, this is much worse when dealing with flying insects, but even the non-flying varieties can pose quite a number of problems to overcome.
The phrase “dynamic range” refers to the variance between the brightest and darkest points in a photograph. The human eye has the ability to see details within a very broad dynamic range – in fact, the dynamic range that the human eye can discern details within is at least twice as broad as the best digital camera on the market today. And today’s digital cameras can detect a broader range than film cameras. Additionally, the digital camera’s dynamic range capabilities exceed the range capabilities of digital and off-set printing, as well as film processing.
To tap into the details in areas of extreme highlight and shadow, we must compress the dynamic range to bring the brightest brights and the darkest shadows into a range that our computer monitors and printers can handle. So, oddly enough, in order to create an “expanded dynamic range” photo, we end up compressing the dynamic range – not expanding it. Yet, in the end, a larger range of light and shadow becomes visible.
There is another technique called HDR (High Dynamic Range) where the photographer takes 3 or more separate exposures – one “correct”, one over exposed (to bring out shadow detail) and one under exposed (to bring out highlight detail). If you want more information on HDR – just google it, there are tons of sites dedicated to HDR.
But what if you only have a single exposure? My expanded dynamic range technique allows you to (quickly and easily) squeeze expanded dynamic range from a single photograph – restoring detail to the shadow and highlight areas with a minimum of time and effort required.