Friday, June 09, 2006

Stepping into the shadows

The antithesis of the paparazzi!

My work seems to be more and more about shadow and obscurity of detail. I've
noticed that the images that appeal to me most are those with large areas
that require very close inspection in order to see detail.

That said, detail in those shadows is very important and I'm finding that
whilst Astia is doing a good job, my pissy little Canon IXUS picks up quite
a bit more. Oh for a D200 or even better!

The Astia does have the advantage that the gradients are so beautifully
smooth and even a scene with extremes of light and dark renders 'almost'
completely clean. The warm tones are particularly 'special'.

A lot of the work I shot is around 2pm in the afternoon (some light through
windows but not extremes) and on a tripod. The RZ67 has a mirror-up function
that suits me perfectly and keeps the brick nice and still for it's (often)
8 seconds or more of exposure. Aperture is typically around f4 or 5.6
although I love shooting on 2.8 for larger scenes with strong converging

I normally try and get the scenes when they are in shade and colour correct
then digitally a tick later on. Alternatively, when the scene is in full sun
I'll watch the weather report religiously until I get a nice overcast day
and return for a reshoot. This gives me nicely broken up light and softens
the gradients. The winter sun can be a bit problematic but once I've got
it's rough angle and positioning it's relatively easy to calculate what time
would be ideal when looking at a map.

Even a half stop overexposure is a bit too hot so I'll shot the meter plus
an extra 1 stop under just in case. Often the scenes are extremely difficult
to meter with very strong highlights. I normally meter what appears to be a
rough mid-tone and bracket a bit either side to save grief. Not very
scientific but seems to work for me.

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