Wednesday, September 21, 2011

See the Light and Get it Right

I love Lightroom and Photoshop - and all the digital enhancements these programs have to offer. What fun!

I love plug-ins - and all the fun we can have with the cool and creative effects that are available to us with the click of a mouse or tap of a Wacom stylus.

I like stand-along HDR digital imaging programs, such as Photomatix Pro.

But I love something even more about photography: getting it right in camera - so I can spend more time shooting (and exercising) and less time sitting at my computer. 

(Flash back to the slide film days: We had to get it right - otherwise we were screwed.)

Getting it right in camera is what I suggest (preach) on my workshops: how to get the best possible in-camera exposure. That starts with seeing the light - the contrast range in a scene, the direction of light, the color of light and the quality of light.

Next: controlling the light - with a reflector, diffuser or flash. These accessories have something very important in common: they reduce the contrast range in a scene. We must see the contrast range in a scene to get a good exposure.

Next: check the histogram on the camera's LCD monitor to make sure the highlights are not washed out: look for the spike on the right. About the shadows: shadows can be your friend - so I sometimes don't mind if they are blocked up.

And guess what? It's really not that hard to get it right in camera. Using just one light, a Canon 580 EX II Speedlite in a Westcott softbox, I got a perfect exposure when I took my "Girl With a Pearl Earring" photograph with my Canon 5D Mark II. So, after opening the file in Lightroom, I made virtually no adjustments - and then went for a walk.

So my friends, try to get it right in camera. That's one of the things I will be doing during my creativeLive class in October. More than 6,000 photographers have already registered – so I hope you can join the photo fun. The more the merrier.

Explore the light - and capture the light the right way,

Here are the links to some of the products mentioned in this post:

Photomatix Pro
You can save 15% when you order Photomatix by using this code: ricksammon.

1 comment:

Robin said...

Here, here! To me, that shows real skill and artistry. I don't know how to use Photoshop and Lightbox. It makes my head hurt, so I have no choice but to get it right in-camera. One day I'll learn, but I'll most likely have to take a class. ;-)