Monday, June 22, 2015

Soft light

My favorite time to photograph nature is early mornings or in the evenings at dusk.  I prefer the soft light that exist this time of day.  Doing photography during the mid day sun can be challenge because of the harsh shadows and the overall strong contrast of the scene at that time of day.  The only exception is when I am doing a long exposure of several minutes with one of my neutral density filters.  The long exposure has a way of smoothing out the look of the image and creating a surreal or dreamy effect.  With film I almost always worked in very low light conditions and relied on the reciprocity effect of the film to increase the contrast on the film.  I remember many scenes having only four stops of light but through reciprocity failure and over development of the film I could easily get a negative with seven or eight zones of exposure.  Today with digital I have to rely on my ability to work with the RAW image in Photoshop to take the image to the initial vision I had when making the exposure.  I certainly utilize my many years of darkroom work to know where I desire to go with the look of the final image.  I am sure my method of working with Photoshop is lacking in many ways when compared to others that have much more experience with working with the software than I have.  My current process is rewarding now that I am developing and printing images electronically nearly as good has I did with the chemical process.

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