A Water Lily (and a few words on exposure)

LillyTo view more of my photography please click on www.rakmilphotography.com

The effect here is pretty much out of camera. The overall effect comes from using spot metering. In camera light meters do two things: they measure reflective light and depending on the mode you are in, chose what to measure. In the computer evaluation mode e.g. “matrix management”, the camera compares the photo to a database and chooses the best lighting, and it works for the most part. Center-weighted is used mainly for back-lit situations and spot ensures your subject is the primary concern of the exposure. Spot is very helpful with birds and other animals to get your subject exposed properly (sometimes at the expense of the rest of the frame requiring work in post-production). Of course you can use these modes in ways that were not intended. In this case using spot metering on the lily meant the exposure created a bit of a natural vignette – in processing I enhanced this just a little with a detail extractor focused on the lily and adding negative detail extraction on the top and left of the frame. The out of camera file exhibited the same effect and my editing has only made it more evident for the web and print. So to sum up you have a choice; expose for your subject, or expose for the scene. Too many photographs that I see make no effort at singling out the subject, making the picture somewhat difficult to understand. Exposing for your subject is one cure for that.

8 responses

  1. This post is perfect! i am learning metering these days. The light in Jackson is so different, I am forced to go back and learn more of the basics. which is good. Your technical information is always helpful.


    September 17, 2015 at 8:06 am

  2. A beautiful image, and helpful advice!


    September 17, 2015 at 10:37 am

  3. Great photo and excellent notes, Victor.


    September 17, 2015 at 8:59 pm

  4. This is so like a painting – very beautiful!


    September 18, 2015 at 5:15 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s