A Water Lily (and a few words on exposure)
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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.