Module 4 – The Photography Institute

Module 4 – The Photography Institute

Module 4 Follows on from Module 3 as you would expect ,it allows you to play more with your camera Settings ,Basically setting your self up to pre visualise the image in front of you what ever that may be.

From a metered exposure play with the settings to over & under expose the image/2 stops over  & 2 Stops Under your Metered exposure ,studying the image for quality in the light that has been captured,& relating this to the Zone system,placing your midpoint on zone V.

The main thing i picked up here is the areas of the  image that burn out leaving no detail along with shadow areas that throw out a lot of noise.

You could if need be select the shadows from one image & The highlights from another ,Combine them both into one image which will give you a greater Dynamic range than what your Camera can Record,not quite HDR but exposure blending .

Before The Advent of Digital Sensors in Camera’s This was performed in a darkroom using the Technique of Dodge & Burn under the Film Enlarger ,Although it was a lot harder to get the exposures required,Now We just use Photoshop or Camera Raw /or similar software to blend the Exposures to give a better representation of what we actually saw as opposed to what the camera recorded.

Within Camera Raw you can Edit the same image in two different ways which is the method i prefer as you are using the RAW information that the Camera’s Sensor captured:-

Open Camera Raw via The Bridge ,Edit the Highlights within the  image to your required taste & setting-Open file in Photoshop.

Re open the same file in camera raw this Time Editing the Shadow detail as required – open in Photoshop.

You should now have two images on screen ,the first image which will be the Highlights & the second which is Shadow Detail,this can be applied to Landscape ,Portraits,still Lifes, etc….

Click on the Move tool  & drag one of the images on top of the other whilst Holding down the shift key ,This will put the Image you Moved Directly in line on top of the other so there is no need to align the images as Photoshop as done this for you.

Now with a large soft Brush you can either erase the areas above to reveal the underlying image basically blending the best parts of the two images,Or you can add a layer Mask and paint white/Black,This is the method i prefer as you can paint back in ares if you over due it a little bit too much,Basically If painting white removes the top image then changing the color to black will paint the image back in,so you can blend different parts of the image as required 7 because we aligned the layers the images align with no tell tale signs of the final image being made from two separate images,Save this new file either as a PSD or TIF or JPEG.

Looking at the three images below you can see how the final image would work ,the first image although it has a good Dynamic Range it has room for improvement thus the shadow area’s are dark,by combining the over & under exposed images together you would achieve a better image than the one captured with a good dynamic range.Although this module does not require you to do this for Submission ,You can see how the images you are producing by pushing & Pulling the Exposure will allow to work outside of your Camera’s Dynamic range & produce images that resemble the actual scene or your Pre-visualised image .

This image  is combined from the images Below 2 Stops over & 2stops under:- 

As you can see the Dynamic range is far greater than what the camera’s sensor can Capture ,giving a more pleasing image to view.

You can play with the blend modes within Photoshop to give different qualities to the image ,Play with Soft light/Overlay,Hard & pin Light to see what suits your particular image,try changing the opacity to blend different parts of an image especially if it has hard edges or a distinct line between shadow & highlight ,because in reality there would be a graduation between these in normal vision,you can even try using the Gradient tool to blend the images  from sky to Horizon.

The greater the difference between the  images you use in Dynamic Range  the more you will need to blend them (Gradient )to look Natural.

I could go more into this but if you play around you will soon see what works & what does not ,Jus try & keep it as Natural as you can you won’t go far wrong.

For those of you who are into the More is better in terms of HDR, Then take a look atTrey Radcliffe he has some really useful information & Tutorial over at Stuck in Customs.com.This is a one stop shop for HDR (High Dynamic Range),you wont’ be disappointed if you have not Been on Trey,s site before there are images Galore to show you what can be achieved with Todays Software & the vision to create.

Here are the images i submitted for Part A

Even Dynamic Range:-

Even dynamic Range

Part A :-  2 stopps Over exposed:-

Part A :- 2 Stops Under Exposed:-

Under Exposed

Part B :- Flat Lit Image:-

Flat Lit Image

Part B Flat Lit Image Converted & Toned To Enhance:-

The image of The Hellstone is Taken in Portesham Dorset .

The image was manipulated in photoshop the same as i have described above ,Except i converted it to a Black & white & toned it ,The reason for this was i lost detail in the color image so converting to a Mono Image gave me more Latitude to play with as the Noise from the color was used to give the image more of a dramatic feel,If i had left this as a color image the noise would make the image look terrible due to the Manipulation required to bring it to life.

Marks for this Module were  10/10

Mark Wallace at Adorama TV shows how the Histogram Works on a camera It will give you an idea of How Tones will represented on your Histogram:-