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Pressing a button on the camera is only half the job

Jon Glaser

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September 25th, 2013 - 12:18 AM

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Pressing a button on the camera is only half the job

Landscape photography is a difficult subject to handle due to the available light. The camera's today are marvelous pieces of technology but, they only record mid-tones. They are limited in their dynamic range. In other words, they can only record a certain amount of information. For example, during a sunrise or sunset, a camera will be able to either record a properly exposed image of the background(sky) or foreground(earth). It is nearly impossible for a camera to record all the information in a scene in one image.

It can be done, but without digital manipulation, the image will still either appear to dark or too light. A photographer may be able to increase that dynamic range with split neutral density filters, but part of the problem will still remain. It will be improved, but there will still be darker areas and lighter areas on the image that will not be seen unless recovered using photoshop or some other comparable software program to digitally enhance the image.

One of the key factors in this equation is the lighting available from the sun and sky. If it is cloudy, great! you can record the image on the camera sensor and avoid dark shadows. You can also do this at twilight, but a longer exposure is necessary. However, the worst time to take photographs is when the scene is very contrasty and has deep dark shadows!

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