A bit of exposure..
28/05/15Another gathering last night to share the "Street" images taken over the last month.
Kicked off with a talk about Histograms, critical thinking and creative seeing. Yes, I thought it was going to be a big yawn too but it was OK. We're a diverse bunch, the range of experience, interest and ability is pretty wide so not an easy audience to target but Nigel did a pretty good job of it. He's knowledgeable and a good speaker so the techy bits (which tend to send me to sleep) were kept short and simple and the fun bits, looking at how to see and think about images was illustrated with some nice shots, most of which beautifully broke one or other of the oft spouted rules of composition.
I have never paid much attention to Histograms; the lining up of the peaks and troughs part. There are doubtless all kinds of calculations and formulas that can be used to reassure you that your photograph is correctly exposed but, for me, the best judge will always be my own eyes. That admission has to carry a warning. Last night, two of my images, in which I had mercilessly blown the highlights way out looked great on all my devices but looked terrible blown up large on a big screen. Having said that, as long as your not pushing the exposure boundaries, I still think your eyes are the best tool for judging exposure. Use the Histogram but look at the image not the graph. I guess the reason photographers want to know about stuff like this is because when we start out we think hidden within the mysteries of things like histograms is some magic cure all that is going to transform our photography to a higher plane. If there is, after many years of hunting I haven't found one. Just get used to looking at images, your own and other peoples and play about with the exposure on your camera and in editing and you will, with just a little experience, learn to tweek your exposure to bring that "punch" to your shot.
My best shot of the night. Well that defiantly went to a woman I don't know well. From her comments I get the impression she is fairly new to photography. Her work is still a bit hit and miss but she came up with a stunner last night. It was a black and white shot taken through the circular openings of a row of street litter bins. What she ended up with was an amazing abstact of slightly wonky egg shaped ovals graduating down in size to the centre. I love that kind of photography where someone takes something so simple and everyday, looks at it in their own unique way and shows you something amazing. Shame its not on Flickr so that I could add a link.
If you want to know more about Histograms there are mountains of utube videos and photography web sites that can fill in all the gaps for you. Below I have added an address that takes you to a fairly simple and clear explanation that will let you into the basics. There is a link to it in the links section of this web site.