Friday, April 04, 2008

Digital camera update

I’m approaching the third anniversary of this photography blog, which I think provides a good record of my development as a photographer. Up until Christmas of last year, nearly every photo on this blog was taken with completely manual film SLRs. No automatic nothin’. Doing so has taught me to be able to very accurately see and evaluate the lighting in a scene prior to setting up for the photo. No letting the camera do my thinking for me.

Since Christmas, nearly every photo on this blog was taken with a digital camera. Going digital has added a new dimension to my picture taking. As an avid filmmaking buff in my teen years, I was fascinated by the concept of shooting “day for night” – where movie makers would film nighttime scenes in broad daylight, and use filters and underexposure to create the impression of night. I tried doing that a few times with my film cameras without much success – since there is a time factor between the press of the shutter and the development of the film, it took time to evaluate how I did, and if I needed to redo a picture, the opportunity had long passed. Digital gives me on the spot feedback and an opportunity to adjust quickly and try again immediately.

All that to say that this photo was shot “day for night.” The crescent moon had risen over the rooftops in my neighborhood and it was about 20 minutes before sunrise – not very dark out at all. In fact, the moon had all but disappeared because of the increasing brightness of the morning sky. I set the digital camera manually for a three-stop underexposure and got the result you see above. The rooftops of the house turned stark black and the sky turned a deep indigo. Actually, the result I got was posted a couple of days ago.

After I had posted that photo, I thought how neat it would be to be able to see a light on in the house as a counterpoint to the moon. I knew that the sky conditions would not be the same the next day, so I took a photo of a window on my house at night from the same angle and added it to the rooftop and moon picture in Photoshop. Oh, well, you can’t do everything in-camera.

Click on picture to enlarge. Photograph © 2008 James Jordan.

2 comments:

Wanda said...

I like it ~~~ you can amost peek in the window ~~ :)

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