Outdoor photographers are trained to recognize good light. For most situations, this means the “golden times” right after sunrise and before sunset, and sometimes the pastel light just before dawn and at dusk. Of course, depending on your latitude, the “golden hour” can sometimes be more like the “golden ten minutes.” Other times, sunrises and sunsets just don’t happen. Clouds in the wrong place on the horizon can kill your chance at amazing light, and weather conditions are often unpredictable, as my students discovered a few weeks ago in South Dakota, where we got fogged in until after 10AM one day.
For many years, we've been told that color casts—those shifts in color towards blue or yellow—are a bad thing and should be corrected at all costs. In the film days we used color-correction (CC) filters to battle them and, in the digital age, most choose to set their cameras to auto-white-balance (AWB), in effect telling the camera to detect and neutralize color casts automatically. After all, neutral whites and lack of color casts are desirable and natural, right? Wrong!
Bob Straus speaks at the B&H Event Space on how digital photography has transformed picture-taking since the days of film. He will discuss the digital shift in mindset by many former film shooters and the great reliance on digital photographic equipment by "digital age" photographers who have never learned the basics of photography or have gotten away from these fundamentals in favor of camera technology and computer post production.
The movement from 35mm to digital sensors in compact cameras has done more than simply make it possible to instantly review and share your photos. It’s also changed the way cameras are designed. Because the sensors used in today’s compact cameras are much smaller than a frame of film, lenses can also be much smaller and cover longer zoom ranges than ever were possible with film.
Do your pictures tend to elicit more "ho-hums" than "a-has"? One reason may have to do with the quality of light. In short, fine light adds visual impact. When planning workshops and our own personal outings, I think about the light just as much as I do about the subject.
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