Exercise 8

Dynamic Range.            Thedifficulties in executing this assignment lay in everything but the actual shooting. First, there was finding a subject. I thought I had an excellent
possibility with the entrance to my house. Our walls are white providing a good
reflection surface and the open door would be dark; however to get a white wall
with a dark door was impossible, even with the use of a white card. I found the
side of the garage would do. It is an ugly photo – a white wall looking to an
open garage. But it satisfied the requirements. Thank God I have just cleaned
the garage.

The second problem lay with the weather. Although we’ve had the driest, sunniest
spring in eons, the minute I began this exercise the rains came – and came and
came. Eventually I did find a good day. Then had to wait for a good time of
day. It turned out 3:00pm worked pretty well. I stuck my white card on the
outside wall of the garage and shot my whites. Then, I shot inside.

Post production problems lay in finding out exactly what a pixel value sampler is.
There isn’t a tool bar item with that name. I looked in my Nikon manual with no
success, paged through Photoshop Elements 9 for Dummies with no success and finally located the color picker tool in Photoshop Elements 9, the Missing Manual,
which really is a helper.

I found that shooting at f/16, 400s, ISO 100, White Balance daylight gave me a pixel
value of 255 with no highlights. The more important figure was the dark level
which was f/22, l/5s, ISO 100.  When I zoomed in on the dark portions of the photo, the area between noise and actual pixels was cloudy. You could not readily distinguish the two. So now I have the dark end of the dynamic range of my camera.

Highly technical assignments like this aren’t easy, but I am learning a lot about both
my camera and Photoshop. I can now begin to exercise more control over dark


About idaswears

I left the U.S. for Cornwall 4 years ago. Since then I have spent my time writing, walking and studying the English. It's not always easy being a Yank in Cornwall, but it's always fun and rewarding.
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