Not an on the dy­namic range

NPhoto - - Special Feature -

Some­times the dy­namic range of the scene – the dif­fer­ence in bright­ness be­tween the dark­est and light­est points – may be too wide for the cam­era sen­sor to cope with in a sin­gle ex­po­sure (see page 56 for more on this). The key to iden­ti­fy­ing this is to check the his­togram: if it extends be­yond both the left and right-hand ends of the graph, then ex­po­sure com­pen­sa­tion won’t make any dif­fer­ence. This is typ­i­cally the sort of sit­u­a­tion you’d en­counter when shoot­ing a back­lit por­trait, or a land­scape at dawn or dusk.

There are a va­ri­ety of ways you can re­duce the dy­namic range of the scene so that it fits within the dy­namic range of the cam­era’s sen­sor. Th­ese in­clude us­ing flash to brighten up a back­lit por­trait, or a at­tach­ing a grad­u­ated Neu­tral Den­sity fil­ter (ND grad) to darken a bright sky in a land­scape shot, bring­ing its ex­po­sure level closer to that of the land. With sta­tion­ary sub­jects you could also try tak­ing two or more pic­tures at dif­fer­ent ex­po­sures and then blend­ing the best bits of each in soft­ware.

In this sit­u­a­tion, you could ei­ther ex­pose for the sky or ex­pose for the build­ings (top). One so­lu­tion is to shoot two images and blend the well-ex­posed ar­eas of each im­age in Pho­to­shop later (bot­tom)

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