Bal­ance the light

Learn how to use grads to con­trol con­trast and cap­ture a full range of tones

Digital Photograper - - Techniques -

1 FIRST AT­TEMPT

This is how the scene ap­pears when shot un­fil­tered. The cam­era can­not cap­ture the full range of tones and the sky is over­ex­posed, with no de­tail in the high­lights.

2 CHECK HISTOGRAM

The dis­tri­bu­tion of tones are spilling over the right edge of the histogram. how far they are pushed over can in­di­cate how much over­ex­po­sure is present.

3 SE­LECT A FIL­TER

ex­am­ine the scene to de­cide which type of grad will suit it best (see above tip). in this case, with a flat hori­zon and strong sun­set, i se­lected a re­verse grad.

4 FIT THE FIL­TER

Put the fil­ter in the holder and po­si­tion it so that it blends in with the hori­zon. Gen­tly mov­ing the fil­ter up and down can help you to iden­tify the tran­si­tion line.

5 RESHOOT THE SCENE

shoot the scene again with the fil­ter in place, us­ing the same ex­po­sure set­tings. check the histogram and the im­age to make sure the grad is po­si­tioned ac­cu­rately.

6 POST-PRO­CESS­ING

in most cases it won’t be nec­es­sary, but if there is any ev­i­dence of fil­ter use – e.g. a dark band on the hori­zon – this can be cor­rected with se­lec­tive ad­just­ment tools.

FIN­ISHED IM­AGE THE FI­NAL, PRO­CESSED IM­AGE SHOWS DE­TAIL THROUGH­OUT THE TONAL RANGE, FROM THE DEEP SHAD­OWS TO THEBRIGHT HIGH­LIGHTS IN THE SKY

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