forest

All posts tagged forest

… before we go to the nice and warm Philippines…

I’ll make this an exposure 101. If you’re a pro-photographer you already know this (or at least, you should! 😉 ), but I’ve been asked about this a couple of times and I decided to do a simple, little write up about it, without getting into too technical language.

Why is it important to take (manual) control of your camera?
A lot of people, especially those who have just bought a camera or have just gotten into photography, use the automatic settings in the camera. In most of the average cases that would be just fine, but since a camera is just a thing, with no obvious intelligence, when things get out of average, the picture goes south as well.

My camera is set (in 95% of the cases) to full manual with spot metering. I prefer spot metering above all other settings, because I get to pinpoint a location in my frame for which I decide what exposure is the best one, based on the initial suggestion of the light meter in the camera.
The other metering methods are also working fine, but don’t just blindly trust the values the light meter in your camera shows you.
What you need to know about the camera’s light meter, is that it’s “calibrated” to assume that everything in your frame has an average hue. The light meter doesn’t see or read colors, it just sees light or dark. 18% grey may sound familiar to some of you, maybe not to others. But 18% grey is what the light meter thinks the average hue in your image is (or rather, should become). Green grass, for example, is about 18% grey, on a normal sunny day. So if you were to take an image of a sports field with mostly grass and you’d have your camera do everything automatically, you’d have a great picture with a perfect exposure. Of course there are plenty of other things that are -about- 18% grey. But what if you’re shooting somewhere where everything, or the bigger part of your frame, is NOT 18% grey?
If that were the case, and you have your camera set to automatic (or to manual, and you’d dial the exposure, ISO and/or aperture so that the bar sits nicely on the 0 in the middle), your camera will make everything 18% grey.

The perfect examples are in the two extreme ends of the light spectrum.
Imagine a winter landscape, with mainly… yep: snow. Snow is one of the purest, whitest substances on this planet (provided it’s not territorially marked by some inhabitant of this planet 😉 ).
So what would happen in the camera when I’d point it at my winter landscape? The meter sees the landscape and ‘thinks’: “Wow! That’s easy! A big frame full of 18% grey.” And so, thinking the purest white snow is 18% grey, the camera underexposes your image with about 2 stops.

D800, ISO100, 1/250 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 70-200mm

D800, ISO100, 1/250 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 70-200mm

D800, ISO100, 1/500 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 70-200mm

D800, ISO100, 1/60 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 70-200mm

D800, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/2.8, Nikkor 50mm

D800, ISO100, 1/500 sec @ f/2.8, Nikkor 50mm

D800, ISO100, 1/500 sec @ f/2.8, Nikkor 50mm

D800, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/2.8, Nikkor 50mm

In order to correct this, and to get the right exposure for the snow, you’d have to manually adjust the exposure time either by dialing up it with up to two stops, or use the exposure compensation.

The same thing goes for the other extreme of the scale. When what you see in your viewfinder (or your Liveview screen) is primarily black/dark, the light meter will assume that this is 18% grey and will adjust –overexpose in this case- the exposure to make the blacks look like 18% grey. You will have to underexpose the image to correct for the camera’s false assumptions.

D800, ISO100, 1/250 sec @ f/5.6, Nikkor 14-24mm

D800, ISO100, 1/250 sec @ f/5.6, Nikkor 14-24mm

D800, ISO100, 1/250 sec  @ f/4, Nikkor 14-24mm

D800, ISO100, 1/250 sec @ f/4, Nikkor 14-24mm

D800, ISO100, 1/250 sec @ f/4, Nikkor 50mm

D800, ISO100, 1/250 sec @ f/4, Nikkor 50mm

D800, ISO100, 1/250 sec @ f/5.6, Nikkor 50mm

D800, ISO100, 1/250 sec @ f/5.6, Nikkor 50mm

 

 

 

I’ve got some more bugs coming up for you, but this one I wanted to share first.
We were up in the wilderness again, and the weather forecast was dreadful. As usual one should never trust the weather forecast. Those forecasters couldn’t even predict the entrance of an elephant if they were riding in on it…
It turned out to be probably one of the best weekends of this thing we call summer in this country. Absolutely gorgeous!

Kuhmoinen panorama

D800, ISO100, 1/250 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50mm.
Panorama stitched together in Photoshop from 7 pictures

There was a reflection, and it was a peaceful place for reflection. Let’s leave it at that.

Forest casting reflection in a small lake

D800, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 70-200mm

I’m thinking a seasons series like the one I did a few years ago would be really nice… 🙂
I’m thinking I just found myself another project…

Seasons

Seasons in Finland

Just like the Finnish Sininen Hetki, the civil twilight, it lasts only for a brief moment. And if you’re at the right place at the right time, you may see some out of this world things…

Sunrise

This is an HDR image put together from 5 different exposures. D700, ISO200, 1/30-1/60-1/125-1/250-1/500 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 50mm

Sunrise through the forest

D700, ISO200, 1/180 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50mm

For the times you drive around and happen to DO have your camera along for a change, you might actually get rewarded with a scene worth photographing. The other day I was driving around through the country side just before a massive pour-down started. Just enough time to get the picture without getting wet.

Storm

D700, ISO200, 1/180 sec @ f/6.7, Nikkor 50mm

Maybe you’ve figured it out… I’ve got something with moss…
I wanna sleep on it…

D200, ISO100, 1/90 sec @ f/4, Nikkor 70-200mm, 1,4x teleconverter

D200, ISO100, 1/90 sec @ f/4, Nikkor 70-200mm, 1,4x teleconverter

And we came across this rock. My better half pointed out after seeing it on the screen that the rock with the grooves in it looks like a forest. And she’s right! A forest in a forest in a forest in a….

D200, ISO100, 1,5 sec @ f/19, Tamron 28-75mm

D200, ISO100, 1,5 sec @ f/19, Tamron 28-75mm