Well I missed last Friday, real life just took over I’m afraid. However, the previous week on Foto Friday post I mentioned bracketing. This is something which can be done for different reasons and on both digital and film. So what is it?
Well I first started using this technique when I still used film. Basically you take several shots of the same scene with different exposure settings. The idea is only to change the exposure, usually by changing the shutter speed, not any of the other settings.
The result is a series of images that are identical except for how bright they are. In the grand old days of film this was often done to increase the likelihood of one of the exposures being what you want. You didn’t really have a chance to check your settings until your film was processed. In difficult lighting conditions that could be a problem.
Now in these modern days of DSLR’s, which have view screens on the back, that’s not such an important consideration. However, (and I love this bit), it allows you to extend the type of image which you can create. Oh, and you can usually set your camera up to do bracketing automatically. On mine I need to go into the ‘menu’ on the back and then select bracketing, then I say how much difference I want between the shots.
Take the images above. I shot these at The Lost Gardens of Heligan this past summer. I had briefly left my mam in her wheelchair, happily reading her kindle, and wandeedr into a couple of buildings on my own. This one was the old Head Gardeners Office and, like so many places at Heligan, it has a feeling of somewhere awaiting the return of it’s owner/occupant. I wanted to try and capture that feeling somehow, to convey something of the sense I had when walking into that room.
With the wonders of digital imaging on computers you can now combine these bracketed images into one image. You can take elements of one image and combine them with another image capture of the same scene to create the photograph you saw in your minds eye. The camera doesn’t, and can’t, record the information in the same way the human eye does. You can use software like Photoshop to try and get back to the image you saw. This is a branch of photography now known as HDR (which stands for High Dynamic Range).
Of course this opens up a whole can of worms about image manipulation and whether it’s right or wrong. Everyone seems to have an opinion on this and ‘photoshopping’ has become slang for misrepresenting or misleading with images. It’s a wide debate and one I’m sure you can all make your own minds up about. My own personal view is that provided that the image is honest, meaning it has no intent to mislead or even imply falsity, then it’s ok.
Take this image from Rievaulx Abbey. It’s is a HDR image created in Photoshop using 3 source files (i.e. 3 image captures). Apart from being converted into black and white, it looks much like the stunning view I had when walking round. I am not trying to hide it is a composite image, (no way can the camera record the bright sky and detail in the shadows all in one image), and I’m not trying to mislead with it. So in my opinion this image is ok.
However, if I was to Photoshop an image of a model to make her look thinner, remove skin blemishes, or change her appearance in an attempt to get you to spend your hard earned cash on a product, I’d put that firmly in the ‘shouldn’t be done’ category. In fact that would be firmly in the making my blood boil category… but don’t get me started!
Anyway what are your thoughts on the subject? Also I have a few more ideas for Foto Friday but is there anything in particular you’d like me to waffle on about?