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Subject: Re: Opinions of my photo please

b.ingraham@shaw.ca wrote:
> People keep saying that the photo is underexposed, or isn't. Yes it is,
> no it isn't, yes it is. Here's a different take on the discussion:
> In the real world, it's difficult or even impossible to take a
> perfectly exposed photo. If highlights are properly exposed, shadows
> will be underexposed, and vice versa. If mid-tones are properly
> exposed, highlights will be over exposed and shadows underexposed. If a
> scene contains specular reflections or other intense sources of light,
> those parts of the image will be overexposed to the point of being
> blocked and quite free of detail. A properly used incident light meter
> provides the best opportunity of exposing a photograph for the average
> range of light, which will be the correct exposure if the entire scene
> were photo gray.
> It seems to me that Jaqian's photo is pretty much properly exposed *for
> the sky,* which is what he was trying to photograph in the first place.
> So what if the foreground, which is in shadow, is underexposed?

If you mean the blue sky, ok, but not the clouds. Load the
image in a photo viewer and look at the red channel. Many cloud
pixels are saturated. It is easier to see this if you select
some of the red clouds and look at the histogram for that selected

The usual major subject of a sunrise or sunset picture are the
clouds. One generally shouldn't blow the highlights of the main
subject. By that criterion, the image is overexposed.
If the clouds were not a main subject, but the buildings, then
one could argue the image is underexposed. Increased exposure
would lose color and detail in the clouds.

Cropping is another issue beyond getting the correct exposure in
the first place.

Roger Clark
Photos at: http://www.clarkvision.com
> It
> really doesn't matter! Of greater concern is the cropping, or lack of
> it. How about a portrait orientatation 2/3 of the image concentrating
> on four cranes and the beautiful clouds...and birds! A higher ISO might
> have allowed a faster shutter speed, which might have captured the
> birds more clearly, but a bit of sharpening served well. The bridge
> could mostly go; I find the lights on it, and most of the other lights,
> distracting. The bulk of the dark building at the right tries to
> upstage the sunrise, but succeeds only in degrading the image.
> Here's my take on Jaqian's image:
> http://www.ingraham.ca/bobsinterpretationweb.jpg.
> Bob


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