High Contrast Lighting
a cameras dynamic range is its ability to retain detail in white and black tone. Simultaneously seen dynamic range refers to the difference in stops during the brightest part of seen the darkest areas in a scene, an example being the white and black pieces on a chessboard. Now the importance of knowing your cameras dynamic range and it varies across camera models comes in dealing with high contrast lighting. If seen, dynamic range exceeds camera dynamic range, then in a photograph. Either the highlights will be burned out, where the dark tones will be blocked. And in extreme situations, you may lose detail in both. Now you'll find your cameras dynamic range in the manufacturer's specifications sheet, which you should be able to download from the Internet. Seen dynamic range is constantly changing, varying with the light and the weather, so you have to measure it on. If it's very close to or exceeds camera dynamic range, which means a high contrast scene, you need to know what to do to ...
deal with it, and to give you some guidance, I'm going to play chess. Most of what I've been talking about so far relates to having a single tone within the scene. But of course that's not realistic. The question is, what do you do when you have multiple tones within the scene? And in particular when there's high contrast to answer the question about how do we deal with high contrast in photography? I'm going to use this chess set now. The first thing I've got to do is to work out what is the brightness range of the scene that we're photographing. What's the dynamic range of the scene? And to do that, I'm going to take a spot meter reading of the brightest part of the scene. So, for example, my white knight here and follow that with a spot meter reading of the darkest part of the scene. So the genocide of the King, I'm going to calculate the brightness range of the seen or seen dynamic range. I've got the camera set in spot metering mode. I'm going to position the spot sensor over the brightest part of the scene that's the part of the white knight, is lit by the sunlight and take a meter reading. And that tells me that I've got at Lens after F eight, a shutter speed of eight thousands of a second. Now I'm gonna take a second spot meter reading this time of the darkest part of the scene, which is the shadow side of the Black King cameras still in spot metering mode on the spot sensor over that shadow area. That's telling me that still, at F eight, I have a shutter speed off 15th of a second, so that equates to a dynamic range Racine dynamic range of nine stops, which is more than the cameras ableto handle. So what are we going to do about that when we have a high brightness range? Or in other words, when there's too much contrast for the camera to be able to record detail in both highlight and shadow simultaneously? Then we have some options. First of all, we could, for example, use flash to fill in light in the shadow areas, and that would reduce the scene dynamic range. But of course, flash isn't always feasible. Another option is that we could use graduated filters in order to reduce the brightness of selected areas of the scene. But again, that isn't always on option, particularly in a scene like this. 1/3 option is to wait for more appropriate lighting. And to be honest, that is something I do do a lot, which is wait for the right lighting in order to create the composition and the image that I want. Now, if all that fails, then it comes down to you have to make a decision. And that decision is. Do I retain detail in the highlights, or do I retain detail in the shadow areas? Now, most of the time, in digital photography, it is best to retain detail in the highlights. In other words, the whites have it, and that's checkmate.