First You See What It Is; Then What It Could Be

Seeing interesting light requires imagination as well as awareness. When I like something about the light, I have to imagine how my camera sensor will see and record that light. I also imagine how I might alter the camera’s perception, and what I might do with the scene in my digital darkroom. Photography is an act of creation – always. Impressionist painters bemoaned the rising popularity of photography because they thought of photographs as lies pretending to be truth. Unlike an impressionist painting, photography stops time, but time itself never stops. I agree with the impressionists. My photographs are lies, and I find that very liberating. I see what is, and attempt to discover what could be.

If it were up to the camera, the light colored hat would have been overexposed.

By spot-metering on the hat, I intentionally underexposed the image to approximate the mood I felt when I saw the jacket, hat and chair in the late afternoon light.

In Aperture, I adjusted the cropping, white balance, contrast and sharpening to create an image that pleased me. Oddly, this is closer to what I actually saw in person, but none of these images is a precise imitation of the moment, if only because moments flee, but the image remains.

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Filed under Camera Settings, Composition, Lighting

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