tattoo.JPG (46960 bytes)



















This picture was taken in mixed sun light and shade. Because the important subject matter was in shade, exposure was made for shade. No supplementary lighting was used. It is a passable shot, but most viewers would agree that the face is too dark. If any attempt is made to lighten it further, the highlights will "burn out" badly. It is an obvious fact that there simply is too much lighting contrast in this scene. Remember that the eye adapts well to this situation; the film does not. The solution is to reduce contrast to the range which the film can handle, specifically, not more than 3:1 (1.5 stops). A good rule of thumb in color photography is to use as even light as possible and let the colors provide the needed contrast. If by chance your interest is in black and white photography, you will be pleased to know that higher lighting contrast is tolerable. In fact, it is through subject contrast (the product of lighting contrast and subject reflectance) that anything at all recognizable is recorded on black and white emulsions.  


What an improvement contrast reduction has provided! On-camera flash fill is virtually the only difference between this exposure and the one above. Note that the background is less blurry than the frame above. this is because a smaller lens opening (aperture) has been used due to the fact that the fixed, slower,  flash sync speed dictated the aperture. Think of an adjustable camera as analogous to a automobile standard transmission. It is less convenient than an automatic, but gives you better control, especially when the going gets tough. Likewise, an adjustable camera gives you the capability to set aperture for depth-of-field control (which allows sharp or blurry background) and set shutter speed for control of moving subject blur. It is not difficult to learn how to use a conventional camera.


A very satisfying shot. Vanessa at her best. Only two shots were taken in this pose and I must say I got lucky. Luck does play a role even in the best planned shoot. So, make plenty of exposures and try a number of poses as by doing so, you increase the luck factor. Here we have identified the location for the picture taking session and made a very nice picture where few would think possible. Perhaps its the side view that entices one to see beauty in this scene. Or the smile. Or both. She appears to have a purpose being here and is definitely a happy young lady. I must admit that success of this picture is 99% attributed to composition, with thanks to Vanessa, and 1% to technique, since this is a straight, no-nonsense, shot. As small an aperture as practical was used to enhance depth-of-field. Only available light was used. Artificial light  supplementation would have ruined this favorite picture of mine.