Backlighting remains tricky

Friend and colleague John posted a comment on backlighting, noting that part of a stop can significantly improve exposure. I think there are two observations worth making here:

  1. Automation is stupid. Until we get Do What I Mean brain interface debugged, cameras will make a best guess.
  2. This is what I like about photography: the opportunity to exert control over how the image gets captured.

Although I learned a bit about photography years ago, I still blunder with camera settings. I didn’t mind the shutter speed while snapping pics of dancing. I find I have to literally exercise a special bit of my brain to look at the lighting of a scene. Otherwise I fail to assess backlighting or realize that the shadow will make a huge black slash through the image.

I find that I rely heavily on Photoshop-like software to redeem over- and under-exposed photos. It’s usually good for 1 or 2 stops on a digital camera, though the colors may suffer. Unfortunately there’s no related technology to un-blur a moving subject.

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