TAOP: Part 4 – Light: The Intensity of Light – Project Introduction

The first project exercise of part four of my course – “Light” is about the intensity of light.  This post records some highlights from the course text.

  • Light varies throughout the day and is affected by a variety of conditions (weather, shade etc.).  At 40 degrees the sun is about as bright as it will ever be during the day.  Eyes can adjust to different light conditions quickly but a camera sensor can’t.
  • Adjustments can be made to ISO, aperture and shutter speed to handle different light levels.
  • The cameras histogram can be used to review exposure information.  I’ve posted about this previously when talking about exposure problems.

Measuring brightness

  • Sensors and film can’t cope with the same “dynamic range” the eyes can, so often a good exposure is a compromise that captures as much as possible.
  • Ideally the brightest parts of an image should show a little details and not be washed out.  The darkest parts should not be black and featureless.
  • Three most common metering patterns in a  camera are “average centre weighted”, “smart predictive” and “spot”.
  • The first two weight readings based on how most photographers compose and take images.  “average centre weighted” will ignore bright strips of the top of the frame as it’s likely to be the sky.  “Smart predictive” is more sophisticated and divides the frame then computes the kind of scene and lighting – referring to other similar known types of scene, resulting in extra exposure being given to dark objects against a bright background.
  • Spot readings simply give a reading for the small area in the circle or square in the viewfinder.
  • Switch to manual or use exposure compensation settings if the results are not what is expected or desired.

My next post will be for my first exercise in this project.

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