Photo Corners

A   S C R A P B O O K   O F   S O L U T I O N S   F O R   T H E   P H O T O G R A P H E R

Enhancing the enjoyment of taking pictures with news that matters, features that entertain and images that delight. Published frequently.

Friday Slide Show: In Bunches Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

29 July 2022

Despite the summer fog, things are growing in the garden. In bunches. We took a walk around to inspect the troops the other day and found them standing at attention.

We weren't alone. We brought along the Nikon D300 with the 18-200mm Nikkor. Some of these subjects were more reclusive than the others but they all seemed to profit from a long lens to fill the frame.

The diffused light from the fog-bound sky created a color palette we really liked, especially at ISO 200, which gave us the most dynamic range our sensor could afford.

Even so, one shot (the first), gave us a lot of trouble.

We liked everything about it except the way the highlights were rendered. They were blown out. Here's the camera JPEG:

Camera JPEG. We started with blown highlights.

You would think we shot this with a smartphone!

We're almost careless with our exposures in these days of pleasurable post processing. We have to keep reminding ourselves to be conscious of what aperture we're using in Aperture Priority mode. And if our ISO is on automatic or set to 200. And if it is fixed, to keep an eye on subject movement at slow shutter speeds.

So we weren't too concerned when this image presented itself on the camera's LCD. We knew there was nothing final about it.

But our usual tweaking with the Highlight slider in Lightroom's version of Camera Raw didn't get us where we wanted to go. Even when we bumped up the Texture we didn't feel we'd restored enough information to the highlights.

What to do, what to do.

Well, we resorted to Lightroom's new masking tool to create a Luminance mask that affected only the highlights. And, having isolated the problem, we attacked with Exposure, Highlight and Saturation adjustments until we got the flower that attracted us in the first place.

Luminance Mask. We were able to select just the blown highlights to work on without affecting the rest of the image.

None of the other images required that sort of intervention, as the surgeons put it.

We liked the groups of apples and lemons and mushrooms. And for the first time we shot the wild Mexican bush sage that popped up in a dark corner of the yard this year. Fortunately we were shooting at f11 so we got the whole arc of the bloom in focus.

We had been reminded to mind our aperture.

BackBack to Photo Corners