How To Fix Overexposure As A Creative Tool, The Complete Guide

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As an creative tool, overexposure is sort of underrated. What I’m close to propose could be a deliberate and well thought out technique for manufacturing pictures that area unit extraordinarily compelling however impossible by different ways. It’s associate amalgam of pre-visualization and Photoshop, and also the results area unit fantastic.

One problem you’ll see with dramatic lighting and proper exposure control is that shadows and tonal merger can be issues. Many dramatic beauty and glamour images are made against dark backgrounds, and for good reason: the drama of the scene demands it. By itself, image 12.1 is a nice photo. The image was made using only two lights with beauty bowls, one as the main light and the other as a hair light (powered 1/3 stop below the main light, to keep its effect minimal). See diagram 12A.

dramatic lighting and proper exposure control

What if we could deliberately move beyond that constraint to create images that transcend the boundary? Well, it is possible to create a great image that has white values of more than 245 (as seen in a histogram), even though conventional wisdom tells us that we will not have detail in the highlights beyond this point. Let me show you how.

We can seriously animate the result of the image by ramping up the sunshine, primarily overexposing elements of it. Now, this is often not a trick you would like to leap into. you actually ought to pay your time wiggling with it and bending it to your own can. solely then can you perceive however you would possibly add this trick to your repertoire.

ISO numbers work the same as shutter speed and aperture numbers. Doubling the speed from 100 to 200 doubles the sensitivity of the sensor, and halving the speed from 100 to 50 cuts the sensitivity of the sensor by half. Similarly, opening the aperture from f/8 to f/5.6 doubles the amount of light striking the sensor while stopping down from f/8 to f/11 will cut the amount of light reaching the sensor in half. The same principle holds true for shutter speeds. The three functions, working together, create an effect called “reciprocity,” which can be used to your advantage.

Rather than re-powering the two strobes for image 12.2, I simply upped the ISO of the camera from 200 (the ISO used in the first shot) to 400—a 1-stop increase in the strength of the light as the sensor would see it. When you look at this image, you’ll see immediately that some of the highlights are blown out to pure white. This is just fine. As it is, it’s a visually interesting and provocative image, simply done. Of course, your client won’t know how easy it was to create it, and you can charge more for the “special” image.

the ISO used in the first shot

Increasing the working ISO

Increasing the working ISO another half stop, to ISO 640, presents images that are unusable, at least as they were shot. It’s not so much that the highlights are too bright but rather that the midtones are so bright as to be objectionable if printed as they are. See image 12.3.

Here’s where Photoshop comes into play. Simply open the image, duplicate the layer, and selectMultiply from the blending modes. Multiply will approximately double the density of any pixel it can wrap itself around. With images that contain blown-out highlights (areas of no detail) Photoshop is unable to add density because there’s nothing there at all. The result is a darker image (where it counts) containing areas with zero detail. It’s a stunning effect that may be regulated by moving the Opacity slider until you get an effect you like (I set the opacity to 25%, reducing the Multiply layer to 75% of its original density). See image 12.4.

Let’s kick the ISO up another half stop, to ISO 800. In my opinion, 2 stops is about as far as most images can be pushed with this technique. (I’d encourage you to try this yourself, of course. You may find a trick I’ve not even thought of to get something even better than what I’m writing about.) I think this is about the limit because too many details, the important details such as the slight shadows that define contour, become so bright that they begin to disappear. Without contouring, the overall image is visually flattened. Also, as you can see, some color gets washed out to the point where it changes its own appearance. See image 12.5.

ISO up another half stop, to ISO 800

For this image, I used the technique just described, this time setting the opacity at 100% to add as much density as possible. You may wish to duplicate the multiply layer yet again for your images, as the extra density of a third layer may help. It’s your call. See image 12.6.

These “adjusted” images make great black & white or toned images, even at +2 stops. In fact, the heightened effect of the conversion only adds to the built-in surrealism of a toned monochrome print.

After conversion to monochrome in Photoshop’s ChannelMixer (Red 40, Blue 30, Green 20) I used one hit each (at the default strength) of red and yellow in Image>Adjusments>Variations to get this beautiful sepia tone. I added an additional multiply layer, setting its opacity to 30%, for a little more contrast. See image 12.7.

In Christopher Grey’s Advanced Lighting Techniques I wrote about using pieces of thin cloth as soft focus filters. This is a beautiful technique that can add intrigue to an ordinary image but can work magic on an image that’s deliberately overexposed.

My demo shot was lit with only one beauty bowl and grid. I’d placed a piece of peach glitter organza, cut to size and placed between a clear UV filter and a retaining ring, and attached it to the lens. I knew that using only one light would allow some of the dark tones and shadows to merge into the black background, but I felt the effect of the fabric would make the image interesting enough that the detail wouldn’t be missed but would actually add to the mystery. This image (image 12.8) was made at 1 stop over the meter reading.

The weave of the fabric acts a bit like a fiber optic in that a thread will reflect and carry light from the thread next to it, with the light diminishing in intensity the farther the thread is from the reflected light. Because the threads are woven at right angles, it can also create a star effect out of specular highlights (the effect is similar to, but not as sharp as that produced by diffraction grating filters). The angle of the star can be varied by rotating the filter, as the effect will follow the weave. I chose the peach fabric because it warmed the image slightly, changing a little of the color. See image 12.9.

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Overexpose your camera exposure settings?

Despite all the sage recommendation to bracket, meter and permit for a few latitude in your camera exposure settings. you’ll be able to and may contemplate deliberate over-exposure of your digital photos underneath sure shooting conditions. Certainly, you have got over a passing familiarity with ways in which to confirm correct camera exposure settings once shooting digital pictures commonly. thus what conditions may precipitate deliberate over-exposure? We’ll contemplate that terribly side here during this article thus you’ll be able to undertake the techniques for yourself.

How to Get Correct Camera Exposure Settings on Digital Cameras

To get correct exposure settings on your digital camera, you can opt to use several accurate methods including the use of the auto exposure mode  Correct camera exposure settings then, are not necessarily a problem for most digital photographers. Over-exposure, however, can be either accidental or deliberate. Either way, results can be distinctively different from those produced via correct camera exposure settings.

  • Using an in camera exposure meter
  • Using typical exposures for certain commonly-encountered conditions
  • Setting your camera manually based on personal knowledge and experience
  • Use of a hand-held light meter or exposure meter
  • Camera settings based on your digital camera operating manual
  • Bracketing of exposure settings

Reducing a Cluttered Background Using Over-Exposure

There area unit things during which deliberate over-exposure camera exposure settings may be helpful in reducing AN overly-distracting or littered background in your digital pictures. the utilization of photograph writing code to extend color saturation, improve distinction or differentiate areas of interest among the digital image photographic composition ought to allay fears of laundry out everything once deliberately over-exposing digital pictures. If your subject is in shade or shadow with sturdy lighting behind. Metering on or deliberately over-exposing the darker subject can throw the background into a white-out or over-exposed state. gap up the camera aperture any|an extra} stop or 2 can intensify this impact even further. There area unit some straightforward ways in which to deliberately over-expose camera exposure settings.

The simplest and most direct of these are:

  • Opening up the camera lens aperture by one, two or more stops
  • Metering or exposing for the darkest area of your subject
  • Using flash or flood lighting in a bright light digital photography scenario
  • Use a slow shutter speed in combination with a wide lens aperture
  • Metering off of your hand, the inside of your coat or off of a nearby dark object

Creating Special Effects Using Over-Exposure Camera Exposure Settings

Have you ever been to Antarctica throughout an important snowstorm? however regarding for an informal stroll on the sun? ME neither. except for making tricks like double or multiple exposures, fog-like eventualities, blizzard, snow, white-out backgrounds or alternative digital image tricks, are often simply accomplished mistreatment over-exposure manufacturing camera exposure settings. Exposing for the darker foreground subject mechanically throws a lighter toned background into associate over-exposed state. Very light, washed-out or deliberately over-exposed backgrounds build adding additional pictures or tricks a snap to make and complete.

Creating Photographic Wallpapers exploitation Over-exposure Camera Exposure Settings

When it’s time to make a number of your tailor-made backgrounds, scenes or wallpapers for an internet site or screensaver, exploitation deliberate over-exposure camera exposure settings as an explicit tool for reducing or eliminating extraneous parts in your digital pictures which may be done whereas doing the first shooting sequences. this could create overlays or further super-imposed graphics or pictures so much easier to provide. exploitation over-exposure as a photography inventive tool, you’ll simply turn out high-impact multi-dimensional digital pictures associate degreed backgrounds as simple as falloff a bibulous moose’s butter-slick backside throughout an earthquake. And you can’t get a lot of easier than that, currently will you?

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