Thursday, March 13, 2014


Last weekend I spoke for the Leica Akademie at a full day workshop held at Fotofrenzy.
The main emphasis was to demonstrate and recognise how the existing light falls on a face and how to use that knowledge to create a well-lit portrait. The portraits below were made without any artificial help at all. No reflectors or flashes. Nothing but positioning the subject to make use of the existing light and pre-visualising the final print. I spoke about histograms and exposing the sensor to maximise the information so that detail can be kept in both highlights and shadows.  Armed with this file we can then print the file as we envisaged... all the necessary information is encapsulated within that range. 

These images are from the afternoon session and have been exposed using purely available light and then the tones were brought down using Photoshop or Lightroom before printing.

Below: These are the out of camera files from which these were made.  They are really not a great deal different from the final print. Certainly nothing that could not be done in a wet darkroom.

The candid portrait below is another example of exposing to keep the maximum amount of information in the file. It is generally referred to as exposing to the right and means that the bulk of the pixels shown in the histogram are slid to the right without clipping the highlights.  This was a candid shot of Stan while he was watching other things. When his portrait is printed down (darkened) as I had envisioned, we still have enough information in the highlights to keep detail. The only real Photoshop work was to remove the shoulder in the background.

You can see by its histogram from Bridge that there is detail held across the entire range from shadows to highlight. This gives a huge advantage instead of trying to restore highlight detail from an overexposed file. 

I think my next workshop for Leica will be in June. I'll let you know when I know.

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