Practical software evening

Last night was the first practical evening with software this year.

We started with a basic look at the cropping theory and practice in a short talk from Steven Galvin. It was aimed at helping our newer members recognise the importance of cropping as both a feature of the photograph and as a compositional tool. Steven covered a wide scope and showed a great set of examples. I found food for thought in the final part of the talk. Most crops are square or rectangular. Although suitable for most purposes, there are plenty of other ways to present pictures. Oval, hexagonal, triangle, diamond… one could go on and on. Perhaps it’s worth thinking about something different for a competition. Thank you Steven for an interesting talk.

After the break I did a short talk reminding people of the content of last weeks excellent talk on Lightroom and exposure. Aside from looking at some of the basics I pointed out that the exposure we take is part of a chain of changes. These occur from the light entering the camera through to when the picture is printed or rendered on screen.

Our exposure; the way the camera sensor ‘sees’ the light; the RAW file creation and the .jpg file creation all occur in-camera. They all significantly affect the file content. Then the conversion into the processing software and any changes we make in processing are all further ‘change-points’ in the exposure chain. The final output again affects the data by output to .jpg, other software, and printing, rendering on-screen etc.

Hold onto this thought. Photography is not a true representation of reality. It never has been. Photographers have always sought to improve, change, manipulate their images. We should remember that the camera, film (previously), the sensor (today), and other things make changes too. As pointed out in the session – the camera lies… you never find true reality in a photograph!

For the last part of the session everyone tried exposure manipulation. As always happens in these sessions members happily strayed to many other topics and techniques. I kept glancing around to see how things were going. If the way members were absorbed by the activities is any guide, a good time was had by all.

I mentioned the exposure triangle in my talk last night. If anyone wants a copy of the exposure triangle hand out from last weeks pre-session clinic, please mail me and I will send you one.

By Damon Guy
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