Is Less More?

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by K9Kirk, Jan 23, 2020.

  1. K9Kirk

    K9Kirk Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I fully understand that there's more detail with more light but are all pictured judged by the detail alone or can a picture be considered nice simply because it looks natural without a lot of detail or that it invokes a mood. I take a lot of pics with the subject in the shade and sometimes I feel compelled to increase the exposure in post editing to increase the detail but when I do I sometimes feel the pic then doesn't look natural because at the time the picture was taken the animal was not lit up as though it was in good enough light to show detail to the naked eye, it increases the color noise and blows out the background light too much and most of all, it changes the mood of the picture.

    How do others feel about light and detail?


     
  2. weepete

    weepete TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    No, I don't judge things by detail alone or how evenly lit a scene is. Sometimes dramatic lighting can be used to great effect in photography using the connotations of light and dark as part of a visual language.

    Compositionally we tend towards having the focal point as the brightest thing in the scene, as your eye is naturally drawn there. The difficulty with shooting with your main subject in shade against bright backdrops is that your eye is unconciously drawn away from your subject and you'd need a very strong composition to keep a balanced image.

    That being said, getting good light is part of the quest of being a photographer and if there's no reson for the subject to be underexposed I'm much more likley to treat that more harsly.
     
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  3. K9Kirk

    K9Kirk Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Well said and thanks a bunch!
     
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  4. adamhiram

    adamhiram No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think deciding how much shadow (and highlight) detail to show is one of the biggest decisions when processing an image with a wide dynamic range. It's always tempting to try to bring back as much shadow as possible, which can easily end up looking overly processed and unnatural. On the other hand, sometimes allowing shadow detail to go dark and be hidden can really enhance the picture, especially when there's no need to draw the viewer's attention to those details. The latter scenario is always a challenge for me, especially when I know the detail is there and it would be really easy to pull up the shadows. For any planned shoot, I often have a speedlight in my camera bag for fill so I don't need to choose between shadow or highlight details, and have more flexibility in post if I want to try something different without reshooting.
     
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  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Every picture is different. Some scenes have a lot of shadow and other scenes are bright and Airy. It really depends. A cave photo is probably going to have a lot more Shadow than a beach scene.
     
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  6. compur

    compur Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Whatever achieves the desired result in the viewer.
     
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  7. PJM

    PJM No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I agree with what's already been posted. No one rule applies. You have to decide what it is that you want your image to say and process accordingly. It's always a challenge, at least for me, getting the balance the way I like it.
     
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  8. K9Kirk

    K9Kirk Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Thanks to all for the responses, you guys are awesome! I agree with everyone on everything that was said and I'll try to trust my instincts a little more now and not take any critique too seriously since it's mostly just a matter of personal opinion vs. professional opinion.
     
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  9. cgw

    cgw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Communicating or fitting in? What matters to you?
     
  10. K9Kirk

    K9Kirk Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I just want to take good pictures and do good editing and the way I see it, if I do both I will fit in better among people that know photography and in turn the communication will likely improve because when you take mediocre pictures no one comments much, if at all and therefore, little or no communication.
     

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