Archive for Sunday, August 22, 2004

Underexpose, add contrast to emphasize clouds in photos

August 22, 2004

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Photographer: Thad Allender

Camera: Nikon D1X

Lawrence High School'S Aaron Kie, left, and Free State High's
Phillip Weinmaster pose for the cover of the Journal-World's annual
football special section. A variation of the photograph will run
Sept. 2 in the Journal-World.

Lawrence High School'S Aaron Kie, left, and Free State High's Phillip Weinmaster pose for the cover of the Journal-World's annual football special section. A variation of the photograph will run Sept. 2 in the Journal-World.

Lens: 16mm fisheye

Shutter: 1/250

Aperture: f16

ISO: 160

If you want to emphasize clouds in a photograph, it's important to remember two things.

First, underexpose just a tad to help saturate the sky. Second, add a little contrast while taking the photograph. This can be accomplished in many ways, but I'll explain the methods I use while shooting with my digital camera, as well as when shooting with 35mm black-and-white film.

On a digital camera, I change the image setting from the default setting of "normal" to "contrast." When shooting with a film camera using black-and-white film, try using a red or orange filter.

For the photo at right, I calculated my exposure by pointing my camera lens to the sky and slightly underexposing. I then placed two lights about 6 feet on either side of the camera to add light to the two football players, while keeping my camera settings for the clouds.

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