Sometimes its just the light

IT IS OFTEN SAID THAT PHOTOGRAPHY IS LITTLE MORE THAN PAINTING WITH LIGHT.

Learning to see the quality of light takes practice. At first, we only see content and composition through our viewfinder. With experience, we learn that any subject is capable of being transformed by the effect of light. The most challenging lighting conditions will always be the ones offering the greatest potential for great photography.

The souks in Marrakech are a case in point. The lighting can be harsh, inconsistent and is often too weak to enable shooting at default ISO levels. Heavy colour casting from the ochre walls can also be problematic. To avoid burned out highlights, always check the high-key areas first. Overexposure is the death knell of a potentially great shot. No amount of digital wizardry can rescue images where high dynamic ranges have not been accounted for. The best solution when setting off into conditions of high contrast is to set exposure compensation at between -2/3 to -1 of-a-stop. Raw files are great at coping with shadow underexposure. Not so with overexposure.

The scene here of a food vendor’s wares offered some great light provided by the sparsely built souk roof. It took several camera positions and numerous exposures to take account of the lighting. However, the final effect created a more dramatic story than would have resulted if the light had been more straightforward.

David

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