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Thursday, May 11, 2006

Oh, and By the Way...

Just one leetle itty-bitty addendum to the whole issue of digital highlights in B&W. A number of people, in comments and privately, have said to one or the other of us that highlights aren't that difficult to record in digital, because all you have to do is to make two exposures, one for the shadows and one for the highlights, and then merge them in Photoshop using one of the apps designed for that task.

Sorry to point this out, but could there be any better proof that digital highlights are lacking than to admit that an entire second exposure is needed to record them well?

Okay, I'll shut up about this now.

Posted by: MIKE JOHNSTON

4 Comments:

Anonymous Josh Wand said...

Argh. Spoken like a landscape photographer... Try doing that with a street scene!

Paradoxically, there's actually more information in the highlights of a digital picture-- due to the conversion from a linearly-responding sensor to a logarithmic-gamma image: see this article at Luminous Lanscape.

4:57 PM  
Blogger Uwe Steinmueller said...

>Sorry to point this out, but could there be any better proof that digital highlights are lacking than to admit that an entire second exposure is needed to record them well?


At this point I am not sure that the highlights in digital files are the weak link or whether it is the image processing done with these files . I just don't know yet but plan to look more into it. That is why I appreciate this discussion very much.

But multiple exposures should not be claimed for rescue. Why? Ever tried to photograph moving objects or in wind with multiple exposures?

I personally try to avoid highlight clipping like hell and feel this is a good start for better highlights. On the other end I often don't have trouble to accept some sort of clipping in the shadows.

Uwe

5:43 PM  
Blogger tommy said...

I agree, the wind hasn't stopped blowing in Texas for weeks, multiple exposures aren't always feasible even for a landscape. Split-ND's are coming to my kit in the very near future, it feels like the only option at this point.

10:23 AM  
Anonymous Bob G said...

I appreciate all the constructive ideas for furthering our knowledge of digital fine-art B&W; however, just as photographers used different films, developed very specifically, so do we now use digital capture. Each of us have personal styles... all towards one goal: the expressive PRINT. I don't think it is useful to compare film (what film/developer?) to digital capture. Scanned 6x7 B&W allows better prints from negatives that would not print well before (before digital) due to better local contrast characteristics. I find well-exposed digital captures to contain sufficient tonal information (working in RAW) to easily rival my scanned negatives in overall perceived PRINT quality. This is especially true now with the many fine-art papers now available for B&W digital printing.

1:13 PM  

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