Camera Darkly

tl 5?9er

I King

I From: Essex

I am a 51-year-old amateur whose main interest is in recording the everyday life of my family and friends. This image was taken on the Staffs and Worcestershire canal. The two people in the photo are sitting on the bow of a narrow boat. The image was taken as a JPEG and has had only minimal manipulation in Elements-slight cropping, noise reduction, brightening of dark areas, slight increase in saturation and some sharpening.

MARTIN'S COMMENT

It is immediately apparent when you look at this photo that it is very underexposed for the shadows. As with the forest scene photograph sent in by Rhonda (see facing page), we have a subject scene with an extremely high dynamic range. Worse still, because the photo has been shot at night, such detail as there is in the shadows, is affected by noise and banding. This is due to the fact that the camera meter was probably influenced by the brightly lit centre of the frame. A manual override exposure setting of, say, +1.5 stops might have helped here, but unfortunately there is not a lot I can do here to rescue this picture. All the same, I have had a go at making some improvement

As you can see in the final image, the processed result is not great: it has revealed a lot of noise in the shadows and produced some banding, which is only to be expected. Thinking about ways this could have been shot better, Roger could have shot two exposures: one exposed for the foreground (with the two diners in focus) plus a separate exposure for the background and then merged the two together as a composite.

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