Monday, March 10, 2008

Are You Experiencing Your Camera?

Thought I'd present a little comparison between relying on your camera's default, auto everything modes and taking some control yourself over the final image.

Today's cameras, no doubt, are sophisticated and advanced enough to almost always provide you with a good image. No matter what the lighting situation. Whether it be a bright sunny day at the beach or a candle lit dining room at home. The metering systems and the default settings in most dSLRs today are up to the task.

But there is so much more these cameras can do when you dig down deep inside the menus and start personalizing some of those settings!

Now...we've already blown the modeling budget for the year, so for today's comparison we had to rely on some flunky on the Kircher's Conceit staff.

First up...Nikon D200 at default settings. Auto white balance. Pop-up flash. Flunky.

This is a fine picture. Well exposed. The camera did a good job of metering, handling three different light sources (daylight, incandescent light, and flash.) But for my taste, I'd prefer a little less flash, and a little more saturation and contrast.

So...same camera and lighting situation but this time I dialed down the flash 3/4 of a stop, added a 1/2 CTO gel to it, pumped up the saturation--just a bit, don't want to look cartoonish--and added some contrast. And yes, all this can be done in the camera! (Who needs Photoshop?)

Anyway, here's the second shot.

I like the skin tone in this one more. I also like that it's hard to tell that a flash was even used. Just popped a little bit in there for the shadows.

Of course, people's tastes are different. You might be perfectly happy with what you are working with right now. You might like something altogether different. But know your camera's limits, its capabilities.

Much fun to be had! Cheers.


  1. you're right - 2nd one's better. now, for that flunky...

  2. Second one is better. The Washington Post could use the pictures in their magazine 'Second Glance' section.

  3. Thanks guys!

    Rox, nice seeing you today. I'm sure by now John told you what an idiot I am!

    Teresa, how's Delaware? Seen any Horseshoe crabs yet?

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  5. Personally I think such a handsome subject makes both images simply stunning!!!

    However, I must admit, you look less dead in the second image.