SLR Snapshots to Great Shots Week: Last Day - Avoiding Flats

This week's blog was devoted to SLR tips - in honor of the Wiley DVD (available this fall) that I was shooting on the new Canon Rebel T1i . All the photos were taken with that camera. It's a also to celebrate my new SLR classes on (available now).

Today is the last day of T1i posts... for a while, at least.

The title of today's post, Avoiding Flats, refers to avoiding flat pictures - in other words, pictures that don't show the full brightness range of a scene . . . pictures that lack contrast.

Pictured here is our entire DVD crew: David Leveen (creative director), Jen Maihack ("student") and yours truly. The top row of pictures was shot with the camera set to the Monochrome Picture Style. The pictures are okay - but they were taken in the shade and lack contrast, as indicated by the histogram (spaces at the left and right of the "mountain range").

By simply moving the shadow and highlight triangles inside the "mountain range," the contrast was improved. See the bottom row of pictures. Yes, it's a subtle change, but enough to make a difference - in my books anyway. Adjusting Curves (making an "S") can also improve a photo's "looks."

So when you do a get a flat photo, fix it in the digital darkroom.

And, please check your histogram on your camera's LCD monitor after you take a shot. It's the best way to determine a whether or not you have a good exposure.

Happy 4th,