Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Project 40 - using a meter

After Christmas I was free to play cameras, which I've been doing very enthusiastically, working my way through some of the projects in the natural light section.

This project involved changing the exposure from that recommended by the camera's meter to create a particular effect.

Lamp and the Houses of Parliament
A day trip to London was very productive and I took the opportunity to experiment with bracketing exposures. After I'd located the appropriate button I snapped happily away and ended up with literally hundreds of images to sift through.

This image's exposure was increased by 0.7 of a stop to really focus attention on the brightness of the old-fashioned lamp on the bridge.
Millennium bridge in the low sunlight
I wanted to emphasise the richness of the sunlight reflected on the buildings behind the bridge, and took the exposure down by -0.7 of a stop to ensure the bridge was in silhouette and the golden colours really shone.
Geometric building
This amazing building next to the Thames provided some fantastic opportunities for focusing on shapes and reflections. To bring out the contrasts I took the exposure down by -0.7 of a stop to ensure the black was dark. Admittedly this has been slightly Photoshopped to increase the contrast even further.

Well, we've seen plenty of snow this year and increasing the exposure is absolutely essential unless you want everything to look as if it's been covered in a grey blanket (as per my pictures taken in February 2009 - I was so disappointed!). This bridge and railway track has the exposure increased by two stops to ensure the snow remained as white as in real life.

Spiral staircase (from below)
The De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill also provided a wealth of inspiration and opportunity for a budding "shapes" photographer like me. I really wanted this to show the shades of white and increased the exposure by one stop to create this effect.

De La Warr Pavilion (outside)
Outside is as inspirational as in, and here after the rain I really wanted to emphasise the clear reflections and the white wall that made them, so upped the exposure by just 0.3 of a stop to show the different shades of white.

Spiral staircase (from the side)
I love this picture but I have to say that's mostly because, for my images, it's been comparatively well received on Flickr - which is very pleasing! To help show the shape of the staircase and increase the available light, I increased the exposure by 0.3 of a stop - not to make the whole thing lighter but to maximise the natural light available.
At my first photographic course - a very brief "intro to the camera" session at the local college - there was talk about varying the exposure to emphasise the glittery nature of shiny objects. I couldn't remember whether you were supposed to increase or decrease, and so tried bracketing again - this image is at -1 stop and was the most successful of the five I took, showing the shininess, de-emphasising the surround but without making the gold too dark.
Tree silhouette
This lonely windswept tree near Beachy Head was made darker against the cliff behind it by decreasing the exposure by -0.7 of a stop, really ensuring that it was silhouetted against the sky.