Sunday, April 3, 2011

Getting the Most from Your iPhone (Part 4) - Turning Bad Light Into Interesting Light

Interesting Light, originally uploaded by Cocoabiscuit.

At the most basic level, photography is about capturing light. Imagine that light is being painted onto objects and that you are capturing a moment in time-- the first light of sunrise onto the side of a building, light streaming through a window onto a floor, or a scene fully illuminated by the midday sun. Sometimes, it seems that the light is "bad", on a day where it's cloudy, rainy, etc. In this photo that I took when traveling to DC to photograph cherry blossoms in what I hoped to be scintillating spring sunshine, I instead found myself dodging raindrops and making the most of it with occasional sunbreaks. This photo, Interesting Light, of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, shows how to maximize less than ideal light for interesting effects.
First: I used the ProHDR app (described in a previous posting) to make the most of the available light and even out the bright areas and the shadows.
Second: I maximized the use of reflection. By including the reflection in the Tidal Basin to essentially "double" the light. By having the bright patches of sky appear twice, it lightens the photo. Reflections in general add interest to photos.
Third: Include elements with high contrast, especially white objects, e.g. in this the dome of the monument and the cherry blossoms on the trees. These also serve to multiply light by having additional elements reflect light back to your eye.

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