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December 08, 2012

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One of your most valuable posts. Thanks, Gordo.

Nice photos as always. Thank you for the reminder to watch the shadows and darken when needed.

I definitely agree with you, Gordon.
The way I try to compose my photographs is always based on seeing shadows as if they were solid shapes.
Shadow detail can give interesting or even surprising results under a technical point of view sometimes, but a correct exposure does not depend mainly on that.
IMHO there is a technical issue camera manufacturers are overlooking though: highlight detail. Inaccurate histograms and overboosted fake-dynamic-range in most recent cameras make the expose-to-the-right rule extremely dangerous when shooting high-contrast scenes, which too often end up giving clipped highlits.
Why don't they provide, in their often crappily long menu lists, an option allowing a real highlight-clipping-safe exposure in P, M and S modes? This would be a resourceful relieve, allowing the photographer to concentrate on framing and composing instead of manually helping the so-called semi-automatic exposure system.
And would create those creamy deep dark shadows that mark the difference between a photocopy and an image.

I agree that this is a valuable post for the practicing photographer. I find myself facing these choices about letting the shadows fall or not, and I believe I follow your same approach. Play with the sliders and see where highlights distract or not, and find the balance you want. My film experience has me looking for those details in the shadows, but if they aren't worth seeing, it's okay. However, I don't want a big black muddy void, either. It all just depends on the image.

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