Exposure and lighting a challenge in relation to 'a day in the life of a grass snake'

Exposure and lighting is one of the three challenges that I have taken upon myself to improve in my photography techniques, so that my photographs are of a professional standard. Throughout this challenge, I have discovered errors with my technical and practical aspects in regards to wildlife photography, which is the specialised photography area I have chosen.

For my project DMD604 and DMD605, I need to be able to create photographs of a professional standard and in order to do this I need to be able to practise different techniques and discover the errors in my photography in order to do so. I have taken photographs of a waterfall and flowers, which you will see where I have progressed through practise in capturing the desired image or skill that I wish to of achieved.

Different exposures and lighting is tested on this waterfall going into a river in Linby, Nottingham.

As you can see from the photographs above, the development of both exposure, lighting and the shutter speed is evident. When taking the photographs, my intention was to capture the water as a smooth mist or spray, rather than what it originally looks like such as on the first photograph in the grid. You can see where I had tried to figure out what techniques I needed to do in order to get to the final shot, and you can see this develop through the grid of photographs above. The first shot is how the waterfall originally looks and then the waterfall progresses through different stages of lighting, where the ISO was changed and the exposure accordingly so until the desired shot. This resulted in some dark images and then over-exposed images and it was about trying to find the right exposure and ISO settings, whilst trying to take the image at the correct shutter speed to create the 'smooth' mist. With the different exposures, it is possible to create a HDR (High-dynamic range) image as I could use the darker exposure, normal exposure and bright exposure, however, the images would not be the same as the shutter speed was changed, so if I were to consider doing the HDR technique for this style, I would need to ensure that the shutter speed was the desired end result.

The final image which I was happier with, was taken at 28mm at 1/4 sec, f/18 with an ISO of 100. Although, I had obtained the mist that I was after with the water, the exposure and lighting of the image was not so great as it was shot with an ISO of 100. In future, the ISO would need to be changed to according to the lighting conditions, as this was a windy and not so bright day, it would be beneficial for me as a photographer, to go at a time and a day when it was appropriate weather. The time of day is important in regards to lighting as professional photographers choose the time of day to shoot certain photographs, capturing this photograph at perhaps say, early morning, mid afternoon/sunset, would create a better image in terms of lighting. However, the lighting may of failed the photograph, but the shutter speed and f/stop of f/18, seems to work well for it, without it being overexposed.

Final shot of the waterfall shot at ISO 100, F/18, 28mm, 1/4 sec.

From practising this shot, I am able to understand f/stops, shutter speed, timers and ISO a lot better when trying to capture a subject such as a waterfall, as this was my first time undertaking this task. I know that getting the correct lighting is as important as the timer, exposures, ISO, shutter speed and f/stops, as well as using the correct equipment such as a tripod for these long exposed shots, which I used for these photographs or a filter to put on the lens for the shutter speed, which I need to invest in and practise with. The issues I have found with this, was the angles for this shot was actually difficult to obtain and a wide angle lens may include more of the scenery in the shot and may be a better photograph overall or possibly a lens that allowed a wider aperture to allow more light to the camera. As well as this, the soil was soft so the tripod was going in to the soil, which I have discovered that this may be a problem for my future wildlife photography projects in DMD604 and DMD605. Because of the different exposures, I have found that it would be good to use HDR for shots like this as it would brighten the colours in the image. The images were not sharp either which could of been a result of the weather, which as a photographer, I need to check for the weather ahead of schedule, so that I am not having the weather against me when trying to take professional images. If this is the case, then having the correct equipment such as a tripod or rain proof equipment is essential. Although, I am happy with the end result of capturing the mist, there are still these important improvements which need to be addressed and practised in this particular area with improvements of lighting, exposure, understanding of shutter speed and using equipment suited to this area such as a filter which will produce a higher quality and professional image.

Created By
Nikki White
Appreciate

Credits:

Nikki White Photography

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