Part One : From that moment onwards…
Project 1 : The Instrument
The section is all about the camera being used as an instrument to record.
With your camera set to automatic mode, take 3 or 4 exposures of the same scene. Don’t change anything on the camera and keep the framing the same.
With my camera* set to automatic mode (for the first time) and my tripod at the ready (to avoid any unhelpful hand shake) I proceeded with this exercise on a somewhat rainy and overcast day. I didn’t have a lot of time for this exercise so I opened my front door, stepped out onto the pavement, looked down the street and voila.
I found that the upside of taking these images on a wet day was that I managed to capture some interesting sheen on the pavement where it had been raining. This made me realise that I should go out and take photographs in wet weather more often as the water adds a different feel to an image. I have been a fair weather photographer up until now, so already I have been taken out of my comfort zone!
* My camera is a Canon 70D and the lens I used for this exercise was a Sigma 17mm – 50mm f/2.8. The camera’s automatic mode chose the settings.
Now the 4 Images together:
Now the 4 histograms together:
The fluctuations in luminance appeared across the whole tonal range, albeit only slight differences, there were differences all the same.
Even with all the settings the same [ISO 100 f/5.6 1/125 sec] there were still slight variations to the histogram.
I noted a large spike in the highlights, which I attributed to the bright overcast sky, but this was kept within the 100% level in the Automatic mode, so there was no loss of data here. However, I noted that after exporting the files into Lightroom the Automatic mode had provided some loss of information in the very low tones and some shadow clipping had occurred. This had not been apparent in the camera’s histogram.
The fact that each of the images had been time stamped in the range between 13:56:46 and 13:56:53 really emphasised to me that no two moments can be the same. Everything around us is in constant flux and with photography you only capture (as I have here) that 1/125 sec point in time.
Also wet weather I think provides for greater reflections and refractions of light, add a bit of wind into the mix and I think anything could happen with the lighting conditions.
I wanted to see what would happen if I carried out the same exercise again in what I considered to be a more controlled environment. I went inside for this one, with one main light and this time I used a higher speed image capture to ensure the images were taken in as quick succession as possible. This was to minimise the chances of any changes in the environment affecting the histogram that a delay between image capture would create.
Here are my results – this time all images were time stamped 19:25:38 :
Here are the 4 internal images together:
And here are the 4 histograms together:
Here you can still see some subtle differences between the histograms, even in a more controlled environment. This further supported the results and findings which came out of the original exercise, see above.
I was apprehensive about this exercise as it was more a ‘controlled experiment’ rather than ‘artistic licence’. However, I do understand why it was necessary to carry it out and I have learnt more about histograms and now appreciate environmental flux as a result, which can only benefit my future image taking.
This completes my submission for Exercise 1.1.