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on Jul 8, 2011 in Digital Darkroom

“Highnoon Light Just Won’t Go Away!”


A very typical email just came in with a photographic problem that has been around since day 1. “Highnoon light just won’t go away and I’ve got to make the photograph. What do I do?” Tim wrote. I can tell it’s summer because these kinds of emails come in constantly because we have so much “highnoon light.” The problem is the quality of the light, what is simply referred to as “hard” light (can’t recognize hard light, look at the edge of shadows. If it’s a hard line between shadow and light, it’s hard light.) Breaking this down, it means that the exposure range between the shadows and the highlights is huge, often so big we loose detail in one or the other. You have a small subject, you can change this with a simple diffusion flat or flash or both. But you start to get a big subject or one not physically close and these options are no longer options. Add to the mix working alone and fast, and you have to make do with what’s at hand.

What you have here is a perfect example of what Tim was wanting help with. Shot around 13:00, the light is pretty nasty, hard without much character. But this is when the Unlimited Class at the Reno Air Races are saddling up to go out on the course. You want the shot, the time is now. I simply click because I know that even with this situations where the sky is bla, the underside of the wings are in deep shadow that I can, in less then 15sec, make a workable, printer, acceptable at the very least print, from this situation. Even in the limited sRGB environment of the web, you can see the improvements in the top and bottom image (top being the after). How’d I do that, and what did I do in 15sec to achieve those results?

Well, I can tell you that all I used for the processing was ACR! Whether you use LR, Bridge or PS, it’s all the same Adobe Camera Raw and you too can learn how to do it and do it just that fast. And the best part is, when you understand the process in post, you’ll know light a helluva a lot better and that can only improve your photography! So if you wanna learn that, we have the class for you! Wanna learn more….click here…or simply call WRP @760.924.8632 or 661.204.1506 to register. Dates 16/17 July & 8/9 Oct 2011 with more dates coming.