And yet, the background is completely useless. With some work the foreground can be recovered but the overall exposure leaves the image beyond the effort it would take to make it useful. Now, take a look at nearly the same image taken with a full stop of underexposure.
- Bright Ideas For Shooting In Midday Sun.
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The image has had some touching up with curves in Photoshop allowing for the darker foreground to come out a little, but most importantly, the background is preserved. There are even clouds evident in the sky unlike the previous image. This was all made possible by ignoring the default in-camera metering, which is often inadequate for harsh light, and overriding it to make sure the washed out detail is instead captured.
Getting acquainted with your cameras metering modes and how they affect middle of the day shots is worth the time and effort to learn.
"Two Weeks in the Midday Sun" Reprinted with Foreword by Martin Scorsese
Shooting close up scenes allow you to remove the large amount of contrast evident in the broad scenic shots. First, look for some shade. Second, you still need to watch your metering and the background. The human eye does an amazing job of taking in all kinds of light and ignoring the glaring altogether.
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While these bananas are fully in the shade and well exposed, the surrounding scene is a huge distraction. Bright, non-descript, blown out details create a lack luster image that honestly looked great when viewed in person. However, the heliconias were set against an equally dark background with just bit of sun coming through to provide some accent.
The contrasting greens also help bring the plant to the foreground.
And then there was the year we showed " The Last Waltz. We went in with our press agent Jean-Pierre Vincent and Marcello Mastroianni , who was just hanging out, and the two of them took their seats. Then we did our thing, checked the picture and the sound, called up to the projectionist a few times, listened from different parts of the room, were satisfied, and left.
Years later, Jean-Pierre told me that he woke up at six in the morning with Marcello's head on his shoulder, in the dark, in the locked theatre. We'd forgotten all about them. That was one of the very last times I saw Roger. He's had his surgery by that point, but he was the same Roger, as sharp and funny and warm as ever. I've spoken at length about what a good friend he was to me over the years, and about my respect for him as a critic.
Bright Ideas For Shooting In Midday Sun
But Roger was also a great observer and such a wonderful writer. You read these memories and look at these sketches, and the people and the places and the hilarious and improbable encounters and that indescribable Cannes state of mind.
And so does the man who wrote it, Roger Ebert. To buy the book, click here.
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