I posted this image a few days ago and one of my readers wrote a 3,200 word expose on how I was a horrible photographer because his high school photography teacher (Yep I am being schooled by a 17-year-old) told him that under NO circumstance should you ever fail to expose for detail in the highlights.
Sorry junior – but your high school photography teacher is wrong – if that is indeed what he said. Sometimes it’s just absolutely, positively okay to let the highlights go. I happen to think this photo is a perfect example of that.
The idea of the shot was simple. This was a model posing as a vampire set against a typical Louisiana living room wall, vis a vis “True Blood.” We had two Spiderlite TD5 Light Heads to light the scene from the right and left. Each was used without light modifier as a “bare bulb.” We had one addition Spiderlite TD5 Light Head in a softbox as the main overhead.
Since the model was supposed to be a super-natural being and oh yeah – dead – I thought that in addition to the great make-up job designed to make a pretty girl look dead and menacing, overexposing would help tell the story even better. So that’s what I did. This is about one and one-half stops too hot. There’s detail where you need it, but everywhere else the highlights go waaaaaaay past 255 and I am totally fine with that.
I am not saying you should do this all the time. I am saying that when you can articulate with specificity, a good reason to let the highlights go – no worries.
Do understand the rules. Do understand why and how you want to break them. But don’t be constrained by them. I understand that not everyone will like my interpretation of this shot. But that’s okay. I liked it. The model liked it. The makeup artist liked it. That’s good enough for me even if the high school photography teacher doesn’t like it.
Latest posts by Scott Bourne (see all)
- The Seven Best Lenses Ever Made (For Mirrorless Cameras) - August 22, 2016
- Panasonic 12mm f/1.4 ASPH Leica DG SUMMILUX First Look - August 19, 2016
- Tamron 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD SP Lens – First Look - August 15, 2016