Friday, 11 February 2011


I am well aware that the projects are well behind schedule and I need to formulate an "action plan" to get these back up to speed. I have to admit that I am not inspired by them. For a Level 2 course they seem incredibly basic. For instance then next one to work on is No 12 contrast and exposure. It deals with a high contrast image and I need to measure the light  in the shadows and the highlights and correctly expose for this high contrast.etc. I have been using incident and spot meter readings for 20 years,  especially when  using the 5x4 or the 6x6 andall this is second nature and I am struggling to find course notes (only after 2 pages by the way do they refer to digital images, up to then its all film) that relevant. Telling me that I can change the image using "levels" is not at all progressive and there is no mention of "curves" which is the preferred environment for shadow, midtone and hightlight control, especially when working from a RAW file which will have a linear (straight line) curve. No mention of making these adjustments on layers which is considered best practice. Also no mention of dynamic range, which if we are looking at negative film, reversal film and digital as the three main sources of capture is particularly relevant.

There is mention however of processing the film to suit the contrast and that is relevant and possible but only for sheet film and processing my own sheet B&W film is something I am considering.

The techniques that are required for many of the projects are simply photographic practice that I employ to produce the assignments and therefore I need to write more about the assignments to demonstrate that I am aware of the various issues and how I have overcome them, rather than submitting work where I rely upon the end result to offer the explanation of my technique, and assume that the tutor will have noticed how I have coped with a difficult DR for instance.

The assignments are challenging and interesting but the projects seem to be included so we do "time" and having spent the "time" we have gained something from it.

So, for Project 12 I need to find a landscape image with high contrast and deal with it all over again.


  1. My approach to projects which were too basic was to adapt them to suit me. Is there anything about light measurement/dealing with contrast/dynamic range that you would like to learn more about? Do that instead. Use your best techniques - there is no need to use the basic ones that are described. Find a really trickly subject that needs a lot of thought in exposure terms and document the process of trying to capture it. Try to find some aspect of the subject that is worth pursuing, and if you can't, then move on.

    I am sure you will find your own way but mention these ideas as food for thought.

  2. Eileen, you are right and I should stop my whinging and just get on with it, do more and do better. I just needed to write something that was, well a bit moaning.