Saturday, December 22, 2007

Digital Blending

I've seen how my D40 performs and the results don't really lag behind the higher Nikon models.. in fact it performs at par with them given the right conditions. Perhaps Ken Rockwell was correct in saying "your camera doesn't matter".

But if there is one setback to the D40, it is not the lack of a built-in AF motor, certainly not the low megapixel count (6MP compared to 10-12MP DSLRs in the market) nor the weight, but the lack of an exposure bracketing. It is
a process that takes a series of shots of the same view with different exposures, in the photographer's hopes that one in those series would be the best exposed shot.

Nowadays most digital photographers use this feature to blend the dark shots (exposed for shadows) with the light shots (exposed for highlights) in photo editing programs such as photoshop. It is commonly used in landscapes where the sky almost always is overexposed.

But do I need to get a new camera.. say the D300? Waa.. no budget yet for that -

I can only think of 2 solutions to this dilemma: one is a good tripod, the other is to REALLY learn how to photograph well. The basis for good photography is a well-balanced exposure of a shot. Heck how did the good film camera users in the past did it??

Here's a test.. a cloudy saturday view in my apartment (using my cheap freebie tripod)

underexposed, -3.0EV (exposure value) to highlight the clouds

overexposed, +3.0EV to highlight the landscape below

the 2 layers blended in photoshop

test - one shot using -0.7 EV

So much to learn using the limitations my D40.. Can't wait to use the (black!) aluminum tripod my Chinese friend got for me (1/5 the price in China for the same quality you get in Singapore!) - other than that, I might as well get a better Nikon DSLR.. nuninuninu

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