Getting it right in Camera, is it always possible?  I understand it is better off  to get it right in Camera but when it is not possible, should we pass on the opportunity to take a picture of “Cataraca Llanos de Cortes”?

When getting it right in camera is not possible.

In my opinion, this is one of the most aesthetic waterfalls.  So here I am in front of Cataraca Llanos de Cortes.  The sun is shining at an angle.  Although it is early morning, the light is not what I would like it to be.  Shadows are so strong in the woods on the left side and the sun is shining hard on the right side of the frame.

I have with me my Cokin Z filter to put in front of my Canon EF 24-105mm lens.  Even with my graduated neutral density filter, I know that I can’t get this right in Camera.  The filter at an angle would make the sand at my feet weird.

Getting the most of your camera

One option would be to take multiple exposure and create a HDR picture.  With waterfall, it is rather complex to post-process such a picture.  It is often difficult to get rid of artefacts associated with moving water.

Let’s try to get the most of my Canon camera. I record the picture as a RAW file and expose to the right.  By doing so, I keep the maximum details in the shadows without compromising the highlights.  Lightroom is excellent at pulling the shadows.  Noise associated with pulling the shadows will be barely visible in the trees to the right.

2013-03-07-17_46_53-ClipboardGetting it right in Lightroom from the Camera RAW file.

Here are the changes made to the original picture:

  • Globally reduce the highlights (-100);
  • Globally increase the shadows (+100);
  • Increase exposition locally in the shadowed areas on the left;
  • Decrease exposition locally in the highlight areas on the right;
  • Decrease exposition on the sand in the bottom part of the picture;
  • Reduce luminance of blue to help the sky above the water fall.

The post processed image is looking more to me like I saw this waterfall on that morning of January.  The limited dynamic range of cameras, about 10 to 12 EVs compare to our eye that reach 20+EV is a limiting factor when taking picture and it is not always possible to get everything right in camera and be happy with the result.

[bctt tweet=”Get it Right in #Lightroom when Get it Right in #Camera don’t work. #naturelovers”]

Although this looked like a nightmare, a single exposure enabled me to pull a reasonably lit picture out of this trickery situation.

2012-01-18--80Additional Great Articles on the topic

Do you always get it right in camera?

I guess not.  What is your preferred trick to pull it off when the light is not helping you?