Heather elevated the blogging bar to second tier last week, and in doing so elevated Week 3’s class to these dizzying heights as well. We first explored the advanced concept of exposure compensation and how to out smart our sometimes not-so-smart camera meter. It’s quite complicated but essentially has everything to do with metering, a little to do with Ansel Adams, somewhat to do with classic film technique and very little to do with ISO. And its something we actually don’t need to mess with. “Ever in this class,”  said Perry.


EV settings of -2, 0, +2.

All that learning for nothing then? No! For here we received our (big budget) gray cards.

These are “zone 5 middle gray” pieces of cardboard that meter light in a specific location accurately, thus ensuring proper exposure and minimizing the need to out-smart the camera through exposure compensation techniques.


metering via the carpet, before recieving our grey cards

And what of our homework assignments using apertures and shutter speeds to influence depth of field and sharpness? Turns out they came in both skillfully and with plenty of learning still possible, which was the whole point thankfully. Through supportive critiquing and discussion, slight misunderstandings and panic transformed into great realizations and insights. “We need depth in order capture depth of field, and movement in order to capture movement” were some key take-aways!


depth of field with a background focus



depth of field with foreground focus

 With such deep learning and teaching abreast, we continued by finessing our understanding of the law of reciprocity (how aperture and shutter speeds correspond and interact with other to form proper exposures), and briefly debated its law like status when learning it could also fail. Then we talked histograms for a bit, before learning how to evolve our image quality capacities to the second tier as well. Where once everything looked the same, and carte blanche was the go, we can now see the world anew after being introduced to the pure, detailed, lossless, but monogamous-to-the-photography-world RAW, RAW’s universal post production friend TIFF, and the lossy, ‘I may look good, but don’t mess with me’ trickster called JPEG’ – who are all appropriate for different times, spaces and post production patience levels.








With all these elements (somewhat) now online in our second tier photography psyches, we are on the way to that place where all the planets align and great photos about nothingness, no matter what violin we are playing, can be achieved. Or something to that effect. Or is that affect?

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