Sunday, May 4, 2008

Bad pictures

One thing I try to do when I take photos is make them look like what I see in my head with my eyes, which is easier said than done. The camera doesn't receive light like the eyeball does, and what your brain does to images is even more complicated. Then you also have to account for your eyes seeing a wider angle view than your camera, and that motion makes things stand out in your vision. The latter is why forest pictures are hard to do; the lack of perspective from moving means that the trees have no depth.

So these are a few photos that didn't really work, not because of technical problems like blurriness, but because the camera isn't an eyeball attached to a brain, or specifically, my brain.

This one I took because it is the first spot on the Shelby Bottoms Greenway from which you can see the new bridge. The bridge is easy to see in person; not so much in the photo. (Look just below the horizon, in the center.) Here's another distance problem. The idea was to get a photo of the boat, but actually make it the center of the photo, I had to zoom way in.

Here's the opposite problem; the photo shows more detail than the eye sees. I took this one because the light and shadows were very dramatic. I was wearing a hat and sunglasses and still couldn't see what was in the shadows. But that's not the case in the photo.

Last, here's a photo that turned out pretty well. It has the slug and its slime trail, which I wanted, and it's in focus. But photographs of pavement up-close always look too light. I think of pavement as black, although when worn it really is gray. The color may be accurate here but it doesn't "feel" right.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Know what you mean. Somedays I have telescopic eyes, focusing on some detail which I can't even really pull in with my 10x zoom. Then there are wide angle days but that really requires a specialized 18 or 21 mm wide angle lens...

Then there is the fact that your eyes can accomodate a greater light range than film or digital sensors can. Film is limite to about 3 stops, same for digital sensors. The human eye can do about five. That is why when you see a picture with high and low highlights - you can see both but your camera is going the low ones and be washed out in the high ones or the low ones will be pretty much pitch black. You can get around this by using HDR techniques but the picture look odd to the eye because your eyes are not expecting to see that much range in anything except "realtime". Such is life!