10 February 2009

Forest of the Night

This is partially inspired by Mike "The Online Photographer" Johnston's reference to an archive post of his, PS XS, where he says, entirely in passing, "I find DSLRs nearly useless for B&W because of the highlight issue. There's just no information there."
Now, I know less about photography than Mike Johnston's left thumbnail, and I have no particular interest in black and white, other than having noticed that ufraw has picked up a new tab for it in recent versions, and being a bit curious.
But I have certainly got bunches and bunches of pictures with highlight issues; swans on snow, or water surrounded by snow, pictures taken towards blazing bright sunlight because that's where the wretched bird was sitting, and so on. Some of the recent ones are the clouded leopards from the Metro Zoo, where a combination of exterior glass, snowfield, and maintenance removal of the anti-glare film on the Malaysian Woods building has resulted in some very thoroughly backlit leopards.

So I set out to see what I could do.
Very dim, might actually pass for night on "what night looks like in movies" visual conventions, and you can still tell what it is, so that's good.
Not quite the same shot -- the exposure one after it -- as posted yesterday; there's less total range of shiny, so the leopard is dimmer but the overall light is lower, too. (Cloud outside? I have no idea.) It's also in some ways a better feline facial expression.
Black and white version of the shot I posted yesterday; I am not sure but that this works better than the colour version does.
And the uncropped shot, showing the vast mass of bright windows. (And the, to me at least, odd optical illusion of the leopard developing a look of long-suffering patience what with all these photographic instances.)

I think I'm going to see about developing more practise with black and white processing.

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