No matter which make or model of DSLR you happen to own one thing is clear- it is an impressive piece of machinery. Yet despite it’s adequatulence* it is by no means magic, especially when it comes to bright brights and dark darks.
When we talk(ed) about film we refer to it’s “latitude” in terms of number of “stops”. In short it means how bright the light can get before it is no longer able to register and is “blown out” and how dark it can see before it is just black with no detail in the shadows. The same goes for digital.
Now, I have read a lot of opinions about digital imaging lacking the latitude (also referred to as “Dynamic Range”) of film but is it true? I don’t know. Nor do I care, and really neither should you since you are most likely shooting solely digital anyway. You can focus all your attention on the power-to-weight ratio of the Ferrari Testarossa but it probably won’t be very helpful if your daily commute takes place in a Toyota Tercel. So on that note let’s keep our eye on the ball.
We’ve talked before about trying to shoot your photos at a specific “Magic Hour”, namely around sunrise or sunset when the lighting conditions are best. But in reality you can’t always organize your entire life around that schedule so let’s figure out a way to play the hand you’re dealt.
If you find yourself traveling to Tübingen you are most likely going to be standing on the Neckarbrücke snapping this very picture. It is The Tübingen Picture and if you don’t snap one people won’t believe that you were here.
When taken at this hour and under these lighting conditions however, it is less than impressive (Google it and see some better results). The midday sky is blown out and the colours are muted. Unfortunately there is not a lot you can do here aside from coming back later and trying again. However, in the meantime you can look for some alternative shots. A short stroll along the wall takes you to the Gondolas where you might find this picture.
Or if that’s not what you’re looking for you can always walk along the other side of the river on the Neckarinsel and shoot the Holderlinturm from the other angle for more pleasing results.
Now you’re free to head into the Marktplatz to enjoy a few Hefeweizen on a patio until the lighting conditions cooperate with you. And if you have too many and forget to get back in time for Magic Hour, well, you have a few nice shots in the bag.
TO BE CONTINUED
*We miss you Mr Hartman