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Omd em5 landscape photography skills and techniques in Low light and dawn and dusk
You guys have been bombarded with requests for the light ratios/primes for wedding and portrait photography. I have added the other light ratios with two lenses that I will be using on the om5 system, the 14-42mm and 14-24mm zoom. Below is a small sample of some of the images that I have taken with the first three that I have used, the 300mm f4, 70-200 f4 IS, and the 35mm f1.4. I have used all the different light ratios for both cameras, and all these images were taken during the daylight hours in low light or early morning.
Landscape wedding photography with only a single light source is extremely challenging. You need to see things in 3D when everything is shaded. You can use most of the landscape wedding photography tools, but most things are dark. For people with a high dynamic range (HDR) or an ability to recover from blown highlights in an image, this will be a challenge. If you are, like me, not an HDR photographer, you can still do a lot of fine detail work. I am using the f1.4 as my portrait lens. I am not sure what my postscript will be, but for now, I am loving my new toy.
So this means that one of the most important factors for wedding photography is the exposure meter that you use. It is hard to learn to use it effectively until you understand how to interpret it.
On the left is a graph of the histogram for the wedding. This is an educated guess of what the original exposure was. The histogram shows the relative proportions of pixels in the sensor that are high in light and those that are darker. The graph on the right is the Exposure scale. You can also think of it as the level of “white balance”. If the image is too bright it will look grey and lack contrast and detail. On the other hand, if the image is too dark it will be flat and no details will be seen. By adjusting the Exposure scale you can bring up the light or dark parts of the image that would otherwise be invisible.
Your exposure meter only gives you the estimated exposure, if you are lucky. But with experience you can learn to check the histogram to see if you are on target. Here is a guide to using the histogram:
Image 1- The original image. You can tell that there is a problem, because the highlights are blown. In this image the exposure is too low and the highlights are blown. Even though it is supposed to be a fall day the image is washed out.
Image 2- The exposure meter says 1/60sec, 1/200th of a second is the correct exposure. In reality the exposure is quite low, making the image look dark and flat.
Image 3- This is what the exposure meter sees. Because the image has lost detail, the exposure is extremely low and is too dark.
So how does one interpret a histogram?
If the exposure meter is telling you that you have no detail, then it is a clue that you are over exposing.
If the image is under exposed, the exposure meter will be giving you the correct exposure and the histogram will be flat.
If the exposure meter is saying that the image is too bright, it is a clue that you have a problem with your exposure meter.
It is impossible to know without more information if the image is under exposed or over exposed, but a histogram will tell you.
Why should you use the histogram?
Using the histogram allows you to catch mistakes as early as possible.
It allows you to see the true exposure that is being used. It shows you exactly what the exposure is going to look like if it is not corrected.
It allows you to see if you are on target.
A histogram on your images shows the relative proportions of pixels that are under or over exposed.
So let’s see how a histogram will affect a landscape photograph with a single light source. In the below example I have chosen the same subject, but I have altered the lighting so that the highlights are blown.
A histogram of the first image shows a lot of pixels over exposed. The Exposure meter tells you to stop down by 2/3 of a stop and the image will still be over exposed, because it is no longer blown, so the exposure meter is wrong.
A histogram of the second image shows that you have a problem with the meter because it is telling you that the highlights are blown, even though they are not. If you want to recover the highlights, you have to have a way to stop them blowing up in an image. In the below image you can see that the Exposure meter is giving you the correct exposure and the exposure meter is showing that the image is under exposed. The exposure meter is correct, so it is telling you that the highlights are not blown, so it is a clue that you have an under exposed image.
As an experiment, I took a close up of a peony blossom.
Now I used a very different exposure on this image because I wanted it to be a silhouette of the blossom. I did this by changing the position of the light source. Below I am in a position where there is only one light source, so I am trying to keep it as a silhouette. I also chose to stop down by 1 stop and alter the