Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Digital Photography and Light

At a birthday party this past weekend, I took some photos of the festivities.  The home is an old Victorian and the winter lighting tends to be (like my house) firelight and candlelight.  I love the warmth and coziness of this interior lighting, but it is often a challenge to get acceptable photos without using flash.  I almost always never do and so the photos are rather dark.  This time I set the ISO at 1600,  shutter at 1/20 (hand held) and the aperture at 4.5.  The results were grainy but actually captured the existing light.  While editing those photos I thought of Annie Leibovitz, whom I admire very much, and her book, Pilgrimage.  This book contains images of historical places Annie explored with no agenda except that they meant something to her.  At the beginning of her pilgrimage she took photos with a small digital camera.  It was only after she became immersed in the project that she started using more sophisticated cameras and brought along an assistant.  Initially, she was traveling with her children and just wanted to wander.  She writes in the book that she discovered she didn't need much light with a digital camera and that the camera was rendering things almost the way she was seeing them.  I feel that way too. 

A peek at Leibovitz's book



My dining room with afternoon light.







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