Photo: Yellow Sunshine

Yellow Sunshine — sunlit yellow flowers mix with a vivid blue sky

Flowers with the sun behind them. I included the sun in the frame, but it goes to white or else everything else would be black. This was a great scene, especially for the deep blue sky and cloud formations that work together with the yellow flowers.

I added a blurry glow while keeping the grain in the sky as a counter-point to the soft flowers. The added contrast pushes the branches to black while keeping detail in the clouds (not the sun), but adds focus to the flowers. There’s more info in my short article, On Exposure.

[sniplet 4×6-lustre]

Canon PowerShot A620, 1/800, F8, 7.3mm, ISO50, 2007-08-19T14:38:25-04, 2007-08-19_18h38m25

Download the high-res JPEG or download the source image.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

On Exposure

One thing about digital photography, a short-coming compared to film, is that you can’t recover from over-exposure (except somewhat using RAW format). So be sure to get it right the first time, because you can’t edit the detail back in. Note that in that photo, the white highlights in the sky aren’t actually clipped (if they were “clipped,” they’d be pure white), but if your monitor is too bright, you won’t be able to tell by sight. Same goes for you camera’s LCD screen. This is why you have the histogram (hopefully, anyway; I used to have a Fujifilm A360 camera that completely lacked it). If the bars trail off to the right, you know your photo has pure white areas (over-exposure), and if it continues to the left, you have pure black areas (under-exposure). If it does both, as it often will during mid-day, there is too much contrast in the scene. Usually, clipped shadows, like the ones in the black areas here, are more pleasing than clipped highlights. The sun (below) is an exception, as we expect it to be bright (same goes for the sky, but not in sky-centered photos like sunsets). The photo also has clipped shadows (the flower buds on the left), but it looks nice still. However, I increased the contrast carefully on the computer (the second image is the original); it wouldn’t look that good straight from the camera.

Yellow Sunshine (edited) Yellow Sunshine (source image)