How can I improve contrast of photos at the time they are taken without resorting to curves and levels tools in photoshop?
December 12, 2007 10:59 AM Subscribe
PhotographyFilter: How can I improve the dynamic range of photos at the time they are taken without resorting to curves and levels tools in photoshop?
posted by Pastabagel to media & arts (26 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
I understand how to improve the contrast, or dynamic range, of a photo in post processing using photoshop by playing with the curves or levels tools. If you think in terms of the histogram of the image, what I am talking about is how to take the photo such that the histogram fills up the range without clipping.
Specifically, suppose you take a photograph of a crumpled white piece of paper. Using the manual settings, I can completely avoid clipping, but I get little in the way of contrast across wrinkles, etc. In other words, the histogram fills a tiny portion of the total range. What I want to do is to stretch this out so it uses all of the available range.
Does some combination of aperture and shutter affect this? In my experience it simply shifts the curve more towards the dark end or the light end, but the curve itself remains the same width. In a studio setting, would lighting help to achieve this result? If so, how would you accomplish this outdoors?
If it matters, the camera in question is a Nikon D50. I know you can change the shape of the contrast curve in the camera, but my understanding is that this is simply done in processing, i.e. it does the same thing that photoshop would do, it just does it in the camera. But the same artifacts would be introduced. (But please correct me if I am wrong about this).