Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Eye see not every picture turns out as expected

I doubt many who have only ever used digital cameras have any REAL appreciation of the ‘smarts’ built into their little ‘Point and Shoot’ marvels, especially camera phones, which I regularly see taking pics under circumstances I would have struggles to record a black and white images, let alone a reasonably rendered colour version (doubt anyone remembers, but colour film could suffer colour shifts under various circumstances).

My own ‘proper’ camera has various corrections built-in, which can be commanded to apply themselves to the recorded image, and correct for distortion, too bright, too dark, and who know what other ‘problem’ areas before the final image is recorded. These work well, and although I kept the previous model of the camera which has none of these, I stay with the new one, and have its predecessor as an emergency backup (although the chances of needing it are slim).


It’s easy to forget what’s happening, and make a casual mistake.

The pic below is one example, and worth remembering the lesson it contains.

While one might recover underexposed pixels – OVEREXPOSED pixels are gone for good.

It’s a simple fact that dark areas of pics are not usually 0% and can be amplified and recovered to at least some degree – but when an area is 100% saturated white then there’s nothing left to recover. While backlighting is seldom a problem thanks to digital exposure control, an overexposed 100% saturated white area is STILL lost, and can’t be recovered, at least not meaningfully.

Case in point, this pic of an illuminated optician’s sign rescued from Glasgow and cleverly displayed in Kelvingrove.

I passed the arch, and stepped back to grab a pic in passing, without thinking – oops!

While the human eye can cope, even a good digital sensor can’t see the same – and we have a decent background, but most of the eyes in the glasses are burnt out by overexposure. What can be recovered is of little use.

Still, it’s nice to see there are still some shots that need a little SKILL to capture – and I will have to remember this the next time I manage a visit.

I’ll be honest and say that even though I am used to spotting scenes where the human eye can catch the extremes of exposure that a camera can’t, this one didn’t really look like one, so I was at least a little surprised to find the ‘fail’ when I got home and reviewed the day’s collection – but the illusion is probably down the museum favouring lower light levels to reduce damage to the exhibits from bright light.

The challenge has been issued – capture this with BOTH the background AND the eyes properly exposed.

Kelvingrove Opticians Sign

Kelvingrove Optician’s Sign


August 18, 2017 - Posted by | Civilian, photography | , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: