Perhaps one of the more difficult aspects of landscape photography is determining how to properly expose your scene under less-than-ideal lighting conditions. These types of situations are a common occurrence with outdoor photography as it’s often a struggle trying to properly expose an image consisting of a bright sky and a dark foreground in a single image.
Shooting in a studio has its advantages. But although being warm, dry and convenient are greatly appreciated, shooting between the same four walls can get a little boring if you’re constantly using them as backgrounds for your shots.
Sure, you could get some colored paper setup, you could even buy a fancy canvas sheet with paint splashes on it, and for the really adventurous, you could even use some colored lights behind your subject. But what happens when you’re finally bored of all that? Time to get a little more creative with your studio backgrounds.
Have you ever been disappointed to find the eyeballs of your subject to be not as sharp as you had expected even though your camera confirmed that autofocus had locked onto them? Photographer Steve Perry of Backcountry Gallery made this 9.5-minute video explaining how he avoids this “false positive autofocus trap” when focusing in tricky situations or on tricky subjects.
“The dirty little secret is that the phase-detection AF system in our cameras just isn’t perfect,” Perry says. “Although it’s rare, in some low-light and low-contrast scenarios, the camera may give you an AF lock that’s really a false positive. […]”
Shooting directly into the Sun, whether it is sunrise or sunset, often results in some areas around the Sun getting clipped, and we get these rather harsh edges in our sky. Even when shooting bracketed or underexposing for the highlights, we may not achieve a pleasing result around the strongest light in a scene.