We were standing on a bridge in Yosemite with a view of Yosemite Falls in the background.  A gentleman was trying to take a selfie.  He asked me if I would take his picture.  Then he said he just got this new phone and the camera didn’t work very good.  He said his face was too dark in the pictures.

I tried to explain that his camera worked just fine, but the range between highlight and shadow in his background was too large… the shaded areas were really dark and the highlights very bright.  It is impossible for any camera to capture that range of light.  His choice was to either have a picture with the waterfall perfectly exposed and his face be too dark or he could expose for his face and the waterfall would be blown out.

I am sure at that point he wished he had asked someone else to take his picture… he just stared at me!  So I quickly took the picture the best I could, smiled and went on my way.


2-5-18 Overexposed

Foreground correctly exposed at the sacrifice of a blown out background.


2-5-18 Underexposed

Waterfall is correctly exposed but foreground is underexposed.  Can’t have it both ways on this day.


Camera manufactures keep coming out with bigger and better units every day, but to date, none of them have developed a sensor as sensitive as the human eye that will capture details in both strong shadows and bright highlights in the same click.  One of the reasons I love cloudy days is that the light is even, no strong contrast between shadow and highlight.

That’s my photo lesson for the month… hope you enjoyed it!  🙂