Blinkies

By Pam Henrichsen

What are blinkies? Blinkies are one more tool in your camera to help with the exposure of your image. They help you establish how far to go in the image brightening direction. Most SLR cameras have a setting called “highlight warning.” It will make any overexposed areas “flash” or “blink” when you preview your images on your camera’s screen. Most photographers affectionately call this flashing the “blinkies.”

Check your camera’s manual if your preview is not currently set for the blinkies. You may need to activate the “highlight warning” in your settings menu first.

Once you have adjusted your settings, if you are a Nikon user, preview an image and press the up or down button (near the Ok button) until you see the highlights flashing or outlined. If you chose this setting, your camera will remember this setting for the next image you preview. Keep in mind you will only see the blinkies if you have overexposed areas in your image.

Canon users can accomplish the same thing by pressing the “display” or “info” button, depending on the model of your camera, until the blinkies show up on your camera screen while previewing images.

By using this tool and other simple tools that your camera provides you, you can easily adjust your exposure and see how to improve the overall quality of your images.

Pam Henrichsen is a trip leader with Arizona Highways PhotScapes.

Sunny 16 Rule

By Pam Henrichsen

Time to brush up on one of the simplest photo applications. This is very old school and most digital photographers may not even use this concept. However, it is simple and it does work.  The Sunny 16 Rule is a way to meter during the daylight without using your camera meter.

The rule is… if you have a bright sunny day set your aperture to f/16, next set your ISO and shutter speed to the same value – for example if your ISO is 100 your shutter speed will be 1/100; if the ISO is 200 your shutter speed will be 1/200 and so on.

Sunny 16 is a very useful tool for numerous reasons. It is a good way to check and see if your camera has accurate exposure. Try using this method to determine if your camera tends to over expose or under expose your images. Most cameras have a tendency to slightly under expose.

Additionally, unlike the camera metering system, Sunny 16 is based on incident light not reflective light. What does this mean? It means that it is based on the brightness of the light only, not how the light is being reflected off the subject and into the camera. So the Sunny 16 Rule can help you check your camera’s metering to make sure it is not being thrown off.

That’s all there is to it. Pretty simple. It’s a great tool to have in your bag of photographic tricks. Give it a try…or try it again.

Pam Henrichsen is a trip leader with Arizona Highways Photo Workshops.

HDR = High Dynamic Range with One Image?

Author: David Huffman

Yes!  You can create a High Dynamic Range image with only a single exposure.

First, what is High Dynamic Range?  HDR, as it is commonly named, is a method to expand the dynamic range of the image so that more detail is captured in the deepest shadows and in the brightest highlights.  Digital cameras, no matter how good, cannot duplicate the full dynamic range of human vision.  So, using multiple images (in most cases) images are created at a range of exposure from normal to plus  and minus several stops of exposure and then these images are combined into one file image.  This type of image creation requires a steady tripod and many other techniques to assure that the camera is not moved or other adjustments made between exposures.

But what do you do if the subject is moving, yet you want to expand the dynamic range?  I use PhotoMatix HDR software by the company HDR Soft.  I find it easy and quick to use, and I can even expand the dynamic range of a single image.  The two accompanying photographs illustrate this clearly, where the splash of the sea on the rocks was obviously moving quickly, and cannot be captured in three separate exposures with identical precision. So I just use one exposure and the software to create the HDR image.

If you would like to try this, take any single image you like and download the trial version of the software.  You can try it for free, and if you wish to buy it, you can save 15% using the links on my website,www.HuffmanPhotoArt.com.  Visit the SAVE HERE page to get the special discount code.

David Huffman is a Volunteer Trip Leader for Arizona Highways Photo Workshops, Author and Educator.