Technically… hmmm.

In all its glory.

Fall. In all its glory.

This is one of those just-as-the-sun-is-starting-to-go-down in late fall pictures. It looks pretty good to my eye. But, I do have a huge technical concern. I’m pretty sure this picture as it appears here could not be reproduced on paper.  I rarely look at histograms, while I am in the field or in the studio. I mostly want the picture to look how I want it to look. After all, I was raised in the 18% gray card era. Exposing exactly for that guaranteed a fairly flat picture, lacking either highlights or shadows. I think the same thing about a perfect bell-shaped histogram.


I glanced at the histogram  as I was adding my watermark. It was so far skewed to the left that it was all shadow and very little highlight. I could never print this picture on paper which is always the goal. After all, you are looking at a collection of ones and zeros. Nothing you can hold in your hand. If I printed this image as it is, all that shadow area would be hidden under a blog of black ink.

I’ll rework it if I want to print it.

That’s the picture. The rest is easy. See it. Photograph it. Rinse and repeat.



  1. Trees – contrast, dark trunks and light filtered leaves – not easy. Be good to see the original though. But as you say, what might work on screen, might not on paper. Something we are wrestling with at the moment, what can work as a print and on what paper stock.


    1. Actually, it’s very easy if you ever shot slide film… expose for the highlights. I just went too far in post production. Calibrate your monitor and depending on what editing software you use that there is a pull down menu for just about every current printing paper.


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