Living in Arizona, we get just about the greatest amount of sunlight I’ve ever seen. It’s so good in fact, that it can be a challenge, especially when you’re shooting colors that fall all across the spectrum from bright white stripes to full black uni’s. Couple that with faces under the shadow of helmets, and the dynamic range of your camera just can’t cover it all.
Everyone has different ways of dealing with this. For some it’s a matter of exposing properly, and then bringing up the shadows in post process, either with something like the Fill Light tool in ACR, or Shadow/Highlight in Photoshop. Using these tools have their problems, as bringing up shadows also brings up image noise. It can also look unnatural if used improperly.
Another method is to expose for the face of the subject, letting the chips fall where they may on the rest of the exposure. Caveats here include nuclearizing your subject’s white uniform, or radiating the entire field if it’s a bright color. Fun fun.
Over the weekend I was shooting the Arizona USSSA Independence Day Classic, a fastpitch softball tournament held over in Pinetop, AZ. With start times of noon, though, getting the entire range of an image captured was difficult. Read on to find out what I did to combat this, from steps I took in the camera, to an action I made in Photoshop that helped with post process. Oh and it’s a downloadable action. =) [Read more →]