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Man with Bottle

Man with Bottle

A few years ago I was given an old suitcase, full of old photographs. The suitcase had come from my wife's grandmother's flat, when it was being cleared out after her death, and it was given to me as I am the designated family historian and keeper of old photos. There were hundreds of them in the suitcase, along with a couple of books and some holy pictures. Do you remember holy pictures? Well, the great thing about these holy pictures was that they had dedications on the back, with dates and "love and kisses from Alice".

The photos were a different matter. In all, I think only two had any form of identification, and all the people who might have known those pictured were themselves dead. What is the poor designated family historian to do with them? Sensibly, the only thing is to bin them, but as I am also the designated keeper of old photos, I have put them all carefully back in the box, for some future keeper of old photos to worry about.

Nowadays of course we have thousands of photos – I average 2,000 a year, after deleting rubbish and duplicates – and few of them get printed, so there can be no writing on the back. But they are digital! Your camera will have recorded the date and time that you pressed the shutter, along with all the camera settings that you used, and some cameras will even have recorded the GPS co-ordinates. So all you have to do, to be able to answer "Who is that?" as your memory fades, is use your software to add a caption, which will be stored in the EXIF data with all the other details. You owe it to posterity to do it.

Have you thought about your personal project? Bring in the form tomorrow – get a copy if you need one. And don't forget to email us (info@carlowphoto.ie) with suggestions for classes that you'ld like.

The main topic for the evening will be a workshop on split toning /duo toning – so bring your laptop if convenient, so that you can work through the examples.

See you!

Meter Settings

Meter Settings

My camera, in common with most other SLRs, has a built-in light meter. It can be set to take readings from just the centre of the scene (spot), mostly around the centre (centre-weighted) or from the whole scene (multi-segment).

Last week, when shooting at a school play on 1916, I set metering to spot. I find this best in such situations, as then the exposure will be taken from the face of the subject without being unduly influenced by the background, which is generally much darker.

Two days later I was at the St. Patrick's day parade in Carlow town, and took a few dozen shots. When I looked at them at home, many were over-exposed, as I had forgotten to set metering back to centre-weighted or multi-segment. When the spot that was metered from was relatively dark compared to the rest of the scene the brighter spots were over-exposed, and I didn't check the histogram on the camera's view screen, as I should have, after any of the shots.

In the shot of the band, metering would have been from the dark banner, leaving areas such as the van at the back and the white coat on the right clipped.

Presentation Band

Presentation Band

Histogram

Histogram