Expert Tips on Wildlife & Nature Photography
Court is an avid nature and wildlife photographer and naturalist Expedition Leader for Natural Habitat Adventures. His background in wildlife and conservation biology led him to pursue a joint Ph.D. in ecotourism and entomology. As Editor in Chief of The Natural Photographer, he is eager to share his photography knowledge and creative guidance with readers through comprehensive tutorials and blog posts. You may view more of his photography at www.courtwhelan.com
August 7, 2019 at 7:57 am
Court Whelan, Ph.D.
August 21, 2019 at 10:13 am
Very helpful and interesting post but I wonder whether I can ask you some slightly more technical question, as I’m preparing for a 4.5 day trip to Iceland this coming Monday.( I’m a reasonably experienced but entirely self-taught amateur photographer using Canon 5D111 with L lenses and FujiXT2)).
Leaving aside the desirability of using a polariser what would your recommendations be for the following:
(1) Should one expose for the lightest areas on the basis that under-exposed areas can always be made lighter in post production whereas the reverse is usually much more difficult .
(2) Should one increase the resulting exposure by a stop or two to compensate for in-built metering systems calibrated for mid-grey ?
(3) How do (1) and (2) inter-relate ?!
(3) what’s the best white balance to use ?
Any tips would be hugely appreciated and many thanks in advance if you feel able to respond.
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Great questions here and I think you might like my recent post! Hits on these very topics! But to answer, 1) yes indeed, always best to lighten dark areas/photos than to darken light areas/photos. But I do shoot on evaluative most of the time, as I find there is often way more variability in my camera’s exposure decisions with center, partial, or spot metering. 2) I almost always start at even exposure and adjust on the fly as needed. The only times I over expose routinely is shooting in snow, when the 18% gray rule ends up turning bright white snow “dingy and dark” vs. what it actually looks like to the eye. and 3) I nearly always start with cloudy white balance, as I like the slight warming (yellow) effect of the resulting shots. However, in snowy conditions I’ll sometimes switch to sunny, as I like to inject the cooling (blue) effect in shots. Auto white balance is a great place to start, but I find that I personally like warmer photos.
I hope this helps and I hope you have an extraordinary trip!!