Many times we are complimented on how “real” outNbout images appear, here is one of our secrets…
Enfusing, or Blending, of images is one of our most practiced technique to ensure a “more complete and real tonal range” to our images. The full dynamic range (or gamma) of a typical landscape scene exceeds the spectral range of digital cameras photo cells, therefore areas of extreme darkness or lightness lose their amount of information (color, contrast, sharpness, detail etc.). If the exposure is biased towards the shadows then the highlights suffer and visa versa, not to mention the increase in “noise”. If the photo is taken to satisfy the middle of the road then the image will lack the “real” or “three dimensional” aspect of the original scene.
Today a RAW file from a full frame digital camera can have a 12 stop exposure range, thus making the art of image blending possible as each exposure maximizes the potential of that “dynamic portion” of the final image. This is also known as “exposure fusion”.
The art of enfusing an image involves taking a series of exposures ranging from extreme dark to light and then within the computer “blend” the images together to render a final image that exhibits an exquisite range of detail from both ends of the spectrum with little or no digital noise. Although the technique is not difficult it does require a certain degree of patience and forethought when taking the initial photographs. Instead of taking many photos and then picking out the best one we typically scout out our locations well in advance to determine the best season and time of day to render the shot.
The Final Blended Image
Enfused from 5 original images. See original images at the end of this post
Click here to see the final image after Photoshop Lightroom tweaks
Interviews with artists, photographers and writers living and working on the creative fulcrum between fine art and art for industry
by Geoff Bush
With fifty-plus years working with great creative minds in the ad industry in both management and creative capacities, I have always been fascinated with the choices and rationales offered by the best of the best for the application of their talents to the commercial world. The most experienced of these individuals also presents an opportunity to learn about changes – technical, social and personal, providing insight to what those planning to make a career in creativity. In this dialogue Roderick Bley, a deeply experience photographer, demonstrates the importance of singular focus on a craft to achieve personal creative goals.
How the Darkroom Experience Applies to the Digital “Lightroom”
An interview with Roderick Bley, professional digital photographer.
Question #1 – How did you get started in photography?
You could say that I was literally born into the industry. When I was a teenager my parents owned a photo lab where I am sure I was as much a hindrance as a help, but it’s where I caught the bug. Even before the photo lab my public school librarian knew that I was interested in photography and would loan me the school camera, a Russian Zenith E. This continued throughout high school where I joined the camera club and the yearbook club. If you were looking for me, the school darkroom is where you would find me. Also did local wedding photography and learned a lot about personal photography.
Question #2 – Tell us about your formal education in photography.
I was fortunate to have been accepted into the photo technology program at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute in Toronto. This was a four year program but I was well prepared because of my practical experience. So my professor advised me to head out into the real world after my second year. I took his advice and he was right because photographic education was just beginning.
Question #3 – Tell us a bit about your real first career in photography.
I had a number of paying jobs while in Toronto but my first “career” job was working for a small family run photo lab in Calgary, Alberta Canada. As with most young entrepreneurs the thought of owning my own business was always on my mind but the path to get there started on the night shift. The company was expanding its operations and I graduated to the day shift where I was quickly involved in assisting the business build a new location and move the operations. It was also during this time frame that I first met the Kodak rep, a great guy named Joe Davis, who was working with a world leader in the photographic industry with great products. There appeared to be some hope of becoming part of the business. The family had other thoughts so I decided it best to head out on my own and opened a small black and white photo lab. I kept taking landscape and scenic photographs and sent them to various stock agencies in the hopes of selling the rights. In the early days I was fortunate since the agencies were looking for fresh talent and new images. As the years went by they became more demanding and required a certain “quota” to retain their audience. I really enjoyed the photography but had a young family to care for and the chance for speculative income was trumped by a need for the steady work in the photo lab.