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Lighting Contrast >

6.4 - See Like Your Camera

Here are some ways to train yourself to see with camera vision.


In my classes, I photograph a side-lighted soda can.

My students can then compare what they see with their eyes, with the photography vision of the soda can on a monitor.

You can do the same with the previous Play with Light exercises.

Measure the Brightness Range

Find a scene that has brightly illuminated areas, and areas with dark shadows.

Using the shutter-priority exposure mode (S or Tv), set your shutter to about 1/500th of a second.

Point your camera at different parts of the scene, and write down the f/stop that your camera's light meter selects.

You might end up with a range of apertures like this one.

Generally, if you have a more than a two-stop difference between the bright and dark areas, you may be disappointed in the resulting photograph.

When you encounter a scene with too much contrast, use the techniques on the following pages.

Visual Notes

Be sure to place examples of camera vision into your visual notes folder.