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Photo Tips > Contrast Remedies

Human Vision & Photography "Vision"

We can see a wide range of contrast—a 10,000 to 1 ratio.

The highlights can be 10,000 times brighter than the darkest shadow that we can see.

That's about a thirteen stop range.

This wide range gets us into trouble.

We see a wide range of contrast, but . . .

1) Sensors can only record a five or six stop range of contrasts.

2) Photography papers can reproduce only about four or five stops of contrast.

An average scene has about a seven stop range of contrast.

We can see the contrast in an average scene, of course.

But sensors and photography paper can't.

First, we'll look at what you can do to reduce contrast when you're photographing.

Then, we'll look at post-production solutions.