The Hidden Challenges of Digital Photography with Michael Clark

by Michael Clark April 6, 2018


Digital photography seems so easy, and in some respects it is. Point, shoot, view the result, correct issues and shoot again.

But for those who want to take their digital photography up a notch, capturing the image is just the start of the workflow process. Exposing an image, setting up the camera, and creating a post-production environment (among other things) all have an effect on the final outcome.

In the early 2000s, my transformation to digital photography was a challenging one. At that time, the sophisticated software options that exist today were unavailable and very few photographers had a handle on color management, This made digital photography a complicated and frustrating feat. All of the photographers and photo editors I knew were struggling to figure it all out and get their images to look as good as they did with film. It took me a few years to get my images looking the way I really wanted them to with digital.

Fast forward to today, there are more tools than ever at our disposal to help make the digital workflow easier and much more efficient. In spite of this, there are still digital workflow issues that every photographer needs to know about in order to output top-notch images. Here are four guidelines for any amateur or pro photographers.

Image exposure is a huge issue and one that many photographers are not aware of. When shooting in digital photography (and ideally in raw), be sure to  focus on two major things: not blowing out the highlights or underexposing the image drastically.

Blowing out the highlights means that parts of the image are pure white and those highlights cannot be recaptured in the post processing.  Be sure to expose to the right, setting the exposure so that the histogram is as far to the right as possible without blowing out important highlights. If the sun is in the image or there are reflections off metal objects, be sure to blow them out. Otherwise, aim to avoid blowing out important parts of the image.

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