Exercise: Highlight Clipping

For this exercise, you are asked to find a scene which has a wide range of brightness (Appears contrasty).Find the exposure setting, in which the highlight clipping just appears. Make a note of the shutter speed and aperture.

Once you have done this and taken your first photograph, you must then increase the exposure by One F-stop, adjusting either the aperture or shutter speed only. This should then show you a wider area of highlight clipping.

Take Three more shots in which you decrease the exposure each time by One F-stop.

In total, you should have 5 frames.

View them side by side, and note what differences you see. Make notes on the following aspects of the highlight appearance.

  • Completely lost areas of visual information
  • A visible break in the form of an edge between nearly white, and total white
  • A colour cast along a fringe bordering the clipped white highlight
  • The colour saturation

Please note, even if an image has been exposed so that there is no highlight clipping, the colours of the highlights may still be weaker than  you might want. This often happens with bright skies, particularly with bright clouds.

For this exercise, I will be using light room. I decided that I would change the F-Stop rather than shutter speed for this exercise.

I began by taking a photograph where the highlight clipping began to appear on my camera. As my camera only showed a small picture with the highlight clipping on it, I would not be able to see the full scale of clipping until I uploaded them onto the computer.


The setting for this was F/9, 1/200, ISO 100


9 clipping

When I zoomed into this image, the detail on the trunk of the tree is fine. No noise, no data loss, the colour is ok. With the sky area, there is data loss in some of the white cloud areas. Hence why there is highlight clipping. I personally think that is my fault for shooting white clouds. However, around the data loss areas, you can see a visible break from ‘Nearly White’ to ‘White Highlight’.



You were asked to Increase the exposure by One F-stop, which would result in an image which shows a wider area of highlight clipping.


The setting for this was F/8, 1/200, ISO 100


8 clipping

When I zoomed into the increased F-stop image, I could see that on the trunk of the tree, a few of the highlights were becoming lighter. The sky area had increased with highlight clipping, and in the area I zoomed into, you could see a lot of data loss. There was however a visible break between ‘Nearly White’ and ‘White Highlight’.



You were then asked to take Three images, each decreasing by One F-stop at a time.


The setting for this was F/10, 1/200, ISO 100


10 clipping


The setting for this was F/11, 1/200, ISO 100


11 clipping

When I zoomed in on this image, I knew that there was no highlight clipping. The trunk of the tree had good detail, no visible data loss, unlike with the other images. The sky area also had NO visible data loss. You could clearly see the clouds, which showed that you could see the ‘Nearly white’ and no ‘White Highlights’ anymore.



I decided to take three more images where I would increase the F-stop from F/8, as I was unable to decrease any more from F/11. These would show more highlight clipping.


The setting for this was F/7.1, 1/200, ISO 100


7.1 clipping


The setting for this was F/6.3, 1/200, ISO 100


6.3 clipping


The setting for this was F/5.6, 1/200, ISO 100


5.6 clipping

When I zoomed in on this image, I knew it was the one with the most highlight clipping, which would mean a lot of data loss. In the tree trunk area, there was data loss in the highlighted areas, including noise. In the sky area, there was a significant amount of data loss, and I found it hard to see a visible break between ‘Nearly White’ and ‘White Highlight’, I could just see white highlight. There is a lot of noise over all of the image.




My favourite image would have to be the one taken with the settings of F/10, 1/200, ISO 100.


I prefer this image, even though it is slightly under exposed, because the detail is very good. There is a slight amount of highlight clipping, which means that the detail on the tree itself and the cloud/sky area is very good. There is also no data loss in this image.

Overall Opinion:

I had a lot of problems again with this exercise, simply because of my Photoshop elements which meant I was unable to do this exercise until I could install the Light room. Once I had done that, I could continue with my work.

If I was to re-do this exercise, I would change my subject. I think I made a mistake by shooting into the sky with white clouds. Even though the exercise went really well in my opinion, I think that if I was to use something which was white in colour with detail such as a building or a still life, I would be able to see any differences in highlight clipping, visible nearly white/white highlight and data loss, a lot easier. I did struggle trying to differentiate between the nearly white and white highlight as the clouds were bright white when I took the photographs, so that is one reason why I would change the subject.

Other than this, I think the exercise went well. With my preferred choice being an image that was underexposed, I have learnt that using highlight clipping can definitely help when you are taking a photograph. I would also say that you shouldn’t always rely on the small highlight clipping you can see on your camera’s LCD screen. Take as many different exposures with the highlight clipping, and without the highlight clipping, because once you have uploaded them onto the computer, the images are sometimes different to what you expect, in regards to details etc.







Project: Highlight Clipping

One of the potentially unpleasant effects of this linear way in which sensors collect light, is that at the brightest end, there is a point at which suddenly the tones go pure, featureless white. With film it is different, because its more ‘Eyesight-like’ behaviour means that the brightest highlights shade more gently and smoothly towards white. This is sometimes called ‘Roll-Off’. With a digital photograph, if you over expose part of it, you will instead notice a sudden break.

Below is an example from one on my photographs. It shows clear over exposure on some of the petals which therefore has led to  pure, featureless white breaks.



Over Exposure:

There are technical definitions to over exposure, however, there is also a simple practical meaning. A ‘Correct Exposure’ for a subject, is one that produces the image you wish to create. When an image is ‘Over exposed’ it simply means that the image has been given more exposure than you actually need, with the result being that the image is lighter than you desired.

You must relate the term ‘Correct exposure’ to the ‘Type’ of image you wish you create in order to ensure that exposure is both technical and subjective. Having a ‘Technically Correct Exposure’ for an image, means that your image will have averaged luminance distribution-the mean between lights and darks. However, in some images, you may feel that a technically correct exposure will not be what you desire. This is where the ‘Subjective’ comes in. You may therefore decide to have an underexposed image in order to produce for example, heavy (Black) shadows, or deeper, intense colours. Visually, people are likely to accept an image with dark, heavy shadows that are the consequence of under exposure, than large areas of overly bright, pure featureless white, which is the result of over exposure.

Highlight Clipping:

A valuable aid to let you know when you reach the ‘Danger point’ in an exposure, is the highlight clipping warning. This usually takes form of a flashing area on the camera’s LCD screen once you have taken a picture. If the highlight is a naked light such as the sun or a bare light bulb, this will be unavoidable. If you see the highlight clipping warning appear on your image, if possible, take a second shot with a darker exposure. You can also find highlight and shadow clipping on your histogram, on your image processing software.




Digital Photography Master Class, Tom Ang, Dorling Kindersley Limited, London 2008. Page Pages 162-163.

ISBN: 9781409333906






Exercise: Sensor Linear Capture

“The Photoshop Curves tool is one of the most powerful commands you have in the digital darkroom. But it can be intimidating to some.” Digitalcameraworld.com

The Photoshop Curves tool, is a powerful tool which can be used to adjust tones in order to brighten, darken, add contrast and shift colours.

The curves control determines how the values of the pixels you start with (The input values) are to the changed or transferred to become the Output values. When you open up a curves control box, you will see a diagonal line running through the graph, from the bottom left corner, up to the top right hand corner.

Example taken from Google Images.


Dark pixels can be made lighter, and the lighter ones can be made darker, by simply dragging anchor points up or down on the Curve line to lighten or darken tones.

We can simulate a linear image quite simply, by applying the opposite kind of curve.

For this exercise, you were asked to take any of your photographs (JPEG, TIFF) and open it in Photoshop elements. Convert it to 16 bits per channel (Image>Mode>16bits) because you will be making some strong adjustments that might create some banding in regular 8-bit. Go to (Image>Adjustments>Curves) and make a curve.

Once you have added the curve, the image will look how it was captured before the camera’s processor got to work on it. Save the dark image that you have just made.

I will be using Photoshop Light room 4.4 for this exercise.

I began by choosing the image below because when I looked at the histogram, it was exposed well. Not too light, and not too dark.

Original Image:

Original Image histogram


I took the image and made a copy. I opened the copy in light room. The exercise at the beginning asks for us to convert the image from 8bits to 16bits, however, I was unable to convert my image as I had problems which I will explain below at the end. Therefore, my image remained at 8bits. I then opened the ‘develop’ area in light room and proceeded to use the ‘Tone Curve’ which allowed me to create the curve I needed in order to make a darker image.

Dark Image:


Dark curve graph

(Outcome of the curve)

Dark Curve

You were then asked to put the original image and the darker image side by side. With the darker image, create a curve that will adjust the image, making it look close enough to the original ‘Normal’ image. By doing so, you are effectively doing what the camera’s processor does each time you take a photograph. Notice that the biggest effect has been on the darkest parts, they would have been lightened by what looks like several stops.

I took the dark image and re opened the ‘Tone Curve’. I began moving the curve until I achieved what I believe to be a curve that produces a similar copy to the original image.

Light Curve Image:

Light Curve

Light Curve (2)


Original Image                                        Dark Curve Image

Original Image Histogram small   dark curve histogram small

IMG_0571  Dark Curve

Once the curve in the graph was applied, the histogram changed. Most of the tones have been squashed strongly towards the left hand side. This means that the levels available to represent tones are devoted to the brightest parts of the image, while the darkest parts, the shadows at the far left, are represented by very few levels.

I was also quite surprised to see just how dark the image had become. Given that the original image was averagely exposed, the linear image has become extremely dark, with some areas with complete data loss. There is also noise in the shadow areas.

Original Image                                           Light Curve Image

Original Image Histogram small  Light curve histogram small

IMG_0571  Light Curve (2)

When I took the dark image, and began moving the line on the graph, I had to move it in several directions before I reached what I thought was acceptable. However, looking at the histogram, I have managed to keep it similar to the original image, by having the tones remain ‘Averagely Exposed’, however, there is data loss in the light areas, which in my opinion has been caused by constant transformations, and moving the line on the graph. When I zoom into the image, I can see a lot of noise, and some data loss in the image itself.


Overall Opinion:

I must admit that I had a lot of problems with this exercise to begin with. I currently use Photoshop elements 9. When I attempted this exercise using Elements 9, I was unable to do it because I could not find the curve tool. I looked everywhere online to help me find it, but nothing helped. Thankfully I recently bought a new camera, which came with a Photoshop Light Room 4 disc. I uploaded this disc and realised that thankfully, I was able to finish this exercise, and the upcoming exercise’s, as elements 9 would have stopped me from continuing with a lot of the exercise’s.

What I have learned from this exercise is that you are able to completely change an image, then take it back to its original form. It has also made me play around with my Photoshop and now Light room, as I am not the best at using either of them, therefore by doing these exercise’s, I am learning how cameras work with processing, and I am also teaching myself how to use Photoshop.



Online Article, Photoshop Curves Tool: 6 techniques every photographer must know, By Jeff Meyer, March 18 2013.


Digital Photography Master Class, Tom Ang, Dorling Kindersley Limited, London 2008. Page 164

ISBN: 9781409333906

Online PDF, Raw Capture, Linear Gamma and Exposure, by Bruce Fraser. Adapted from his book Real World Camera Raw, published by Peachpit Press, in August, 2004.






Project: Linear Capture

In order to appreciate the different way in which a sensor responds to light, as opposed to film, we need to go behind the scenes in the processing software.

Camera Sensor:

The camera sensor reacts to light falling on it in a very basic way. It is known as ‘Linear’.

When you take your photograph, as soon as you press the shutter button, the exposure begins. The more light that falls onto the sensor, the stronger the response, at exactly the same rate, from dark to very bright. The camera uses millions of tiny light cavities or “Photosites” to record an image. Photosites collect and store photons. Once your exposure has finished, the camera will close the Photosites, and will begin assessing how many of the photons have fallen onto each. Photons have various intensity levels, which then determine Bit Depth (0 – 255 for an 8-bit image).

However, the process above will only create a grey scale image due to the cavities not being able to distinguish how much of each colour they have collected. In order to capture colour images, each cavity will have a filter placed over the top. These filters will allow only certain colours to penetrate them.

Most current digital cameras, can only capture one of three primary colours in each cavity. 2/3 of incoming light is discarded. The camera must then approximate the other two primary colours, in order to have full colour at every pixel. The colour filter array is called ‘Bayer Array’.

Bayer Array (Colour Filter)

bayer array

A Bayer array consists of alternating rows of red-green and green-blue filters. There are twice as many green as red or blue sensors. Each primary colour doesn’t receive an equal fraction of the total area because the human eye is more sensitive to green light than both red and blue light. Having more green pixels, produces an image which appears less noisy and will have finer detail, which could not be achieved if each colour was treated equally.

The Human Eye, and Film:

Film mimics the human eye when it comes to responding to light. Both compress the way they receive light, in such a way that ‘twice as bright’ for example, seems less than it really is. This is valuable, as it means that our eyesight can cope easily with a wide range of brightness, without driving our sensory system into overload. The film, to a lesser extent, does the same. Not so a camera sensor. It may seem strange as when you take your photograph, they appear exactly as you would expect them to. However, this is due to the camera performing some strong processing procedures before you get your first glimpse of the final result. If we turn off the in camera processing, you would see that the image you first captured is infact surprisingly dark.


The term ‘Gamma’ is often used to describe digital images, in computing. When applied to monitor screens, it is a measure of the relationship between voltage input and the brightness intensity, and because of the way a computer display works, a raw, uncorrected digital image would look darker and more contrasty than out eyes would find normal.

To compensate for this, Gamma correction is applied inside the camera after capture.


Digital Photography Master Class, Tom Ang, Dorling Kindersley Limited, London 2008. Page 164

ISBN: 9781409333906


Online PDF, Raw Capture, Linear Gamma, and Exposure,  by Bruce Fraser. Adapted from his book Real World Camera Raw, published by Peachpit Press, in August, 2004.




Tutor’s Feedback for OCA Learning Log, Part Two: Digital Image Qualities and Assignment One: Workflow

I have included the feedback that I have received in regards to this assignment. I will make any changes to my work, and will update them at the bottom of the assignment.

Tutors Feedback

Overall Comments

Many thanks for submitting this first assignment Chantelle, details of which were featured through your blog.  As this is your first assignment submission, there are no previous feedback issues to reflect upon at this point in time.

Over the coming months I will try to get you to read around what can be considered within photographic academia as the ‘key players’.  It is always interesting to see what imagery students are attracted towards, but often enough some of this work might be a little misleading, in that it has been produced by amateurs working within the field, that have generally not been acclaimed or established themselves on the world photographic stage.  Not to say that you shouldn’t look at these more ambiguous works, if it can help generate ideas etc, but I would always recommend supplementing your research with a large dose of the notable practitioners. You will need to be able to show evidence of this over the coming assignments.

It is also as well to remember that the field of photography contains many different camps, many of which consist of people who don’t even take photographs, but study and comment on the theory behind the works being produced.  At undergraduate level you must have a foot in both practice and theory camps in order to maintain a relationship between the works you produce to the work that has been produced by others who have gone before you.  Within Levels two and three, you will be expected to be able to position yourself in relation to these other practitioners.

The reason I mention such issues is that although I’m aware, much of what is to be completed at Level one can be considered experimental and predominantly practice based, it is as well to be aware at this stage that if you progress onto the higher levels, your photographic output will be concerned with ‘why’ you have chosen to take your particular images, not just ‘how’.

You may wish to get credit for your hard work and achievements with the OCA by formally submitting your work for assessment at the end of the module. More and more people are taking the idea of life-long learning seriously by submitting their work for assessment but it is entirely up to you.  We are just as keen to support you whether you study for pleasure or to gain qualifications.  Please consider whether you want to put your work forward for assessment and let me know your decision when you submit assignment 2.  I can then offer you feedback on how well your work meets the assessment requirements.

Feedback on assignment

In relation to ‘workflow’ I think you have developed an understanding of how to effectively manage your time efficiently towards the lead up and during a photographic shoot and then the subsequent period of post-production. The assignment posting on the blog covered most aspects of this in a comprehensive manner.  I was very happy with the way in which you demonstrated your methodical approach to image making, which showed good practice in places [IE: Planning / Image Capture / Post Production stages of your submission]  I did note that some of your written work could have perhaps been described as being a little held down more by technical considerations, as opposed to critical reflection though, which you could perhaps address with the next assignment through considering ‘why’ you are taking the pictures you take [as already mentioned above]… and perhaps in relation to the work of others also ?

Having looked through all the imagery submitted via your blog, my main criticism would probably be your choice of subject matter, which I felt didn’t really push you out of any sort of comfort zone to be fair !  I think you need to use this module as an opportunity to really try something different in terms of image making …. Even if you fail visually, you can learn from this for future modules.  Lastly, you have elected to show this work as monochrome and really need to try and justify this much more clearly.  If the work has been shot in colour originally, it is a big decision to completely remove all colour, which in my opinion is a step that should not be taken lightly.  There is a series of debates still raging about monochrome versus colour, which you need to make reference to in your contextualization.

It is quite difficult for me to comment much on the actual imagery to be honest as the contents of this assignment is really more to do with the methodology and processes at this point in time.

Learning Logs/Critical essays

On a more general level, your blog is progressing very well and has been regularly posted on and updated.  It is very comprehensive and easy to navigate with the tags all being clearly labeled and intuitive.  This will stand you in good stead for the summative assessment of the module should you wish to go down this route. One observation would be to perhaps consider stripping out what has been completed for the AoP module, so as it is less confusing to the assessor

Wherever possible try to keep your writing as formal as you can, from a written academic perspective – so remove all jokes !.  I would also try to start using references and a bibliography if possible.  When you start to have a critical position [opinion] on the work that is informing your own practice, you need to be able to back these thoughts up with referenced academic materials.  All references should then relate back to your bibliography.

EG:  John Tagg states ‘The portrait is a sign whose purpose is both the description of an individual and the inscription of social identity’ [Tagg,1988: p37]  …… You could then argue whether or not you agree with this statement giving your reasons why and your bibliography would then contain the actual book the quote came from, using Harvard referencing.

You may already be aware of this, but the reason why we cite ‘academic reference’ is to demonstrate you have engaged in wider reading of secondary sources IE: Books, Journals, Films, Websites etc.  Quoting from, or alluding to these sources to back up the points you wish to make, shows a sophistication of writing and expression, which is what is required at degree level study.  By referencing clearly, you can show which ideas are your own and which ideas you have borrowed from other sources [thus avoiding plagiarism].  By relating the work of others to your own, you establish a ‘Critical Position’.  The quality of these sources is always very important so forget Wikipedia !  These are just encyclopedia entries by anybody with an interest and don’t hold any academic rigour, scrutiny or peer review.  Make sure you are looking at relevant sources and always include the full ‘Harvard’ reference in your bibliography [The same as entries in the Suggested Reading section].  This may sound a bit heavy, but as mentioned earlier, you really need to balance the level of theory to practice on a visual arts undergraduate programme of study – you can’t just get away with taking pretty pictures alone unfortunately !

I’m not sure if you have started a workbook / sketchbook as yet, but you would certainly find this useful in terms of a place to collect both your research and ideas development, in addition to the written element of the assignments.  If you start one of these then you can always photograph / copy a number of pages and insert them in a word document for me to take a look at – or include them on the blog

I would also recommend, if you haven’t already started, that you start visiting various galleries and museums that are holding photographic exhibitions and retrospective shows.  It is important for you to know who is doing what out there in this field and you can include both the literature and the research into your sketchbook or journal / blog …. trying to gather all this information in different sub sections.


Suggested reading/viewing

Cartier-Bresson, H.2004:The Mind’s Eye.1st Ed. New York. Aperture Publishing

ISBN-13: 978-0893818753

Koudelka, J.1997: Exiles. London. Thames & Hudson

ISBN-13: 978-0500542082

Koudelka, J.2011: Gypsies. 2nd Edition. London. Thames & Hudson

ISBN-13: 978-0500544020

Clarke, G.1997:The Photograph. Oxford. Oxford University Press

ISBN-13: 978-0192842008


Conclusions and targets for next assignment

I’ll recommend what I would normally for a student at your level of undergraduate study, but if you have already looked at what I recommend, then please just drop me a quick email and I’ll suggest something different.

As a starting point I would always recommend looking at the work of the French photographer Cartier-Bresson, which is simply very stunning work, specifically in relation to compositional consideration.  His writing can be a little ‘quirky’ which can often be attributed to the translation, but in my opinion all photographic students should read ‘The Mind’s Eye’ at least once even if you only take away 25% of it afterwards.  He may have already have been suggested to you in previous modules though !

The other photographer who has been working within Magnum since covering the Russian invasion of Prague in 1968 is Josef Koudelka.   Again, compositionally his work is truly spectacular and often opens up a whole new genre of unknown Czech photographers to students. [IE: Victor Kolar / Peter Zupnik]

I’m conscious of the fact that this is a digital module, but I’m reluctant to go down the route of suggesting photographers who are working solely within the digital domain.  Pretty much all modern photojournalism is shot digitally these days, but predominantly all the steps prior to actual image capture are the same regardless of medium … besides, if you are serious about photography, the work of the practitioners I’ll recommend, you’ll really need to know about regardless of what or how you shoot !

I’ll look forward to your next assignment Chantelle

Assignment One: Workflow

For this assignment, you are asked to devise a themed assignment based on a topic that interests you. For example Street photography, Landscape, portraiture or still life.

You must use what you have learned so far, to construct an effective workflow, all the way through to the final displayed image. Your workflow for this assignment can be in the form of either prints, or web gallery.

List all of the steps in your workflow. As you move through the sequence, you must write a short commentary against each of the steps, describing what you did.

Explain how you think your own workflow may differ from others, and what adaptations you have made, to suit the way you, yourself, take and process the photographs.

The number of images will depend on your subject. You should plan to take at least 6-12 images.

After re-reading through the exercise’s I have done, I knew that the previous workflow’s I have used, wouldn’t need changing that much for this assignment. Once again, I decided to photograph my cats.

I began by devising my workflow. Below is the workflow I used and commentary as to how I used it throughout the shoot.

  1. Choose a subject and location: For this assignment, I decided to choose my cats. I wanted to try and capture them going about their business. It would be indoors due to the weather, however, cats are very independent, and if they want to go outside, I may end up going outside (Depending on weather)
  2. Think about positioning:  Positioning is quite hard. With my previous exercise, I found out that working with animals doesn’t always go to plan, as they constantly move, and are very independent. With regards to this, I am fully aware of what to expect, and hopefully, I will still be able to pull this off again.
  3. Think about the weather, will the shoot have to be indoors or outdoors. Will this effect my lighting? Will I need lights? :With regards to weather, it has been nothing but rain, wind, rain, wind…Oh and more rain. The lighting has been awful. There may be a few bright spells in between the rain, or there may be one day where there is no rain, and the sun is shining. This is the day I want to try and choose to photograph the cats on. That way, I wont need any lighting etc, as setting up lighting is too much work, especially when the cat then decides to move…….hmm. Therefore, I am hoping that I am able to have one day of sunshine, where I can adjust the settings on  my camera for the lighting, rather than have to worry about any artificial lighting extras.
  4. Check all of my equipment: Make sure batteries are charged, memory cards, lenses, tripod etc. I always look after my camera and the equipment that goes with it. I regularly check the memory cards, I always charge the batteries and I always clean the lenses after I have used the camera. I decided to use my 18-55mm lens as this way, I would be able to get closer to the cat and I would reduce the risk of any camera shake, if I was to use a telephoto lens.
  5. Test Shots: I decided to take some test shots of the cat, this way I could change any settings. I decided to use a fast shutter speed as it would enable me to capture the picture quickly, before they moved. Depending on room etc, I would have to change the ISO or f.stop.
  6. The shoot: Even though there was no time limit to this assignment, I wanted to keep it quite short, as depending on the lighting conditions, I may not have enough time to use the natural light.  Thankfully, there was ONE day without rain. The sun was shining. I decided that I would take advantage of this and photograph the cats. However, only one as per usual, decided to leave the warm comfy bed, and pose for me, but not in the garden, oh no! it was way too cold for that. I took as many photographs as I could, changing the iso depending on where the cat was. I had to change the iso, as at one point, she decided to sit in the bright, sunny window, which caused a complete white screen, so I then had to change all of the settings, whilst she looked at me, waiting for me to take the next photograph. Once she got bored of posing, and went back to bed, I then decided to photograph my other cat, who was asleep, as usual. I took around 60 images. During the shoot, I was constantly checking the LCD screen, to see if any were mistakes, and if they were, I deleted them straight away. I also kept an eye on the histogram. Overall, the shoot took about 1hr, but that is only because they all ended up sleeping and not wanting to do anything. I tried bribing them to pose for me, but nope, they were having none of it.
  7. Transfer the images to the computer: Once the shoot was over, I then had to remove my memory card from the camera, and transfer the images onto the computer. I used an SD card reader, and transferred them into a new folder specifically for the assignment.
  8. The Technical Edit: Remove any images that are faulty or mistakes. Images which may be over or under exposed, out of focus or camera shake. Place these images into a separate folder.
  9. The Selects: Once you have removed any mistakes, you will be left with technically fine images. From these images, choose any images which satisfy you creatively. Place these images into another folder. These will be known as ‘The first selects’
  10. The First Selects: These are the group of images which you have decided are the best out of all of them. You must then look through the first select images, and choose approx. 6-12 images as final choice images. Place these images into a separate folder.
  11. Final Choice: You would have started off with a large amount of images. You should have whittled them down to a handful, and then chosen your 6-12 final images.
  12. Editing/Processing: My next choice would be to edit the final 6-12 images you have chosen. Use your image editing software. Once you have processed your images, you may not decide you want as many as you final decision. You can then choose minimum of 6 as your completed final choice(s). I made 2 copies of each original image, as I wanted to see if I preferred the edited image in colour or black and white. I used Photoshop Elements 9 as my image editing software. I retouched any marks, on all of the images. I also made sure the brightness and contrast levels were ok. I cropped some of the images as well. I made a colour and a black and white image. I used the same process for each image.

I decided not to post the screen shots of the process, as it is exactly the same as the previous exercises.

I chose 6 final images. I will post the colour ones, however, the monochrome versions are infact my final choices. I once again decided to use the monochrome images, as I love black and white photography, and I am able to remove any colour distractions from the photograph. On a plus side, you cant see my cats ‘Gravy face’ as she hadn’t cleaned her chin after eating her breakfast.

1 colour2 colour

3 colour5 colour4 colour6 colour


Final Images:

1 black and white

2 black and white

5 black and white4 black and white


3 black and white6 colour - Copy


Overall Opinion:

‘Explain how your workflow may differ from others’

Im not sure that my workflow would differ from other peoples workflow’s. I believe that I use a very straight forward workflow. I believe it’s a workflow that most photographers would use. Sometimes you tend to use this workflow without thinking, or unknowingly. For example, I always check the equipment, I always think about what I want to photograph, locations etc. That is why the workflow I have devised for this assignment and the previous exercises, comes naturally to me. Equipment is something that would differ depending on the person, not everyone uses the same camera equipment, that also goes for the image processing software. That will also differ depending on the person. However, I don’t think that  the frame of the workflow and basic steps, will differ that much.

‘What adaptations have you made to suit the way you shoot’

There are some points in the workflow that may need adapting or you may need to adapt to, for example, lighting, weather, positioning, location, subjects. The workflow would therefore change in order to accommodate for example, the lighting settings, ie. do you need natural lighting, or studio lighting, you may also have to keep changing camera settings. Weather would also play a major role in the changing of the workflow. For this assignment, I had to adapt to the lighting, with it being indoors, and the movement of the cat, meant I had to use a fast shutter speed, but I also had to accommodate the ISO and aperture settings. Another adaptation I had to make was the posing and location. With a human model for example, I am able to think of poses and locations, however, when working with animals, you are unable to guide them into  a certain position you want them, or in a certain location  you want them. Therefore, that I another adaptation I had to make for this assignment.

I am pleased with how this assignment has turned out. I am happy with the final images. I must admit however, that due to the weather, it did take me a while to think of what to photograph. I didn’t want to spend a day outside in the pouring rain worrying about keeping my camera dry, whilst changing the settings etc. Plus it has been freezing cold. I also didn’t want to photograph still life as I have done that many times before, I know that my Cousin wouldn’t want to pose for me again for more portraits, therefore my lovely cats had to be my models.

I have learnt a lot over these few exercises. I know that even though I use a workflow for my work unknowingly, I must now start using it knowingly. I must plan ahead in order for me to be ready in case anything goes wrong or needs changing. It will help to reassure me that no matter what, I should end up with great final images, if I stick to a workflow. Plus it makes sure that I don’t forget anything. You don’t want to get somewhere and find out that your battery isn’t charged or your memory cards are full because you haven’t transferred the previous images.

I have learnt how to use histograms. I must admit that I would still like to learn more about them, as mentioned previously, I want to learn as much as I can, In order to take advantage of them. I also want to learn more on how to use the most of my Photoshop Elements 9. These things I will read up about more and hopefully, I will be able to apply it to my next pieces of work.

I will now wait for my tutors response, and post it on here. I will make any changes that he may suggest to me.

Exercise: Editing

Photograph editing is the process of choosing the best picture or pictures from all those you have taken. The pictures that are the closest to, or better than, the ones you imagined in your mind’s eye when using the camera. Editing involved also finding pictures that you thought had failed when you took them, but suddenly afterwards appear to work because of some chance or unexpected element. Editing has gradually acquired more than one meaning. It is sometimes known as ‘Processing’ which uses image editing software. With this exercise, the word Editing will be used with its original meaning. With editing images, you will be using a selection process in which the less-good images in a set are winnowed away to leave the best images. This is an essential and active part of the creative process, and is an extension of shooting.

As you shoot, there are many occasions when you will know perfectly well that some images, even of the exact same subject, are better than others. For example, perhaps you may find a camera angle or lighting, that looks better. This process of improving on an image you have already taken, is an important part of developing your photographic eye.

When you come to examine photographs you have taken, on the computer, you will then be expected to make a choice. The choice you make later, may not necessarily be the choice you made at the time of shooting.

In order to make sense of the many possibilities when faced with a set of images, it generally helps to follow a standard procedure. This procedure is not forced upon you to use, however, it is very useful and a very sound method. Once you have uploaded your images onto the computer, you would then want to use the following step by step method.

  1. The Technical Edit: Remove any images that are faulty or mistakes. Images which may be over or under exposed, out of focus or camera shake. Place these images into a separate folder.
  2. The Selects: Once you have removed any mistakes, you will be left with technically fine images. From these images, choose any images which satisfy you creatively. Place these images into another folder. These will be known as ‘The first selects’
  3. The First Selects: These are the group of images which you have decided are the best out of all of them. You must then look through the first select images, and choose approx. 4 images as final choice images. Place these images into a separate folder.
  4. Final Choice: You would have started off with a large amount of images. You should have whittled them down to a handful, and then chosen your 4 final images.
  5. Editing/Processing: My next choice would be to edit the final 4 images you have chosen. Use your image editing software. Once you have processed your images, you may not decide you want 4 as you final decision. You can then choose 2 as your completed final choices.

For this exercise, you could combine it with a previous one from this set of work. I decided to combine it with the first exercise, which was workflow 1, where I had to take portraits. I have explained and showed my workflow for this, however, I will explain it some more, especially the editing side for this particular exercise.

Step One: I began by uploaded all of the images I had shot, onto the computer. I created a new folder which was named and dated.

Transfered to computer

Step Two: (The Technical Edit) I then created a new folder, where I would then transfer any images which were obvious faults or mistakes.

Mistakes and Faults Image

Step Three: (The Selects) Once I had removed any faulty images, I was then left with images which were all technically fine. These I class as the selects.

The Selects

Step Four: (The First Selects) I then had to look trough the remaining technically fine images, and remove any images I decided were the best out of them. Ones which I could edit or process, and would make great final images. I place these into a new folder called The First Selects.

First Selects

Step Five: (Final Choice) From the first selects, I then had to narrow it down even more and choose approx. 4 images which were overall the best.

Final choice for editing

Step Six: (Un-Edited) I should then have my chosen 4 images which I can then start the process. I have included the images un edited as I want to explain how I edited them and why I chose the edit them the way I did.



I decided that these would need processing/editing, as my model would need some re touching on the blemishes and marks on the face. I also wanted to convert them to Black and white portraits.

Step Seven: (Editing/Edited) I made 2 copies of each original image, as I wanted to see if I preferred the edited image in colour or black and white. I used Photoshop Elements 9 as my image editing software. I retouched all of the marks on my models face, on all of the images. I also made sure the brightness and contrast levels were ok. I cropped the full length image also, as I wanted to crop the stuff out of the picture on the right hand side. I made a colour and a black and white image. I used the same process for each image.

(Final Edited Colour Images)

1 Colour2 Colour4 Colour3 Colour

(Final Edited Black and White Images)

1 Black and white2 Black and white4 Black and white3 Black and white

Step Eight: (Finals) Once I had edited everything. I could then choose my 2 final images. I decided on these two.

1 Black and white2 Black and white

I decided on these two as I wanted black and white portraits. I find them more striking to look at. Once I had processed them and removed the blemishes etc, they came out really well. I was very pleased with the final results.

Overall Opinion:

Editing/processing images is a very interesting technique, and is quite fun to do. You have no limits what so ever when it comes to editing. You can change colour, backgrounds, lighting, hair colour, eye colour. The choice is yours, and that is what I like. In my opinion, as long as you stick to the procedure above, you should always end up with great looking final images. The rest is then up to you, such as editing (Using editing software). I enjoyed the editing exercise. I do still need to learn how to use my Photoshop elements 9 a lot better. I do read as many books as I can or tips online, however, I always forget how to do it once I am set loose on editing an image. This is the one thing I know I must learn and I will sit down one day and write down the tips I need.




John Ingledew, Photography. Laurence King Publishing, London, 2005.

ISBN: 9781856694322