Up or Down, El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe, Valencia, Spain

Being in the Grey

Sometimes I prefer the grey

Shadows can be too dark
Highlights can be too bright

In the grey all is line and texture
I see the form of what is

Without interpreting darkness and light

Up or Down?
El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe

Taken during travels, 2019

El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe, Valencia, Spain
The middle exposure of a five image bracket.

El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe, Valencia, Spain
An HDR treatment merging five exposures.

This shot was taken on a bright day in a building with lots of windows, hard sunlight streaming into the space. Very deep shadows with very bright highlights.

Back when I was shooting 35mm slide film, I (hopefully) would have walked away from this scene. There’s just too much ‘dynamic range’ between the brightest areas and the darkest areas. No film could catch it in a single shot. See the photograph at right, for an example.

Now, with digital, it’s a fairly simple (and inexpensive) task to take several exposures in a series so that one exposure gets the details in the darkest areas while another gets the details in the lightest areas. Add a couple or so more shots to expose for details from the areas of light in between. With some HDR (High Dynamic Range) software, these bracketed exposures can be merged to get a single photograph with details in all areas of the photograph.

Some time ago I took a moment to try that with this image and the result is at the right. It’s nice enough, and there’s detail in both the lightest and darkest areas of the image, but as a photograh, well, it didn’t thrill me, so I set it aside.

Today I gave it another go, and tried for something a bit different. The result, above, is a bit better than the previous effort, though it’s still not something I’d print and hang on a wall. (It does look a bit nicer with a black background, which you can see here.)

However it did provide some inspiration for today’s words, so it has that going for it. 😉