To create this image I used the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II lens with the 1.4X II TC (handheld at 280mm) and the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/800 sec. at f/4. See the image below for the underexposure story.
Swimming Bison?, Dealing with Underexposure, and BAA Bulletin #342
On our last morning in Yellowstone National Park on our recently concluded Wyoming trip, Denise and I spotted three bison heading down to the Madison River to drink. We grabbed out telephoto zoom lenses and began photographing them as the river was not very wide. When they were finished drinking they began looking longingly across the river. I couldn’t believe it. “Maasai Mara in Yellowstone” I shouted after realizing that like so many Wildebeest that they were going to swim across the river. And they did. To learn what happened after they crossed, check out the Wyoming Trip Report in BAA Bulletin #342.
This is a JPEG representation of the original underexposed RAW file from which I created the opening image in this blog post.
With the soft light, a fairly light-toned yellow background, and a relatively small dark animal in the frame, I should have added close to two full stops to my exposure. Adding only 2/3 of one stop left me with an underexposed RAW file. (I guess my mind made the bison a lot bigger in the frame than it actually was–having a large dark subject in the frame would have told the camera to open up a lot more than it did.) Yes even the pros get the wrong exposure when things get really exciting.
To deal with the underexposure I adjusted the Exposure Slider in Adobe Camera Raw. That worked so well that I did not even have to use the Fill Light slider. Once I got the image into Photoshop I darkened the background and then selected the dark sections of the bison, ran Noise Reduction on that selection, and then desaturated it to further reduce the color noise. I was very happy with the results. Notice that I used a Quick Mask and the Patch Tool to remove two rocks on the far shoreline. Even though the image looks vastly better after conversion and optimization, it is important to realize that the techniques are straightforward and relatively simple. And they are all covered in detail in our Digital Basics File--the best $20 I ever spent in photography according to many Digital Basics is a PDF that is sent via e-mail.
BAA Bulletin #342
BIRDS AS ART Bulletin #342 is online and can be accessed here.
Here are the features:
WYOMING TRIP REPORT/YELLOWSTONE & THE GRAND TETONS
BOSQUE 2010 STUFF
THANKSGIVING AT BOSQUE
A GUIDE TO PLEASING BLURS
POSSE NEWS/ROBERT O’TOOLE
Make sure to check out all the great Yellowstone and Grand Teton images in the Bulletin. I will see you back here soon.