My Changing Photographic Taste

A couple of weeks ago, I was out in the Peak District visiting Higger Tor. It was bitterly cold at the time and had been snowing earlier in the week. That’s when I shot this image.

View from Higger Tor in the Peak District

It’s a single exposure, taken with the Fuji XT3 and Fuji 10 to 24 lens at 11 mm. I shot this handheld at 1/40 of a second using f/11.0 and ISO160.

Although I’d usually have a graduated neutral density filter on my lens in these conditions, this time I didn’t bother. I allowed the bright sun in the sky to blow out, and instead, concentrated on creating a good exposure for the foreground.

Having now processed the image, I realised just how much my photographic tastes have changed over the years. At one time, I would never have shot this image without a filter. If I saw a large area of blown out sky like this, I would have deleted the image.

Perhaps this change is down to the advancement of camera equipment that allows me to be more flexible.

Today’s cameras seem more forgiving of blown highlights. With older digital cameras, you would often see an ugly, hard transition between areas of detail and the blown highlights. Today, we have more of a gradual transition in these areas. This allows us to create a different style of photography and I think this is why my taste is changing too.

I haven’t really thought this through fully but thought I would share it in case it resonated with anyone else.

Affinity Photo Pen tool selection

This week’s YouTube video explains how to use the Pen Tool in Affinity Photo to create accurate selections.

Many of the videos I’ve seen about the Affinity Pen Tool treat it in the same way as the Pen Tool in Photoshop. Typically, you would add a point with the Pen Tool, then whilst clicking, drag to create a curve shape. But this isn’t the way to use the tool in Affinity Photo, especially for beginners. Instead, there’s a much easier way to select hard and curved edges with it, as I explain in this video.

I hope you like this week’s image, and if you’re an Affinity Photo user, you find the video helpful.

Have a great weekend.

7 thoughts on “My Changing Photographic Taste

  1. Lovely image, Robin, but let me ask you a question: why did you select such a short focal length out of your zoom lens? You could have backed away a few steps and have used a 20 mm focal length, to give a little bit more prominence to the hills in the distance, while maintaining the same apparent size for the foreground.

  2. Great image Robin! Absolutely love the tones you’ve produced here.
    Re your comment about blown out highlights, perhaps also the “camera club approach” has changed. In the past, harsh comments might have been dished out about blown highlights, but today where such highlights enhance the picture – here adding drama to the shot – it’s more than acceptable. Hope all that makes sense….
    Keep up the great work, I always look forward to your Friday posts.

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Ken. Yes, I have noticed that some people at clubs like the added drama of strong light. Unfortunately, I’ve also had comments relayed to me that some judges on the club circuit don’t like these modern images. It’s difficult for me to know if this is true, but I’m sure there will be an element that clings to hard rules. I did have someone comment once on one of my photos that it failed and was a poor example because it didn’t adhere to the rule of thirds. The fact that it was a symmetrical reflection was completely lost on them.

  3. Well, that depends on the camera club. Some folk still cling to old ideas and concepts and apparently not interested in “new” ideas or approaches. One size does not always fit all everyone.

  4. I had not thought about that with older digital cameras you would see an ugly, hard transition between areas of detail and the blown highlights, and that now it’s no longer the case and that allows us to accept these areas more. I think you may be right.

    1. Yes, I think the transition to better highlight (and shadows for that matter) handling started around 2012. At least that’s when I noticed it. Before that, there would be a hard edge to blown highlights. It seems like others have noticed it too. I think it creates a more flexible way of working. The old sensors remind me of using slide film whereas the new ones are more like negative film.

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