Luminosity and Presence

Evening Gullfoss IcelandTo see the points made in this post, please look at the picture full size against a grey background.

It could be argued that the finer points of black and white printing or post processing are Luminosity and Presence.

Luminosity is the term sometimes used to describe a print that glows – it appears to have an inner light source.

How is Luminosity achieved? generally it is by having a light subject against a dark background and then darkening and adding contrast to everything that is not the subject without going OTT.

Presence is the apparent illusion of depth or a 3D appearance in a picture. This is very much about the choice of lens aperture at the taking stage. A large aperture giving limited depth of field concentrates the viewers to where the picture is in focus and sharp – hopefully the subject matter as in the pile of rocks in the foreground of the picture above. The eye responds and is attracted to a bright contrasty foreground subject.

If you are a landscape photographer of the maximum sharpness brigade ie everything sharp at f22 and wonder why your pictures lack the illusion of reality and depth try the techniques suggested here. It will be the first steps in to the very complex world of how the brain responds and processes a scene. This is an area of science and psychology that is not fully understood yet.

Photoshop CS6 has a new Tilt and Shift blur filter which I will be checking out when I get it in a few weeks time. I have always felt that this type of effect is best and most convincingly done in camera.

The picture above was taken with a large aperture and in the post processing the clarity (mid-tone contrast) and sharpness were selective applied to the foreground only.

I will be giving a talk called “Digital photography – the how not to guide” tonight at Backwell Camera Club. This talk came about to counter all the useless partial and incomplete information peddled by the photographic press such as more pixels equals a better picture.

A big hello to all the new followers of my little blog this week.

(c) Andy Beel FRPS 2013

2 responses to Luminosity and Presence

    • andybeel says:

      Hi Distan
      Apologies not getting back to you sooner it’s been a busy week and thank you very much for your kind words and your continued support.


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