Exercise: Scene Dynamic Range

Take five differently lit scenes, and within each, find and measure the brightest and darkest areas.

Make sure that at least one scene has a very high dynamic range and also that one scene has a low range- appears ‘flat’.

Note the results in your learning log


I took a photograph of this close up of a plane’s afterburner as I liked the high shine and reflectivity with the overheard lighting.

At its brightest area it measured 1/80, and at its darkest it was 1/40


I chose this subject due to being in front of a window with natural light but also shadows at the front where the light wasn’t falling.

At its brightest area it measured 1/100 and at the darkest area it was 1/60



This was another interesting choice as it was a lit neon sign within a dark display room.

At its brightest area it measured 1/00, yet in the darkest area it measures 1/30 obviously taking into account the lack of illumination



This was a very different lighting to the previous images being direct and bright sunlight. At its brightest where the sky has blown highlights, its 1/8000 and at its darkest areas around the edge with the trees to the left its 1/1600.


I chose this as a ‘flat’ lighting scene, its a dark overcast day with what I feel are quite flat tones with no strong lighting of any source. At its brightest its 1/500, and in the darker areas its 1/320.



Looking at the differences in lighting and situations, I prefer the image with the flatter light as it gives more even tones and without any post processing at all, its given me a more balanced result straight from the camera.


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