Playing The Long Game: Outdoor Photography With Telezooms

Zebra(-ing)

dudler

Time for an update: I still use film, though. Not vast quantities, but I have a darkroom, and I'm not afraid to use it.

I enjoy every image I take: I hope you'll enjoy looking at them.
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Zebra(-ing)

17 Apr 2020 7:28AM   Views : 391 Unique : 254

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The last letter of the alphabet, and my mind is on next weekís blogs Ė I plan to take you through the steps involved in developing and printing your own pictures the old school way. My ambition will be to give you everything you need to start processing film and paper at minimal cost.

But for now, something that is recent, even by digital camera standards Ė zebraing.

Letís go back a step: when you review images on the back of your camera, itís been possible, for many years, to enable a facility that flashes overexposed and underexposed areas as alternating pure black and white. The image flickers, and you know that thereís probably something wrongÖ

Now, if the camera has an electronic viewfinder, itís possible to have prior notice of a problem: the equivalent of an orange light in the car, suggesting that you need to check something fairly soon (red lights mean stop, NOW, and find out what the problem is). And that is what zebraing is, more or less.

Actually, itís more, because itís both adjustable, and more subtle. Itís a facility that videographers have been used to for years, and which matters to them, more than it does, perhaps, to stills workers. And it only works for overexposure.

Itís more subtle because you can adjust the level of exposure at which it occurs (the default on my Alpha 7R III is 70, when 100 sets the stripes going at the exposure that gives pure white. 70 is approximately the level at which Caucasian skin will be getting too light). So while the flashing in review mode means that youíve blown it (literallyÖ) zebra tells you when youíre at the limit.

My suspicion Ė as a non-video person Ė is that this matters more because video doesnít come as a RAW file which allows enormous alteration: as they say in the shops, when itís gone, itís gone. So if you only shoot still images, you may want to leave it switched off, or set it to 100.

So, to sum up, itís a warning that you are living close to the edge, as the person in my picture is doing. Zebras bite, and the very strong advice of the Midlands Safari Park is donít try to feed them!

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dark_lord Avatar
dark_lord Plus
19 3.0k 836 England
17 Apr 2020 7:30PM
On my Black Country Museum T-shirt, Z is for a stripey 'oss.
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