Tag Archives: negative

The Digital Negative


The Digital Negative by Jeff Schewe, published by Peachpit Press, ISBN: 13 978-0-321-83957-2.

I have just read this book to try to get a better understanding of digital photography.  Schewe is a photographer who has also been working with the boffins at Adobe since the early 1990’s to help develop RAW, Photoshop and more recently Lightroom for photographers from a photographer’s point-of-view.  His books are therefore as close as you can get to finding a first class knowledgable author.  He has published two books ‘The Digital Negative’ and “The Digital Print’ the later I have just began to read.

The Digital Print briefly covers the basic background of how the digital image is made in the camera but drills in to the featured and functions in both RAW and Lightroom that you will use to process your RAW file in to a presentable photo.  This includes a recommended and sensible workflow, background information from the Adobe engineers explaining why certain features work the way they do.  Chapters 4 and 5 a dedicated to Photoshop for advanced editing beyond the capabilities of RAW and Lightroom for those images worth the extra effort.  Chapter 6 covers the recommended workflow from importing pictures from the camera, storing, backing-up, making copies, cataloguing on to developing.  This book does not however cover printing as this is a topic for his second publication.

This is a good book to read, I learned a few new features in Lightroom that I was unaware of and also instructed me in the use of RAW that I am unfamiliar with as I have only used Lightroom so far.  Lightroom was was developed with a lot of the features from RAW and both will talk to one another but changes made in one will alter the other’s parameters and this is a useful thing to be aware of if you use both RAW and Lightroom.  If you want a better understanding of Lightroom, RAW and Photoshop this ids the book to read.  This is not however a detailed book for Photoshop it covers the topics that most photographers need but doesn’t look at all the magic tricks possible in Photoshop.  This is a book intended to help the modern photographer become confident and proficient developing digital photographs to a point that they can print or advance to higher levels of editing using Photoshop and plug-ins.  Not too technically challenging and easy to read and fairly easy to understand without an engineering degree.

A very good book that I would recommend.

Exercise – Outdoors at night

Car lights-resized   Nikon D800e, 24mm f/2.8, 3 sec, f/22, ISO-50, WB-Tungsten.

Taking my camera out in the evening, I looked for interesting photographic opportunities that presented themselves as a result of typical street lighting.  In these shots I used a small digital point and shoot camera, this limited me to ISO settings and manual options but I feel that I was still able to find and make interesting images.

Reflections from a fashion window flipped-1 (1 of 1) Canon Digital IXUS 750, 8mm focal length, 1/6sec, f/2.8, ISO-400,  WB-Manual.

Fashion shop window with the reflection of the street.

Reflections of my dream villa from a spanish real-estate window-1 (1 of 1)    Canon Digital IXUS 750, 8mm focal length, 1/30sec, f/2.8, ISO-400,  WB-Manual.

Reflections of a dream.

Reflections from a plumbers merchant window flipped-1 (1 of 1)  Canon Digital IXUS 750, 8mm focal length, 1/2sec, f/2.8, ISO-400,  WB-Manual.

All the following images have an interesting mix or dominant colours as influenced by the artificial lighting found in typical public shopping streets and centres.

Reflections from a shoe shop window flipped-2 (1 of 1)  Canon Digital IXUS 750, 8mm focal length, 1/8sec, f/2.8, ISO-400,  WB-Manual.

Reflections from a shop window flipped-1 (1 of 1) Canon Digital IXUS 750, 8mm focal length, 1/50sec, f/2.8, ISO-400,  WB-Manual.

Shopping centre-2 (1 of 1)  Canon Digital IXUS 750, 8mm focal length, 1/20sec, f/2.8, ISO-400,  WB-Manual.

Shopping front flipped-1 (1 of 1)  Canon Digital IXUS 750, 8mm focal length, 1/25sec, f/2.8, ISO-400,  WB-Manual.

Shopping centre flipped-1 (1 of 1)  Canon Digital IXUS 750, 8mm focal length, 1/8sec, f/2.8, ISO-400,  +1.3 step, WB-Manual.

Shopping centre-3 (1 of 1) Canon Digital IXUS 750, 8mm focal length, 1/15sec, f/2.8, ISO-400,  WB-Manual.

Red light-1 (1 of 1)  Canon Digital IXUS 750, 8mm focal length, 1sec, f/2.8, ISO-100,  WB-Manual.

Images illuminated by sodium-vapour lamp light which is creating an impression of a negative print type photo.  The combination of moonlight, ghostly illumination of the building and camera angle helps to create an un-nerving feel to these pictures of the Anglican church in Weybridge Surrey.

Low_Res-7594 Nikon D800e, 24-120mm f/4 @27mm, 1/8sec, f/4, ISO-6400, WB-Auto.

Low_Res-7596 Nikon D800e, 24-120mm f/4 @55mm, 1/10sec, f/4, ISO-6400, WB-Auto.

Low_Res-7597  Nikon D800e, 24-120mm f/4 @24mm, 1/4sec, f/4, ISO-6400, WB-Auto.

Low_Res-7606 Nikon D800e, 24-120mm f/4 @24mm, 1/13sec, f/4, ISO-6400, WB-Auto.

Portrait, using only the illumination from a sodium vapour street light.


Nikon D800e, 24-120mm f/4 @120mm, 1/13sec, f/4, ISO-6400, WB-Auto.


Polarized direct reflection

Direct reflected light that has been polarized is similar to un-polarized reflection in that it reflects off a surface at the same angle as it strikes so that to view the reflection you have to be in line with the angle of reflection or in other words within the family of angels. However, polarized light reflects less brightly than direct reflection, pure reflected un-polarized light if half as intense as the original light source. Normally un-polarized light is more than half as a result of some light absorbing qualities found in many materials.

What is polarized light?
Returning to what light is, light is a photon with the electromagnetic field fluctuating around it.
Un-polarized light
This electromagnetic field can be visualized with two children holding a skipping rope, the rope representing the electromagnetic field fluctuating from positive through zero to negative through zero to positive. One child swing her end of the rope whilst the other child holds her end still, this produces a visual picture.

Polarized light.
To polarize the light, imagine that the children are now standing on either side of a picket fence with the rope between them as the child swing the rope on one side of the fence, the child on the other side who holds the rope still, finds her end of the rope in bouncing up and down instead of swinging. We now have a visual image of polarized light.

Blocking polarized light.
Now to see a visual representation of a filter at work blocking polarized light, we simply add horizontal bars across the picket fence and threat the rope though a gap between two vertical pickets and two horizontal bars. One child again swings the rope from her side of the fence whilst the other child simply hold the rope still.
The child simply the rope now sees that her side of the rope doesn’t move at all.
This is blocked polarized light and is therefore invisible to the eye or camera.

A large body of water such as a lake, painted metal, glossy wood and plastic are typical sources of direct reflected polarized light.

Polarized direct reflection is most easily seen in black or transparent objects as they do not produce strong reflected light but weaker diffused light instead.

Taken from the book:
Light, Science & Magic, 4th edition. By Fil Hunter, Steven Biver, Paul Fuqua.
Published by Focal Press, Taylor & Francis Group.