May 142012

Shooting in RAW

I’ve read a few articles on whether you should shoot in RAW or JPEG. Today’s photo is a good illustration of why you should shoot in RAW if your goal is HDR. I fired off three bracketed exposures, as I usually do when shooting handheld. However, the gorilla was moving to me so quickly that I could never combine these three exposures. RAW to the rescue. I was able to use the standard exposure to create the rest of my exposures. At the standard exposure the gorillas faces were far too dark. By expanding this image from -2 through to +2, I was able to recover this detail.

Today’s photo: Coming Through

I’d like to be able to claim that I carefully set my camera to blur the gorillas left hand and show movement. The reality is, with a gorilla bearing down on me, playing with the camera was not the first thing on my mind. Getting a few shots and getting out of the way was priority. I wouldn’t say I was particularly scared of a gorilla attack. I was more worried about being the asshole that gets in their way and disrupts their day. Nobody wants to leave a bad first impression with a silverback. After firing off a few shots I stepped quickly out of the way and directly onto Chris’s foot. You can here his muffled scream 29 seconds into this video. In this case I’m glad I didn’t succeed in freezing the gorilla’s motion. It’s blurred left hand makes it clear that this silverback is coming straight at you.

Group of mountain gorillas coming through the green foliage with a silverback really showing quickness in Rwanda.

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