Photography Tutorials and Articles

Definition of Perfect Pictures

What is the Definition of Perfect Pictures

In previous articles, I talked about “Making Photographs,” and how to achieve perfect pictures every time. Previously, I discussed Exposure, Composition and Post-Processing are the fundamentals of excellent images. However, when it comes to digital photography, you should consider a few more vital elements for creating a perfect picture.

Generally speaking, a perfect photograph is a picture with correct exposure, pleasing colours or contrasts and dynamic composition. 

Additionally, in digital photography, whenever we talk about the exposure, in fact, we are talking about the BrightnessContrast, and Colours in our photographs. Therefore, in this article, I am going to cover one of the most frequently asked questions; “What is wrong in this picture?

In all the years I have been teaching digital photography, this question is one of the most common ones. I get asked: “When a photo does not look right, should I check the white balance or the exposure?” 

Let’s begin with a few definitions. 

What is Exposure?

Exposure is the brightness and contrast in a photo. Correct exposure is one that provides enough brightness and contrast of the scene, somewhat close to what our human eyes can see. 

A Correctly Exposed Photo

Perfect Pictures
Sample of a correctly exposed picture. Correct Exposure makes perfect pictures

Overexposed Photo

Perfect Pictures
This is an overexposed photo. Exposure is not correct.

What influence does White Balance have?

White Balance controls the rendition of the colours. If the colour in your photos appears off and doesn’t look right, you need to check the white balance setting.  

An Incorrect White Balance

analyzing the colour cast
Indoor lights create heavy colour cast

A Correct White Balance

analyzing the colour cast
Using White Balance Presets can help removing heavy colour cast

A simple tip for diagnosing incorrect settings in a photo 

If the photo is too dark, too bright or lacks contrast, look to the exposure as the reason why. 

If you don’t already do this, I encourage you to get into the habit of using the Histogram to judge the exposure precisely. The Histogram information is valuable not only while taking photos, but also when editing the picture. 

On the other hand, if the colours are not correct, for example too yellow or blue (Colour Cast), this is due to an incorrect white balance setting. 

An Incorrect White Balance and Exposure

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A sample of incorrect White Balance and Exposure

Keep in mind that most of the time, an underexposed picture can show a blue cast. So, my suggestion is to check the exposure first and make sure it is correct and then check and adjust the white balance.

An Incorrect Exposure

The brightness of the snow made camera to under exposed this photo. The snow is not white anymore.
The brightness of the snow made camera to under exposed this photo. The snow is not white anymore.

How would you evaluate these photos? 

It takes practice to identify what is “off” in a photograph. Many times, you might sense that something isn’t entirely natural in a picture, but you don’t always know the reason. Below is a selection of images with either the exposure or white balance set incorrectly. What would you evaluate is wrong in these photos? Is it the white balance or the exposure?

Let’s turn this exercise into a fun game. Train your photography brain to identify problems and post your answers to our Facebook page. It is going to be lots of fun!

Do you want to learn more about Camera’s Built-in Light Meter?

Omnilargess Photography workshops focus on many hidden features in digital cameras.

I dedicate a good portion of our digital camera workshops to discuss the Exposure and the Metering Modes.

Digital Photography Bootcamp is one of our most popular photography courses. Check the link below for upcoming classes.

The next Bootcamp starts on February 19th, 2020. There are a few spots left.

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Bootcamp Programshow details + $472.50 (CAD)*  

* price includes taxes


Bootcamp Schedule:

Wednesday, February 19th and 26th, 6:00-9:00 pm

Wednesday, March 4th, 11th, 18th, from 6:00-9:00 pm

Saturday, March 21st, from 9:30am-12:30pm

Wednesday, March 25th and April 1st, from 6:00-9:00 pm

Omnilargess Training Program

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That is all for now. Stay tuned for my next photography Tips. We love to hear from you. Let us know if you have any questions, feel free to send us your questions, and we will be more than happy to answer them. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more Free Tutorials and Tips.

Ted and the Omnilargess Team

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