Photographing the dazzling white gypsum crystals of White Sands is not simply a case of point-and-shoot. That intense white will confuse your camera’s light sensor. Unless you make adjustments for that, your “white” dunes will come out looking dingy gray from underexposure. Approach photography at White Sands as you would approach bright daylight photography of snow — think “Exposure Compensation.”
The vast majority of the photographs I’ve posted this week were taken with exposure compensation between +.7 and +2.0, with most falling in at around +1.3. And even then the JPEGs appeared washed, lacked contrast and detail, and lacked luster and punch on nearly every level. Fortunately, I was also saving images in Raw.
Indeed, I wound up tossing nearly every original JPEG and converting the Raw files into JPEG format after working a little digital post-processing magic. The results were vastly superior, and I was able to compensate for the Panasonic FZ1000’s inclination to internally over-process JPEGs and to remove the corner vignetting evident many of the shots. The FZ1000 is a very good camera, but that 16x zoom lens does have its limitations. I’m also not very impressed with the aforementioned internal JPEG processing. Large swathes of monochromatic areas, such as sky, often come out looking blotchy rather than smooth and uniform. My Canon G1 X is vastly superior in this regard.
For a rather lengthy, perhaps boring, but nicely detailed look at exposure compensation I refer you to my previous blog post on the subject: Honey, Why is the Snow so Gray . . . and Your Face so Dark?” Another post on the subject would be: The Photo Clinic is Open.
Next week we take David Williams on a grand tour of Cloudcroft, New Mexico, and the picturesque and historic Mexican Canyon Train Trestle. Until then I leave you with three last Fun Photo Friday images of White Sands:
By the way, if you’re reading this and other material authored by me on The Destinary website, this post was not “Posted on (fill in the date) | By destinary” as they’ve been erroneously claiming; this material was in fact reposted. The Destinary have also been claiming the right to do so, without links back to the original and without full attribution (“by RDoug” and a nonworking link is not proper attribution) with a rather bizarre interpretation of U.S. copyright law in which they claim I’m responsible for changing my RSS feed settings so that they cannot skim my material for commercial purposes. That would make reading my blog less convenient for you, which I’m not willing to do. As such, I’ll be running this little diatribe on all travel related posts until they cease and desist, along with this:
© 2015 R. Doug Wicker (RDougWicker.com)
All right reserved — that includes you, Destinary
Final note: Considering The Destinary is a site listed as owned by Sonia Bosquez-Platt of Indianapolis Tour & Travel, you may want to rethink doing business with her or her company.