The contrast between the bright flower and the dark background illustrates something that I recently read about photography while trying to get a better understanding of histograms. Each f-stop on the camera allows twice as much light as the next higher f-stop number. The human eye can handle the contrast of light that is equivalent to a range of about 8 f-stops, but a camera image can capture a range of only about 5 f-stops.
Consequently, in many scenes there is a range of brightness or darker areas that the eye sees, but which the camera will record as blackness or white-out. In today's photo, the background was not as dark as it appears in this photo, but I obviously set the exposure to capture the light on the flower and allow the background to be darker in the image than it was in reality. I like the effect of highlighting the subject of the photo.
It is essential to set the exposure manually or to use a "spot meter" for a photo such as this, rather than relying on the camera's automatic exposure. The automatic exposure will often result in a setting that averages the light for the dark and light areas of a high contrast photo, which will cause the brighter subject to be washed out.
This week we are showing photos of Chicago on our on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.