For this exercise I first hand held my camera to take three images of the same scene. On looking at my photographs I can see that there are slight variations where I have moved the camera between shots. However, they are very slight differences, and at first glance, my images look alike:
The histograms for the above photographs are shown below. The change was far more significant than I expected. Even though my eye can’t see a significant difference between my photographs, my camera can, and this exercise has shown me just how sensitive it is. It has also encouraged me to see my camera as a light sensitive instrument, emphasising how it ‘sees’ and interprets light on the sensor. I am more aware of the camera reading the light in an image rather than seeing the image as I do and this knowledge will make me look at light in a different way as I try to consider how my camera interprets a scene.
I took the second set of photographs, also hand held, to include people walking slowly through the park to see the impact of movement upon the histogram:
I expected to see a more dramatic change in the histograms of this second series of photographs, simply because there was movement affecting the light.
This was not the case. The changes seen in this exercise are less obvious to me than the first and this forced me to consider the histogram further in order to arrive at an explanation. My conclusion is that the tonal range remained largely unchanged despite movement within the image. However, these histograms are not identical and clearly this is a reflection of some change in the light. Movement per se, though, appears not to be particularly significant.
I am more aware, as a consequence of this exercise, of the photograph as a snap-shot in time, a ‘one off’ record that can never be re-created exactly, and appreciate it more as a historical record of a specific time. I value also the photograph as a unique piece of art.
I would be interested to re-do this exercise using a tripod to minimise changes due to camera movement. However, I expect that, however minute, there would be some change, since nothing stays the same from one moment to the next. Life is something of an ever changing pattern, and more interesting as a result.
‘You can’t step into the same river twice’
Course notes p 21