Thursday, March 29, 2012

White Balance

1/100 second, f/2.2, ISO 800

Today must have been about the dozenth time I have attempted to photograph this saintly warrior prince at the San Francisco Asian Art Museum, carved in the ancient kingdom of Gandhara (located some 2,000 years ago in what is now northern Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan). The Greco-Buddhist art produced in Gandhara rather weirdly and wonderfully combined influences from India with Greek forms and ideals. Always before (with various point-and-shoots) I have been totally photographically defeated by reflections and distorted highlights and bleached-out colors caused by the intense spotlights aimed at this beautiful head. Today was the first time using the new camera when it actually occurred to me to invoke White Balance, which I set to incandescent. Then underexposed to reduce glare. Underexposing also meant the shadows became too dark (to the point where they conceal detail that should be visible) but that seemed like a worthwhile price to pay for gaining a reasonable impression of the overall texture and suavity of the thing.