Dynamic Range of Clouds with the X-Pro1

Storm clouds are a great opportunity for photography.  I’ve said before that the exposure is key to being a great photographer.  Well, storm clouds offer some of those challenges.  For starters, the dynamic range inside the cloud is very wide.  Where the sun pokes through is extremely bright and easy to blow the highlights.  If you manage to keep the highlights, you may end up with cloud shadows so dark you get no texture.

Second, If the clouds are not enough, the ground can have very dark areas in shadows and bright spots that are reflecting stray sunlight or water present in puddles on the ground.  There is also opportunity for gradual tonal changes in areas of rain.  In any case, storm clouds are a good test for the photographer and camera alike.  The Fuji X-Pro1 did not disappoint me!

storm clouds over the river

storm clouds over the river

This is a JPEG straight from the camera using the XF 14mm lens at f/5.6 and 1/500 second.  This lens acts like a 21mm lens in 35mm photography, so it is extremely wide.

Now remember, a RAW file does have more range of detail.  The RAW file is 14 bits per color whereas the JPEG is downsampled to 8 bits per color.  Thus, you potentially lose some detail and you might get more out of the RAW file.  However, I like the JPEG results, the filesize is small and there was no post processing.

I’ve put the rest in this series below.  Click on any image to view it full size.

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