Dealing with Low Contrast Subjects

One of photography's more reliable truisms is that, in general, correcting the contrast of subjects with relatively low contrast is much easier than dealing with high-contrast situations. This is because, if properly exposed, all of the visual information in a flat scene will easily fit within printable dynamic range of both digital chips and films and papers.

Your goal then is to increase the contrast of your image without pushing it too far. With film this is done by using the Zone System to calculate the proper development time. With digital images there are three steps to the process of correcting low-contrast images.

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