Nikon Active D-Lighting

active-d-lightingPhoto World this episode is more proof that you need to know your gear to fully understand the potential you bring to every shoot. Knowing your gear is good but knowing when, where, and how to use the tools effectively is the real test of a pro photographer versus a hobbyist. The Active D-Lighting setting for Nikon cameras is another great example of why it can be important to fully understand your camera.

Active D-Lighting is really Active Dynamic Lighting… Dynamic being richer with tonality. Like HDR isn’t High Definition Resolution HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. Active D-Lighting isn’t nearly the tonal range of HDR but it is a step in that direction. Active D-Lighting is also a Nikon specific option. Canon has ALO or Auto Lighting Optimizer, but ALO is only a fraction of the influence as Active D-Lighting ends up being.

There are many reasons to use Active D-Lighting but understanding more about how it works will clear up much of the confusion. Active D-Lighting offers the photographer the option to under expose to crush the highlights so they remain intact in the final image. The Active D-Lighting opens the otherwise underexposed shadows in camera and embedded into the RAW file. This allows for more details in the shadows than usual.

With selective settings from Low all the way to Extra High, Active D-Lighting is an awesome tool to be used in making better pictures. However, listen to the episode to hear why I like Canon RAW files more than my own Nikon RAW images. Hint: it has to do with Active D-Lighting.

When you take the time to investigate the inter workings of your gear you have the freedom to raise the bar on your images and continue stepping in the right direction, not only for your images, but you and your business overall.

Happy Shooting!


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