another newbie, near sunset light

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Dan_The_Moose, Jun 16, 2008.

  1. Dan_The_Moose

    Dan_The_Moose TPF Noob!

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    hey to all, I've recently moved house, well try a different country, but now ive moved i dont have my old hobbies anymore, so i seem to be filling my time in with photography. I've never really gave it much thought before but now im just taking pictures and seeing what i get.

    At the minute i'm using a Hitachi HDC-861E 3xzoom 8mp, but when i start learning stuff i was thinking of getting a nikon D40, please dont jump on me for my choice, I wasnt going to spend a load of money on a camera like that yet.

    but my first question is, I seem to have a bit of difficulty with light during sunset, the first photo has a lovely blue and yellow sky with a cloud but everything else closer to me is black but the next one has just white sky but everything in the foreground, can i not have blue skies and green trees?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Crosby

    Crosby TPF Noob!

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    Welcome to the forum...
    No one will jump on you for getting a Nikon or anything else. Its a pretty cool place most of the time.

    Anyway, to answer your question, yes.
    Although it is a difficult shot, you can set your exposure and lock it on a part of the sky away from the sun (maybe between the house and the tree), you might get a little better exposure of the house and grass.

    I'm still new and learning, so maybe someone can set us on the right course.:D
     
  3. Dan_The_Moose

    Dan_The_Moose TPF Noob!

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    i have a point and click digi so im guessing your technique is going to be
    impossible, im sure you know that those dont have the wide variety of things that are on a DSLR
     
  4. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    What you need is a graduated (gradiated) neutral density filter. It's a circular filter that you can screw on your camera (if it accepts filters) and it's shaded on the top half and clear on the bottom half. That brings the brightness of the sky more in line with the foreground and allows the sensor to expose it properly. As it is, the huge range of the scene exceeds the dynamic range of your sensor, and thus not being able to get a proper exposure. This particular scene has a huge range. You'd probably need at least a 3-stop and maybe even a 4-stop grad ND filter to reel it in.
     
  5. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    it is not necessarily a circular filter. In fact a rectangular filter which you can slide up and down in front of your lens can be more handy as it allows to shift our gradient-horizon up and down according to the scene you want to capture.
     
  6. Dan_The_Moose

    Dan_The_Moose TPF Noob!

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  7. andrew99

    andrew99 TPF Noob!

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    Can you post one of these photos with the problem you are describing? From what you said, it sounds like the sky is much brighter than the trees, which is normal just as the sun is setting. I think objects on the horizon will look silhouetted against the bright sky in this case, like on this one:

    [​IMG]

    You can try taking the photo earlier while there is more light. The camera sees light differently than the eye, so one exercise you can try is to take photos from 1 hour before sunset until after sunset, every 5 minutes or so and see how they turn out.

    That photo is from a Nikon D40, by the way.
     
  8. Dan_The_Moose

    Dan_The_Moose TPF Noob!

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    the pictures are the top two, if you combine the the yellowy blue sky pic with the green trees, that would be how i saw it, i guess its frustrating that i cant take photos of what i see
     
  9. andrew99

    andrew99 TPF Noob!

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    Oops, sorry Dan, I didn't see the photos since I'm at work and they are blocking some of the image hosting sites here! I'll check them out when I get home. Sorry about that! :blushing:
     
  10. MDesigner

    MDesigner TPF Noob!

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    If you're comfortable with post processing software, HDR might be your answer. With HDR, you can get the full dynamic range including the sky and the trees.

    Photomatix Pro is nice, but close to $100. Try Enfuse, which is totally free, and works on Windows and Mac. Be warned, it's command line only, though. There are some GUI options for it:

    Windows:
    http://software.bergmark.com/enfuseGUI/ (free)

    Mac:
    http://www.pangeasoft.net/pano/bracketeer/index.html ($30) worth every penny, delivers great results! Adds an image alignment feature to Enfuse so you don't need to shoot on a tripod.

    PS, if you're totally unfamiliar with HDR photography, you'll have to Google around for some tutorials and info on it.
     

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