Better pictures on a sunny day

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by cottoncandydesigns, Jul 26, 2008.

  1. cottoncandydesigns

    cottoncandydesigns TPF Noob!

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    Any advise on how I can take better pictures on sunny days?
    How can I get an even exposure with out overexposed sky and harsh shadows on my subjects.

    I've uploaded a pic that I am not happy with and would love some advise, esspecialy how to reduce noise.

    - I think my ISO is too high (fast) or something, and if anyone has any advice on fill flash. thanks :)


    [​IMG]


    shutter: 1/ 2000
    Aperture: f 9.0
    Max Aperture: f 4.0
    Focal Length: 56.00 mm
    ISO Speed: 1600
     
  2. Kenny32

    Kenny32 TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, your ISO is way to high. I never go over ISO 400 on sunny days, and rarely go over ISO 320...I mostly stay at 100 or 200.

    Exposing photos correctly takes a while to learn...I've had an SLR for over a year and a half now, and I'm still not perfect. Make sure you know how to use your meter (On most Nikon's, you press down on the control pad...Not sure on Canon's)...Make sure the graph looks centered, and not off to the left or right.

    I'm sure a more experienced photographer can shed more light on the subject. (No Pun intended)
     
  3. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I'll try and put throw a little more info out there... First, always shoot at as low an ISO as you can. Like Kenny, 320 is my upper-end, and normally it's in the 200-250 range. Your image isn't too bad, given the conditions, but there are a few things that could have been done to improve it; first, you need to develop the ability to "see" shadows and highlights. Since they're so prevalent in everyday life, we are all but blind to them.

    You need to move your subjects around (or move yourself) so obtain the most even exposure. Because camera meters are stupid, especially on bright, sunny days, always compare the camera's recommendation with the daylight exposure rule which is: shutter speed = 1/ISO @ f16; so, on a bright sunny day, with an ISO of 200 set, you should be shooting at 1/200 sec with an apeture of f16.
     
  4. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Sunny days, as low an ISO as possible! Which is probably around 100. ALso for skies, try to avoid shooting towards the sun (sun looks camera right). FOr harsh shadows try to shoot in the shade. I once did portraits about when the sun was high but in a angle so I could use a wall (not visible in photo) to create a giant shadow. Everything It was all grass then the subject, all well lit up but no harsh shadows. It was great.

    Location Location Location!
     
  5. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I almost never use such a small aperture as that, especially with people as subjects so close to the camera. F/16 is too small. There is nothing wrong with 1/1000 as a shutter speed. Lower ISO as low as possible on a hugely bright day like the picture above. Allow for a larger aperture for better quality since F/16 is pretty small :p.
     
  6. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    for this scene? ISO100 or 200 and fill flash or reflectors to brighten up the foreground.
     
  7. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    oh, an all that talk about f/16 ... such a small aperture you would only use if you want much more depth of field (e.g. the foreground and the background appear in focus). However this image certainly is nice with the foreground being separated from a blurred background. So f/9 is not bad, f/4 could even be considered. But this really depends on what you want to achieve in the image.
     
  8. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Hold the 'phone people. I'm not saying you have to use f16; I'm advocating the use of the Daylight Exposure Rule as a backstop to confirm your camera's exposure recommendation. Let's all sit down and do the math: If we need 1/200 and f16, then we know that 1/800 and f4 will give an equally good exposure, right? I simply chose that example to illustrate the rule to the OP because 1/200 of a second worked with the low ISO that was being discussed.

    Granted f16 will give you a significant DoF with most lenses, and that's not always desirable, but there are applications when you may want to have as much of the image in focus as possible; think "hyperfocal distance".

    WTF??? Could you elaborate on this? How does a larger apeture equate to better quality? I'm pretty sure that you'll find larger apetures is where most lenses start to lose qualiy, particularily around the edges.
     
  9. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    do not worry, i was not claiming that you did say that :) I just flew through responses and read f/16 a couple of times somewhere.
     
  10. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    That's fair. :thumbup:
     
  11. Computer_Generated

    Computer_Generated TPF Noob!

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    Question... why couldn't he just use his in camera meter to meter off the highlights and shoot? He might get some underexposed faces but underexposed can be fixed unlike blown highlights.
     
  12. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You could do that if you set your camera's meter to "Spot", however depending on how bright the highlights were, you might well end up using an exposure that was so far over even the light shadows were pitch black.

    The Daylight Exposure Rule is more just a mental check to make sure that your camera's meter has been wildly skewed by some over-bright or over-dark part of the scene (although I do remember shooting whole rolls of film using only that when the battery for my Pentax Spotmatic's meter died).
     

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