Could this picture have been better?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by deadtoaster2, Apr 26, 2007.

  1. deadtoaster2

    deadtoaster2 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2007
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I'm still pretty new to this so I thought I would go ahead and ask if this picture could have been improved by changing any settings on my camera when I took the image.

    I have a Nikon D50 and a Sigma 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6

    This picture was taken in "P" Mode at 77mm.
    F/4.8 @ 1/40 sec.

    I know its not in complete focus but what should I have done to try and avoid the solid white background? I tried multiple WB settings and it didn't really seem to change much.

    What would you have changed?

    [​IMG]

    Thanks!
     
  2. xfloggingkylex

    xfloggingkylex TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,292
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Frederick, MD
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    First, welcome to the site. You'll find a wealth of knowledge here to help you take better pictures.

    The white background is caused by over exposure for that part of the scene. in this picture it looks like it was a trade off to get the subject exposed properly.

    Depending on what type of metering you were using (center weighted or spot metering?) the camera will see your subject in the center and realize, ok, the sensor needs X amount of light to be properly exposed. This is great, it has led to a nicely exposed subject without any part of them being too over or under exposed. The problem is that the sky needs lets say 1/3X light, or a third of the light the subject needs to be properly exposed. Since you were metering for the subject, that takes control and so the sky gets over exposed.

    Another way to show you this is for silhouette images. You've probably seen these, where there is a sunset with tree's or people who are completely black against the sky, leaving only a silhouette. This is because the people need 3X the light that the sky needs for proper exposure. By metering off the sky, the foreground (tree, person, whatever) naturally gets underexposed, so much that they are rendered completely black.

    With me so far? (If not say so and I'll try to explain it better)

    Now for the fix:

    the best way to fix this is more light on the subject. You can do this with fill flash (using the pop up flash to add more light to the subject so that the subject AND the sky are equally bright, so the exposures more or less match each other) or with reflectors to reflect light back to the subjects, with the same idea as the fill flash, without the flash (easier because of sync speeds).

    Another option would be to use your exposure compensation to underexpose the image a little. This would make your subjects a little darker, but may make the sky dark enough to have a little detail. You could then adjust each with levels in photoshop using layer masks (to darken the sky more and slightly lighten the subjects).

    Your other choice is to move your subjects so the light isn't so harsh. The sun is behind the subjects (and to the right a little) in this picture, so if you moved it so that the sun was more toward their faces, while this would produce squinty eyes (not a problem for the sunglasses man), it would probably expose better overall.

    But if those aren't options, you can at least change your perspective. Shoot from a little higher up to eliminate as much of the sky from the picture as possible. Not sure how tall you are, but if you can shoot at the height of the man it would have taken out much of the sky. Instead the shot is from below his head, and as a result you are looking up and a lot of the sky has gotten into the picture.

    Hope this isn't too overwhelming. It's late and I felt the need to ramble:lol:



    EDIT: Also, your picture is in focus, it is blurry because you are using a slow shutterspeed for the focal length you had. The general rule of thumb is your shutter speed needs to be at least 1/focal length. In your case this is 1/70 (EXIF says 70mm, not 77mm. if it is 77mm than it must be 1/77 or faster) or faster to avoid camera shake caused by the ever so slight movements in your hands.
     
  3. deadtoaster2

    deadtoaster2 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2007
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thanks for the reply. I think the best option would have been to underexpose the image a little in hopes that i could recover some of the sky.
    I didn't really want to use the flash and I was not able to move the subjects so that seems like the best option.

    Also thanks for the tip about the focal lengths. That makes perfect sense now that I think about it like you explained it.

    I should probably go through and actually read the manual, i am sure there are many features that I don't even know exist that may help in the future.

    Thanks again for the reply.
     
  4. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Messages:
    18,092
    Likes Received:
    7,449
    Location:
    Mid-Atlantic US
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    yes
     

Share This Page