Dealing with low sun

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by wadesworld, May 22, 2009.

  1. wadesworld

    wadesworld TPF Noob!

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    Hi all,

    I'm a new member here, and while I don't consider myself an absolute beginner, I don't think I yet fall into the category of "advanced."

    I was shooting my child's baseball game the other day and ran into a situation on which I'd like some advice. The game started at 6 pm and I really struggled as the sun sunk down on the horizon right behind home plate.

    I've posted two shots that were taken within a few minutes of each other - one looking towards home plate, and the other away. Sorry for the silly crop jobs, but I had to remove any kids that were not mine.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I considered adding some exposure compensation, but I was afraid of both losing the facial features if I made it too dark, but more so, what the impact would be as I spun away from the plate to capture the action in the field where the light was quite nice.

    The photos were taken on aperture priority, with an ISO of 400 or 800 (I was going up slowly as the time got later). I was using a lens hood. Link to the full gallery here if you'd like to view all the technical detail: http://wadesworld.smugmug.com/gallery/8295442_JkWDi/1/543016323_RCVAW

    I've got good gear (Nikon D300). I'm just not sure of the best way to handle this situation.

    Any thoughts appreciated.
     
  2. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You are shooting into the sun, and getting lens flare. A nice broad flare. Try cupping your hand above the lens next time the sun is crazy like that. Youll get a difference.

    Also look at it this way - it really can't be a matter of the sun being too "low" - look at the sky behind you. It is quite blown out while there is quite a bit of detail in the people. Now if you were in the shade, share, but all I see blocking rays of light is a porous chain link fine. I offer this just in case you don't believe the lens-flare explanation; argue by elimination. That "haze" is a tell-tale sign of shooting into the sun.
     
  3. Joves

    Joves No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I agree with ANDS. Which lense was it also I see you were shooting near wide open. You may also try stopping down and, adding a light ND filter that is multi-coated or, multi-coated CP. I see also you were shooting at ISO 400 you can shoot at ISO 800 easily with it. Also you can carry a piece of cardboard for these situations it shades the lens more from direct sunlight hitting the lens elements. If your SO is with you have them shade it for you.
     
  4. wadesworld

    wadesworld TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the suggestions.

    The lens was a AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED.

    I was using a lens hood, but I'll try also adding my hand next time.

    I was concerned about stopping it down, since after the batter gets a hit I'd immediately be turning to the less harsh light to capture the base running and I was concerned I might have it stopped down too far then. But, I was probably too paranoid and probably still would have had time to flick the command-dial to get more open if I need to.

    Thanks.
     
  5. Joves

    Joves No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    What you want to watch is your shutter speed. Keep it over 250 for that kind of shooting. So bump up the ISO to compensate for the smaller stops. I dont mean really low either. Try stopping it down to f/8 and, then play from there.
     
  6. farmerj

    farmerj TPF Noob!

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    I tend to delete a LOT of pictures like that. Glad to see it's just not me that is having that issue with this lens.

    I noticed this week when I was boxing my lenses up. I have a 16-85 VR and the 70-300 VR. The lens hood is longer on the 70-300 than the 16-85. By about 2 inches.

    I have been using the shorter one from the 16-85 VR on both lenses. It didn't even occur to me that they were two different lengths, so they will both be going into the bag now.

    In the end, this is a tag to follow your concerns as they appear to be the same as mine.
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Kind of off topic but.

    Why? Why do you think you had to do that?
     
  8. wadesworld

    wadesworld TPF Noob!

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    Just being careful. Parents can get weird about their kids. I have permission to photograph their children and post their photos for download by the parents.

    However, displaying their child's picture openly on the web without making it clear that was my intent is a little bit more questionable. I'm sure I'm being overly sensitive - it was a public event and all, but with as crazy as the world is these days, I thought I'd err on the side of discretion.
     
  9. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Certainly, the images are yours to do with as you wish.

    Think it's crazy now?

    IMO, the quickest way to loose a freedom is to not use it.
     
  10. farmerj

    farmerj TPF Noob!

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    Showing them on a website for photography is one issue.

    Showing them on other sites with less than reputable reasons is a whole other ballgame.

    I would not have an issue showing those pictures here. You are asking for assistance on how to make those images better for the next game. If they have issues with that, They need to get off the high horse.
     

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