Explain this to me...

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by LuckySo-n-So, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. LuckySo-n-So

    LuckySo-n-So TPF Noob!

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    Just fooling around with my kit lens (18-55mm), trying to "understand exposure," I aimed the camera at a 60 watt light bulb. I was in no-flash auto mode, which produced these readings: Shutter 1/640, Aperture f13, ISO 200. The lens was less than a foot away from a burning 60 watt lightbulb, but the picture is extremely dark.

    I tried several modes...Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority etc. etc. and, unless I use the flash, or crank the ISO up to 1600 or HI 1, it's still pretty dark.

    I don't understand why it is not blown out. If I use the flash, it comes out perfect. Is the camera overcompensating, or did it pick too small an aperture?? OR is this just a limitation of a "kit lens?"

    W. T. F.???

    (BTW, I have "Understanding Exposure" on order.)

    I have always been led to believe that any photographer worth his or her respective salt doesn't need a flash unless they are in a completely light proof room--and ONLY if there isn't a match or cigarette lighter available.

    BTW...it's a D40 camera.
     
  2. Chairman7w

    Chairman7w TPF Noob!

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    Huh? Now - seriously, how much sense does that make? Have you ever seen a "real" photo shoot? They got all KINDS of lights on stands and diffusers and reflectors. Does that mean they are poor photographers?

    I'm sorry I can't help you with the technical stuff (you'll get plenty of response soon enough here, there's some VERY knowledgable people)
     
  3. Mgw189

    Mgw189 TPF Noob!

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    Whoever told you this crap should be taken and flogged within an inch of their life.

    As for the reason the pics are coming out the way they are is the camera cant read the light situation as you have already mentioned.
     
  4. Ecas32

    Ecas32 TPF Noob!

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    when you have it in an auto mode, the camera will automatically set itself to produce an image with almost no blow outs. so thats why when you held it up to a bright lightbulb, it produced a dark image
     
  5. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The light meter in your camera is designed to render the exposure to middle grey ... 18% grey.

    The light bulb was rendered exactly as the camera was designed.

    Understanding light metering very important.

    What you should have done manually set the exposure to render the light bulb lighter than the calculated exposure.
     
  6. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    also, the camera's exposure meter is generally programmed to examine the entire scene to balance the exposure.

    Since the light bulb only a foot away it covered much of the scene.
    The normal metering pattern in these camera's are expecting a range of light that tends to work when balanced in the middle grey.

    You need to read up on using a Light Meter and Exposure.
     
  7. bjorkfiend

    bjorkfiend TPF Noob!

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    ...
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2009
  8. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Ahh, I missed that you already noted that you have the book on order.

    Make sure to give it a good read when you get it.

    Proper exposure is an extremely useful skill ... as you just found out that the camera is not perfect.
     
  9. LuckySo-n-So

    LuckySo-n-So TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for your responses. Very informative, as usual.
     
  10. bdavis

    bdavis TPF Noob!

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    you pointed your camera at a light, which told the sensor that the scene was much brighter than it is, therefore it chose a fast shutter and your scene was dark.
     
  11. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I've found that most photographers that espouse available light only do so because controlling light artificially is beyond their skill.

    "Available light is any damn light that is available!" -W. Eugene Smith

    W - Google Image Search. Eugene Smith
     
  12. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Every single picture at that link has been done with flash. You'll see some amazing pictures and some not so good pictures as people are learning. Flash is a tool and you use your tools to get the photos you want.

    Ever try to wash dishes without a dish rag? I'm sure there's ways around it, but it's doing things the hard way.

    Flickr: The Strobist.com Pool
     

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