Exposure on Sunny Day

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by limeys_photos, Feb 6, 2008.

  1. limeys_photos

    limeys_photos TPF Noob!

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    I have just bought a Nikon D40x camera and I'm knew to the hobby. I was trying to take a photo of a train from the platform coming under a bridge. The problem I had was with exposure. The tunnel and train was a strong contract in light (dark) to the sunny blue sky (light).

    The sun was out at 12.30 and was behind me but I could get the blue sky to show and get the train. It was either a dark train with a blue sky or the train fine but a white sky.

    Any tips of what I can do to avoid this?
     
  2. adolan20

    adolan20 TPF Noob!

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    Try to meter the blue sky, point your camera to the sky, adjust the exposure according to the bar in your viewfinder then recompose and shoot while ignoring what your meter is saying for that shot.
     
  3. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    such an exposure will always be a compromise, since your camera can not capture that latitude (most digitals won't), you either overexpose the sky, or you underexpose the rest.

    Sounds like a scene, where in colour you might be able to live with an underexposed
    foreground. whereay in B&W you might prefer to overexpose the sky. just a thought.
     
  4. limeys_photos

    limeys_photos TPF Noob!

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    I did try to point at the sky, focus and set exposure and then take the shot without resetting it. I did this automatically, maybe I should set the exspoure myself. I haven't tried setting the exposure myself after point at the sky yet. I will try that tomorrow and let you know hw I got on.

    Thanks
     
  5. confucious

    confucious TPF Noob!

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    Your timing may be a little off as well. Noon is the brightest time of day. This would be fine if your subject was in the sun, but it is in shadow (as far as I can gather). As one of the above posters stated, your range is too great and it is impossible for a camera to capture big a difference. The human eye can, but the human eye is FAR more adaptable than a camera.

    It could help a little if you were to shoot early in the morning or later at night. Or, in cloud cover.

    Good luck and let us know how it works out!
     
  6. Cicak

    Cicak TPF Noob!

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    post-processing. HDR will get it all with good exposure, or you'll just have to take the sky at the right exposure then the tunnel, and kinda merge them together.
     
  7. yeti

    yeti TPF Noob!

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    Actually the human eye cannot adjust to that as well. It does have a large range, but it's a dynamic range: it adjusts to whatever object you are paying attention to, so you don't even notice that while watching the train you see the sky white.

    My suggestions would be to try to take the picture at dusk, when the sky won't be as bright and you will have less contrast. You can also try the HDR idea if you are willint to play with it.

    The third alternative would be a graduated ND filter.
     
  8. ghpham

    ghpham TPF Noob!

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    HDR won't work with the moving train.
     
  9. limeys_photos

    limeys_photos TPF Noob!

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    Wrong time of day! I thought as much. I was trying to get some shots in my lunch break. I'll try on a cloudy day :)
     

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