Help: How to avoid too much light on these photos?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by aaneiros, Dec 26, 2010.

  1. aaneiros
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    aaneiros New Member

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    Hi. I took these two photos in the morning. The sun was already shining hard and I had to take the photos at an angle of 15-20 degrees from the sun (I mean, the sun was almost in front of me). One of the problems I have in my outdoor photos is excess of light; I've been reading for a while about exposure and such so I think I know how to correct the problem, but every time I try I end up with a dark photo :lol:

    I used my Canon T2i and the 18-55 lens kit for these and in both of them I corrected color levels using the "auto" button. Originally they looked even worse :meh:

    Well; this is image #1. Here are the camera settings:

    WB: Auto
    Aperture: F7.1
    Shutter speed: 1/15
    ISO: 100
    Program: M
    Focal length: 28mm

    [​IMG]

    And this is #2. The settings are:

    WB: Auto
    Aperture: F7.1
    Shutter speed: 1/8
    ISO: 100
    Program: M
    Focal length: 41mm

    I realize that, apart from other mistakes, I should have chosen a higher aperture number so that everything in the background would be on focus (especially the houses on the right).

    [​IMG]

    So the question is: how would you have avoided the "sun" problem here?

    Thanks.
  2. Darkhunter139
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    Darkhunter139 New Member

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    An ND filter would help with that but its still not a very good time of day to shoot.
  3. Opher
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    Opher New Member

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    try a polarized filter. Will cut out a lot of the stray light
  4. KmH
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    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish

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    Your camera has 4 light metering modes to choose from: Spot, Center-weighted, Partial and Evaluative.

    Which of them did you use to snap each of the images you posted?
  5. aaneiros
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    aaneiros New Member

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    Spot metering for all of them.

    Thanks
  6. clanthar
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    clanthar New Member

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    Both of the photos you've shown are basically backlit. The sun has crossed over a 180 degree line perpendicular to your lens. Backlighting raises the overall tone range of the scene (increases contrast). Backlighting can and often does raise the contrast too much.

    The highlights in your photos are already overexposed so more exposure isn't going to improve things.

    Less exposure will make the shadows in your photos much darker and they are already dark enough so less exposure isn't going to help.

    The exposure you've already made is unsatisfactory and if more exposure would be bad and less exposure would be bad that leaves you with just one answer to your question. Avoid the problem by not taking the photo. I'm not trying to sound flippant here. The answer is that there are frequent lighting conditions that just aren't going to work. Learn to see them and avoid them and use your time more profitably on what will work.

    P.S. There are some extreme technical methods that can be brought to bear on lighting conditions like this -- they require skill and time and equipment and software. HDR would be one. The photo has to be worth the trouble.

    Joe
  7. mrpink
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    mrpink Well-Known Member

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    Meter the sky, note your settings. Meter the foreground, note your settings. Compose the shot using a tripod. Set for a proper sky exposure, take it. Set for a proper foreground exposure, take it.

    Move the files onto your computer and a simple stitch of the two will yield a nice photograph.

    You have sort of complicated it by adding reflective water into the frame, but it still can be done with minimal PP skills.

    Dominatly wrote up a how to on this very action a while back- maybe he will repost it for you, it goes much more in depth than my directions.








    p!nK
  8. white
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    white New Member

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    Shoot in Av instead of M and keep your shutter above your focal length; i.e., 50mm, use 1/60.

    *poof* these issues go away.

    Your camera settings lead me to believe these photos were overexposed.
  9. clanthar
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    clanthar New Member

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    Here's the histogram for the OP's first photo:

    [​IMG]

    As you can see the highlights are already completely blown. However with 90% of the tonal information below the midpoint this photo is clearly underexposed. The shadows are OK now, but they've started to block and so any reduction in exposure would quickly begin to cause trouble.

    This photo really needs a big reduction in exposure to correct the blown highlights while at the same time keeping the shadow exposure where it is and/or even increasing exposure a little for the midtones.

    I didn't know AV mode could both decrease and increase exposure simultaneously -- how's that work?

    Joe

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