Help with proper exposure

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by tdz16, Jun 19, 2010.

  1. tdz16

    tdz16 TPF Noob!

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    I just picked up a new D700 and wanted to shoot a few quick shots to test it out. Since my last posting I had also picked up a couple of 30" umbrellas and wanted to give them a quick test.

    For this shot I used one Vivitar 285HV into an umbrella camera left, and a bare sb-600 camera right angled so only the spill really hit the subject. Lens was a 50mm 1.8.

    Shot at 1/60, f4.5, iso 200, 50mm.

    I'm not so much looking for C&C on this one but more-so wanted to ask what would be my best bet as far as keeping the trees green/properly exposed and at the same time keep the sky details. I feel like I can control the subjects exposure through artificial lighting, but then I can only expose for either the sky OR the trees.

    Like I said, a lot of the other issues I'm well aware of, so for now there is really no need for C&C unless you are bored and feel like it.

    Thanks!
    ~Tom

    [​IMG]
     
  2. sarasphotos

    sarasphotos TPF Noob!

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    I have found that going into my white balance settings and selecting the "cloudy" or "vivid colors" fixes the problem with green trees and blue skies! Using cloudy even on a beautiful sunny day does wonders!!! just a tip :) oh, and if you have photoshop there is a really awesome thing you can do to create any type of sky you want! here is the link to youtube that shows you how! [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cmZEl34R5U[/ame]
     
  3. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    The sky tones are much,much brighter than the trees under those lighting conditions, so something is going to have to give in portrait-type situations where you must capture a wide dynamic range, with a lot of detail in the sky tones (the highlight values). The easiest solution would be to scour up a Fujifilm S3 Pro or S5 Pro camera, which both have a very unusual dual-photo diode sensor, which can handle extreme overexposure at the high end (at the highlight end) by using very small, not-so-sensitive-to-bright-light pixels to capture the brightest tonal values, and then combine those really bright values with the darker values in the mid-tones, like in the trees.
     
  4. eccs19

    eccs19 TPF Noob!

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    You mentioned that you wanted to keep the sky details, but at F4.5, the trees & sky are out of focus, so details can't be kept regardless. If that's what your referring to as details, then you need to close your aperture a lot more to keep fore ground and back ground in focus.
     
  5. pbelarge

    pbelarge TPF Noob!

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    or
    You may open your setting wide to help blur the backround more , separating your subject from the backround as much as possible.
     
  6. tdz16

    tdz16 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the replies everyone.

    Well, by "details" of the sky I meant properly exposing for the sky. I know when we refer to details we usually mean it to have something to do with DOF, sorry.

    I would just like to have the trees and sky OOF but at least have the clouds and the blue of the sky show up more, rather than have a blown out area of the photo. It seems that getting the sky and trees properly exposed without using photoshop is nearly impossible.

    I also just realized that I'd probably have to close the aperture a fair amount more just to properly expose for the sky and keep the camera within range for syncing the flashes.

    Other than a polarizing filter are there any other filter options that would have the effect of making the trees and sky closer, and thus easier to expose for both?

    Thanks,
    ~Tom
     
  7. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Next time get her to stand up straight
     
  8. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    +1 . The dutch angle looks really bad, because it's way overdone in this shot.

    You could to learn how to balance the strobed light with the background.

    When you use strobed light the shutter speed controls the ambient (background) exposure and the aperture controls the foreground/subject exposure.

    Basically in the shot you posted the shutter speed should have been much faster than the 1/60 you used. At 1/250,the D700 x-sync speed, he sky would not have been as bright, but maybe still brighter than you wanted.

    You wouldn't need to change the aperture because it controls the foreground and you already had that.

    In other words, you just put everything in manual mode after spot metering the scene for your exposure values, set them, and then ignore the in-camera meter, because with the shutter speed set to expose the background and the aperture set to expose the foreground the meter will likely not be anywhere near centered.

    If the sky is really bright you may need to use FP-sync mode to get enough shutter speed to knock down the background exposure enough to get good separation .
     
  9. tdz16

    tdz16 TPF Noob!

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    lol @ the bad angle....It won't happen again, I promise!

    Keith, I actually did take a shot at 1/250 and here's what I came up with:

    [​IMG]

    Notice the small bit of sky in this is exposed so you can make out the clouds/it isn't blown out. Notice she is, for all intents and purposes, "properly exposed" (I use that term VERY loosely to just make the point at hand). But then we run into the trees being too dark/underexposed. In the first shot used such a slow shutter speed on purpose to make the trees properly exposed, allowing ambient to illuminate them.

    I've been trying to look at it in the case of, "what if she weren't in the shot at all?"

    I come up with that I'm basically just supposed to find a middle ground regarding exposure of the sky and trees? Basically settle for the trees a little too dark and the sky a little too bright? I feel like I'd run into this situation a lot and wish there was a more straightforward solution....other than post processing

    Am I still missing something?

    Thanks as usual,

    ~Tom
     
  10. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    In the later case you have 3 options:
    1. Select a more amenable outdoor shooting location.
    2. Light the foliage in the background.
    3. Live with the scene the way it is.
    It's a matter of dynamic range.

    The difference in the brightnees of the sky and the foliage is much greater then your camera's image sensor can capture. One of those 2 will not be properly exposed without adding light to the foliage.
     

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