Hi Everyone! Please look at my photos, I need help! (:

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Ashlorraine, May 9, 2010.

  1. Ashlorraine

    Ashlorraine TPF Noob!

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    Hey everyone! So I am really having trouble taking photos with the sunset in the background. The lighting is so beautiful and I just wish I could capture it properly. I am a newbie to photography and would really appreciate your advice! I tried using some flash but then the background is overexposed because when the flash is on it wont let me put the shutter speed past 1/200. Here are some examples of photos where I had this issue. You can also give other opnions/advice on my photos if you want, anything that will help me improve! Thanks so much! I have a Nikon D60 w/ 18-55mm lens.

    [​IMG]
    1/800 iso: 400 f/5.6
    This was definitely the worst one! :/ Ocean sunset photos were a huge challenge for me


    [​IMG]
    1/100 iso: 400 f/5.6
    This one isn't so bad? I just wish the lady bug werent quite so dark...

    [​IMG]
    1/320 iso: 300 f/5.6
    I took many photos like this but right up behind this dandelion with the light shining through. They came out so terribly that I immediately deleted them so I don't have them to show.

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    1/125 iso:400 f/5.6
    Here is me trying to avoid the sun by shooting at an angle. Still came out dark though. I thought flash would have ruined the warm/golden tone?


    [​IMG]
    1/500 iso: 400 f/5.6
    This one didn't exactly have the issue I described but I just wanted to know what you think of it?

    Thank you so much, I really appreciate your help! :)
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2010
  2. pbelarge

    pbelarge TPF Noob!

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    Ashlorraine
    You are shooting directly at the sun. That is not an easy feat, even for a good photographer.

    Change the angle you are shooting from and see what happens. That will be a good start.

    When going out to shoot, try to have some kind of plan. Sort of like, today I am going to shoot dandelions. Then plan 'b'. I am not going to shoot directly into the sun, I will look for lighting that is favorable to my skills, such as shooting with the sun from an angle or behind you.




    This site has a ton of very good information that I think will help you tremendously. Try it

    Using Your Digital Camera-Contents

    Remember, your eye can see a lot more than the camera can. Get to know your camera.
     
  3. vtf

    vtf No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I agree with pbelarge, directly into sunlight takes away from the pics. Looking closely all seem to have a good focus, good start at composition. Read up on using your manual settings to replace the flash and to enhance the sunlight and read, read , read and practice, practice, practice. I too delete the vast majority of the pictures I take, but its getting better. Keep it up.
     
  4. Ryan L

    Ryan L TPF Noob!

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    I am not sure how far away you were, but I see no sign of a flash, not even the tiniest sparkle. Your flash does have a limit, and it's usually only about 10-12' MAX if you are using your pop up flash (at least with the Rebels not sure about Nikon's). Either way, it's hard to compete with the sun.
     
  5. Ashlorraine

    Ashlorraine TPF Noob!

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    hmm :/ I tried using flash (except for the one I just added where I tried using an angle), but the entire photo would consistently come out overexposed. I wanted the shutter speed to go past 1/200 but I guess my flash isn't fast enough for that? I lowered the iso to 100 and even still....I also tried changing the aperture but that didn't really work since I wanted to focus in closely on one thing. Thanks though! Ill try again next time
     
  6. ababysean

    ababysean TPF Noob!

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    Today my goal is to figure out how to use my flash not at full strenght. I'm reading a book, by Micheal someone (sorry too lazy to go look for his last name right now, the book is a couple of rooms over) and he explains so much!!!

    From here too I have found that you can set your flash at like 1/4 strength. Yesterday at the Fort, I found this super cool grass/flower thingy, but I forgot I had my flash on, and I could not see my LCD well because it was bright already, when I got home the pictures were soo bright you could not see anything...
     
  7. creisinger

    creisinger TPF Noob!

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    Ok slow down a bit here.

    What were you trying to achieve when you used your flash against the sun? Think about it! You are using a battery operated light bulb of the size of a grain of rice and try to battle the sun in our solar system in terms of brightness? It ain't going to work.

    You have to learn how the camera sees the light. The human eye compensates too many things which make certain lighting conditions look pretty but the camera sensor works differently. It's all about how to see the light (from a camera's point of view).

    What you experienced with your exposure time "restriction" is called "flash sync speed". Read about it in your camera manual and tutorials online. You have to read your camera manual first, anyway.

    As mentioned above: Get yourself a concept when you take a shot.

    In image #2 you had at least two things going on that eventually ruined your outcome. Either you concentrate on shooting the dandelion against the sun, which inevitably means that you will get a more silhouetted effect of the flower as long as you expose for the sun properly OR you concentrate on the ladybug. Of course the ladybug is too dark if you meter for the sun. And a fill flash is just going to destroy the mood of the image and the warm sun.

    To get the dandelion and the ladybug properly exposed together with the sun in the background it requires major skills to master that.

    Start slow and work your way up.

    #3 got you pretty close. Again read your manual, and practice practice practice.

    Furthermore, when shooting at that time of the day your lighting conditions will start to change very rapidly which also makes it more complicated to adjust with every shot.

    Keep going.
     
  8. UUilliam

    UUilliam TPF Noob!

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    My best advice would be:

    If you are wanting to capture the full dynamic range (all the tones)
    either:

    buy a ND Filter of strengths 0.9 or more.
    (best with the lee filters that slide into a little filter holder so you can change where the filter affects.)
    and an external flash and set your aperture a bit higher so you need to use a slower shutter speed (as the larger your f/number the more time you need to capture the image)

    or you could use a tripod and set the camera to spot metering and take a series of shots and add them together later in photoshop (point middle dot to sky and take the reading (aperture + shutter) then repeat for water and rocks.) then sit your camera on a tripod and frame it up, then set the camera to manual mode, and set the correct values for each part
    (i.e. sky = f/11 @ 1/250 then take another photo with water at f/8 @ 1/30 then for the rocks at f/8 @ 1/15.) then just use photoshop and merge the good parts together.
    that method is perhaps easiest but the "correct" way would be to use a ND filter and the flash.
     
  9. page_tyson

    page_tyson TPF Noob!

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    I've learned that if you must take a picture facing the sun try to block it by something. It doesn't have to be big even a little branch will cut a lot of light out. Also, those pictures could look 10 x's better with a little editing.
     
  10. ShutterShaman

    ShutterShaman TPF Noob!

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    Shooting into the sun is challenging, but totally doable.
    Here is how I would have approached these photographs.
    1) If you have access to digital post-processing, you could bracket your exposures to expose for the sun and and the water in separate photographs and merge in post. You'll obviously need a tripod to execute this. Otherwise use a graduated filter on your lens during the exposure. By the looks of it you are probably too far away to expect your flash to light the waves so this probably isn't an option.

    The Rest) I think you are really almost there. Your exposure for the sun is pretty good. I would have used a single off camera flash to supplement and light the ladybug/dandylion in the foreground. I agree that learning how to use your flash at different strengths is very important and it will give you much more creative control over your photographs. The advantage of taking your flash off camera is that you can control the distance between your flash and subject independent of the subject camera distance. You can then bring your flash in really close or move it away from your subject to get the correct exposure of your subject in relation to the background.

    Also FYI. Get a cheap set of the rosco gels sample pack to put on your flash so that if you don't want to ruin the natural lighting you can match the color temperature of your flash to that of the ambient light.

    Good luck!
     

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