how can I avoid over exposure of a white car in bright sun?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by NM Rich, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. NM Rich

    NM Rich TPF Noob!

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    how can I avoid over exposure of a white car in bright sun? will a polarizing filter help reduce the chances of over exposure?

    thanks for any suggestions everyone might have!
     
  2. DeadEye

    DeadEye TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    A CP will reduce the Polarized reflections only, yes it will help but WHITE is mostly diffuse reflection. The real answer is to control the light for better exposure. Wait till it is better: use a reflector: use fill flash : use shade : use a gobo. ect.

    Cheers DeadEye
     
  3. andrew99

    andrew99 TPF Noob!

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    You can play with the exposure compensation to reduce the overall exposure.. But I think the camera would tend to underexpose anyway, since it's a white object. Can you post a photo with the problem?
     
  4. Captain IK

    Captain IK TPF Noob!

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    You really need to shoot white objects in manual. The camera will want to expose the white car to meet 18% gray, so overexposure is necessary.
    A polarizer and/or neutral density filter may help. Take several shots using different combinations.
    I would aslo recommend shooting in RAW format as it will be better for PP exposure adjustments.
     
  5. bdavis

    bdavis TPF Noob!

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    If you shoot a car in the bright sun the camera is most likely going to underexpose it because it's a light object so the camera will select a fast shutter. Like Andrew said, play with the exposure comp. Plus, it's bad practice to photograph cars in bright, direct sunlight.
     
  6. TheOtherBob

    TheOtherBob TPF Noob!

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    The simplest solution is probably to meter off something nearby that isn't a bright white car, and then apply that to the car. (A grey card is, I think, the right way to do it -- but I've been known to use my hand, and it's worked pretty well.)
     
  7. BrandonS

    BrandonS TPF Noob!

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    When I'm at the track shooting I use manual exposure. Auto modes don't seem to meter very good for dark cars or bright cars. In any case I use center weighted metering and adjust for that on the car. It may darken your background some, but your main subject is the car and that's what you want to come out.

    Something else yo could try would be involve shooting the side of the car that is cast in shadow. That works out well for getting most of it to expose, but between that and the part that is highlighted in the sun you end up with a large dynamic range and it usually blows out where the sun was hitting.
     
  8. AUZambo

    AUZambo TPF Noob!

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    Just curious...why must you take the picture in direct sunlight? Is it not feasible to take the pictures later or earlier in the day, or wait for a cloudy day?
     
  9. LarryD

    LarryD TPF Noob!

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    With digitals, whites tend to over saturate the sensor and blow out all detail, which is unrecoverable..

    If you are specifically shooting the white car, meter off the car, and meter off the foreground, then take the difference and dial in some exposure compensation. If you have a tight crop on the car, use center-weighted or spot; and bracket..

    The backgound will be dark, but you should retain the details in the over-bright car.
     
  10. NM Rich

    NM Rich TPF Noob!

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    That just happens to be when I get out of work...
     
  11. NM Rich

    NM Rich TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all your replies! I'm gonna give it a try tomorrow...:D
     
  12. KvnO

    KvnO TPF Noob!

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    I was hoping someone would mention a gray card. That's the first thing I thought of when reading the title. So, I ignored the thread for a while and when I finally read through it, I was surprised only one person mentioned it.

    Really, gray cards are cheap (when compared to other photo gear) and oh-so-useful (especially with situations like this). Everybody should have one. They're available at most camera shops and online.

    Good luck.
     

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