How do I balance the exposure?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by BrettG, Feb 20, 2005.

  1. BrettG

    BrettG TPF Noob!

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    Hey everyone, I'm still a photo newbie. My main preferance is landscape shots, so I've taken my camera with me when going out on hikes and such to hopefully catch some nice shots. I have gotten a few, but I notice a constant trend in my pictures. There's almost always a part of my picture that's washed out. Most frequently it seems to be the sky; what I see as a clear, bright sky turns up really white on my pictures. I tried compensating for this today by shortening the exposure length, but then the rest of the picture, excluding the sky, seemed a bit hazy and underexposed. I really think I could drastically improve the quality of my shots if I could fix this problem.

    Makes me almost wish I'd have gotten a digital camera instead of a 35mm, I could probably figure this out then.
     
  2. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Actually, digital cameras have less dynamic range than most films (at least for now), so your problem would be worse. Unless you are taking 2 exposures, and combining them in PS.

    You could try a polarizing filter or a split neutral density filter. Both of these can be used to darken the sky.

    Measure your important shadows and important highlights. By important I mean you want pretty much full detail. If the difference is 6 or more stops this is high contrast lighting, and that's the problem you are describing.

    What kind of film are you using?
     
  3. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  4. BrettG

    BrettG TPF Noob!

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    Today, it was Kodak ISO 400. I do have a polarizing filter, but the sky isn't the only problems. For example, if there's a tree in the shot and it's close to me, and the sun is shining on it, that part of the tree will look really washed out, whereas the rest will be fine.

    Didn't know that about digitals, though it does allow you to take a bunch of shots and see them instantly. Kind of a pain when you take your film back for development, get the pictures and they're not satisfactory!
     
  5. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    You'll never capture the dynamic range that your eye can see with film or digital. I would recommend a gradutated neutral density. Meter the brightest part of the sky, and expose for that so you don't over expose it. Your foreground will show more detail because the neutral density filter is not affecting it. You can always try a little fill flash as well to help light up forground elements.
     

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