How to Avoid Blown out Sky

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by linpelk, May 14, 2009.

  1. linpelk

    linpelk TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Messages:
    406
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    California
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Sometimes I will be taking a photo in the open shade and the background or sky will be blown out. If I expose for the sky, then my subject will be underexposed. Is there any way to avoid this. I know that shooting when the sun isn't so harsh would be helpful, but sometimes I can't avoid it. Here is an example:

    [​IMG]
     
  2. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Messages:
    38,233
    Likes Received:
    5,007
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Graduated Neutral Density filters is one.

    The other is to expose for the background and use a speedlight to balance the exposure on your subject.
     
  3. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Messages:
    2,178
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Downtown
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    On its own, no your camera can't avoid it. It doesn't have the dynamic light range that our own eyeballs do. Even if you aren't shooting in a "harsh" sunlit environment, you may still find your shots blown out because the range is still too much. So if you only have your camera, you have to decide what in your picture is worth the most.

    However there are "tools" that exist to help you out. One is the Graduated Nuetral Density Filter. You will also see standard Neutral Density filters, but those wouldn't help you. The "graduated" version has a graduation of the filter from the outer edge (where the sky would be) to the center of the filter. This way you can let less light come in from the top part of your picture, and let the proper amount of light in from the rest.

    The other option is a dedicated flash unit. Nikon calls theirs Speedlights, Canon Speedlite - original I know. Slap one on your camera, and you will then be able to expose for the sun, and STILL fire off enough flash to illuminate your imediate subject.
     
  4. noritje

    noritje TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2009
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Ok here is another noobs Q.
    That graduated ND filter, my lens rotate when focusing, so having that on while focusing isn't working well... so I think you will need to readjust it after focusing? Would your focus sorta 'screwed' aftwerwards? Or do you have a way to do this?

    Well, apart from getting lens that doesn't rotate :)

    PS: Maybe I get confused on the filters and talking about the wrong filter, so please excuse me if I did.
     
  5. TamiyaGuy

    TamiyaGuy No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Messages:
    1,078
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Chelmsford, UK
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Provided your Grad ND filter is a square-type (in my opinion, screw-in round GND filters are kinda pointless), you can just rotate it after focusing. However, I'm not sure a Grad ND filter would help there; a lot more than just the sky is blown out. Instead, I'd recommend manually using your flash, Exposure Lock for the sky, re-compose, and shoot. You may or may not need to stop down your aperture to prevent over-exposure because of your DSLR's flash sync speed.
     
  6. noritje

    noritje TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2009
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Ah! square type! Just googled it and now I get it! :) * embarrassed* Thanks a lot!
     
  7. bdavis

    bdavis TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Messages:
    784
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Expose for the sky then use a flash to properly expose your subject...
     
  8. linpelk

    linpelk TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Messages:
    406
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    California
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thank you all for your help. I don't know why I didn't think about using my flash. I DO have a Speedlite, it's still new to me and I'm slowly learning how to use it so it's not really second nature for me yet to throw it on. I knew the exposure was all wrong as I was taking these shots. I would look at the histogram on my LCD and I could see right away that it wasn't working. I only had a minute since the train in the background was just stopped temporarily, but I really wanted this shot. I was frustrated about it and now I'm kicking myself that I didn't think about using my flash. Oh well, lesson learned and next time I see this issue I will know JUST what to do! Thanks again for taking the time to help me out on this one.
     
  9. Breanna

    Breanna TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    Messages:
    210
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thanks for asking this question. I have the same problem, also have a Speedlite, but also don't use it at the proper times. Dur. ;)
     
  10. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Messages:
    2,178
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Downtown
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Sometimes the sun gives A LOT better lighting than your speedlight - also, you may well be in a situation where you just cant light your subject with the speedlight because of distance.

    So basically - there are a ton of ways to do what the OP is trying to do, its just up to them to figure out the best one that works for them.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
avoiding blown out background
,

blown out sky photography

,
how to keep from blowing the sky out in photos
,
how to prevent blown out sky
,
how to take outdoor pictures without blowing out the sky
,
how to take pictuers without washed out sky
,
in photography how to avoid blowing out the sky
,

photography blown out sky

,
prevent washed out beach photographs
,

why is the sky washed out in my photos