I'm having trouble with whitewash

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Operator, Jul 8, 2007.

  1. Operator

    Operator TPF Noob!

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    Hi,

    I am new here, so I'm not sure how to post my photos to demonstrate my problem....

    I'm having a major problem with too much light, but yet I can't seem to get the clarity I want with my portrait photos, so I'm thinking that I don't have ENOUGH light.

    This is driving me mad.


    Can anyone help?
     
  2. Operator

    Operator TPF Noob!

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    Ok, that pinned topic at the top of this forum is the bomb. Thank you! :hail:



    Ok so now here are two of the BEST photos I took today....
     
  3. Operator

    Operator TPF Noob!

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    Here are two more, and note how all of them have the same whitewash effect. :(



    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Operator

    Operator TPF Noob!

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    I had some light coming through the window (from the right of the screen), and I have two 250 watt regular lights (not strobe).

    I tried everything....

    I mean I tried cutting off the day light from the window, I tried using just one of the 250 watt lights, I tried positioning them everywhere.............


    What I'm confused about, is how most folk tell me that the key to good portrait photos is sufficient or enough lighting, but yet how can I increase my lighting, when the small amount of light I already have, is whitewashing my photos??


    Can anyone help? :confused:
     
  5. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    These photos are overexposed. Forget about having enough light. You have to know how to capture the proper amount first. If I were you, I would take a trip to my local library and look for some basic photography books. Understanding Exposure by Brian Peterson is a good one to get, but anything that deals with basic photography principles should do.
     
  6. Operator

    Operator TPF Noob!

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    Hey thanks for the feedback...

    I actually have "Teach Yourself Photography", that I bought and read (most of it).



    Ok but here's the thing, I'm using a digital camera (5 MP Gateway DC-T50), and I used the "auto exposure" feature, where it takes three consecutive pics - standard exposure, under exposure and over exposure.

    All these pics are the BEST of the three exposures!


    What am I not doing?
     
  7. photoman720

    photoman720 TPF Noob!

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    Try doing HDR. It could work.
     
  8. Operator

    Operator TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the suggestion, and I MAY try that, but what I'd really like to know, is why I'm having this whitewash problem, just taking a basic portrait photo?
     
  9. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    Relying on an auto exposure is probably not going to give you flattering results. The camera has no idea what you are trying to do. When you press the shutter button half way, the camera meters the light, and sets the exposure based on this. It doesn't know where the light is coming from, and what you want your photo to look like. Only you do. Understanding exposure is critical, and it's way too broad a topic to cover in a forum thread. I would first focus on taking good portraits in natural light, without the use of external lighting. Take your models outside, or if indoors, seat them directly next to a window. Read your camera manual and understand how the meter works. It probably has a specific metering pattern, if not several.
     
  10. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you are combining studio strobes with natural window lighting you will need to use the camera manually. The aperture controls overall lighting along with the ISO level (which should be as low as possible). The shutter speed controls only natural lighting and will not affect the strobe.

    If all the photos look the same when bracketing then it's bracketing via the shutter speed and thus the strobe will overexpose every time. For one go over and turn the strobe down, or raise the aperture to f/16. If you want to minimise the contribution from the window light set the shutter speed to the max sync speed of the camera (probably 1/200 or 1/250).
     
  11. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Most of the scene is a red backdrop...and most of the scene is properly exposed...so the camera is doing it's job. You need to find an exposure value that will expose the subject properly...and auto exposure probably won't be much help.
     
  12. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    You aren't compensating enough.

    Camera Make: Gateway
    Camera Model: DC-T50
    Image Date: 2003:04:08 23:37:45
    Flash Used: No
    Exposure Time: 0.067 s (1/15)
    Aperture: f/2.8
    ISO equiv: 200
    Exposure Bias: -0.70
    White Balance: Auto
    Metering Mode: Center Weight
    Exposure: program (Auto)

    The red background is controlling the exposure and the subject's skin is probably 2 stops lighter than that.
    Try underexposing by 1.5 and 2.5 stops and look at those exposures.

    Lew
     

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