My camera seems to have a mind of its own, have some Q's

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Tyler Durden, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. Tyler Durden

    Tyler Durden TPF Noob!

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    I went shooting up in the mountains and have noticed a couple things I was hoping you guys could help me with.

    First- I shoot in Raw and upload my pics to Picasa for editing. Sometimes when I upload I will have 4 different versions of the photo and sometimes while using the exact same setting I will only have two different versions. I have read that you can set your camera to take multiple exposures but Im not sure how I did/ am doing it. :confused:

    Second- I got up early to shoot and experienced something weird, my camera was shooting WAY overexposed (see examples below). It rained the night before, did condensation get into my lens and cause this? Was it me shooting wrong that caused this? I was using AWB but I have never experienced any problems with it thus far.

    Lastly- if anyone is bored you are more than welcome to stitch a panorama I shot this morning!

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  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    First of all, it would help greatly to know what camera you were using, however without that information, a couple of thoughts:

    -Most DSLRs offer a "RAW+JPG" mode meaning that the camera will capture a RAW image and a .jpg file simultaneously. Check to see if one image has a .jpg file extension and the other has whatever your camera's RAW file extension is.

    -Since there's no EXIF data attached to your example image, I'll make the assumption that you were shooting in evaluative/average metering mode. If that's the case, then the scene is perfectly exposed. What you say, "He's on glue!"? No, not really. Look at the scene - the upper half of the scene is about two stops over, the bottom half two stops under. Add positive two to negative two... you get zero.

    Why? Ahhh, that's a different question altogether. Your camera's meter is designed to look at a number of areas in the scene and then decide on an exposure based on the average of all the light coming in; in this case LOTS of light in the upper area, not much in the lower. Okay, fine. How do we get around that? There are a few ways.

    One which is very popular right now is HDR or 'High-dynamic-range' merge. You expose several identical images at different exposures (from the ideal for the dark to the ideal for the bright) and then merge them using software. This has the downside of sometimes looking a little cartoonish as the human eye can recognize things that are too far out of whack.

    Another way is to overcome or reduce the dynamic range using filters. Graduated Neutral Density filters (G-ND) are a type which has a dark, but visually neutral (meaning it stops some light but has no colour impact on the image) layer, and will reduce the brightness of the upper portion allowing you to have a longer exposure for the lower. A polarizing filter is also critical to good outdoor shots, increasing constrast and saturation, and reducing the 'flatness' of images.

    Lastly, pick a different time of day. I'm going to guess the sun was fairly high in the sky when this was shot, producing harsh, cold light. Shooting when the sun is lower (early morning, evening) produces images with a warmer, softer, and more pleasing light.
     
  3. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    The sky and the ground level, filled with coniferous trees, have probably an eight to 10 f/stop differential in correct exposure...so...the right exposure for the sky will make the foreground look too dark, and the right exposure for the foreground will totally blow out the sky. Given that it is early morning, the differential between sky and ground level can be even greater that 8 to 10 stops, since there is very little "skylight" present.

    Sooo....there needs to be some way to bridge those exposures...

    A three-exposure blend would be a good start. Needs to be done from a tripod-mounted camera.
     
  4. Tyler Durden

    Tyler Durden TPF Noob!

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    Thanks guys, I understand completely now. I read "the digital photography book" and "Understanding exposure" and its all coming back to me now. I actually shot this early in the morning, that is why it wasnt making much sense to me and I wanted to know what you guys thought. Now that I look at it the trees are fairly dark while the mountain in the back is lit by the morning sun. I just took one look at the photos and because I was shooting so early I didnt really understand why the light was so harsh
     

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