Need help please, with this exposure.

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by realitycheck3907, Aug 30, 2008.

  1. realitycheck3907

    realitycheck3907 TPF Noob!

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    Hey guys I took this pic tonight of my car and the sunset. I have a question. How would you guys meter for this? When I metered for the car the sky was overexposed. When I metered for the sky the car was underexposed. So I just kind of picked one somewhere in the middle and the sky looks better but the car is still too dark. What would you guys have done?
    Metered Car
    [​IMG]

    Metered Sky
    [​IMG]

    Picked a middle ground
    [​IMG]
     
  2. DChesler

    DChesler TPF Noob!

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    Personally, I prefer the exposure that highlights the subject, e.g. the one metered from the car.
     
  3. realitycheck3907

    realitycheck3907 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Chesler, the sky just looks blown out to me. I wish I could get the best of both worlds but dont know how too.
     
  4. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Move the car! :)

    Seriously, try to get a picture where your back is to the sun. Barring that, your options are a graduated ND filter (which basically is like using a gradient mask on the light on the top portion of the shot), or using a fill flash to bring out a bit more of the car.

    When you are shooting toward the light source and your subject is not illuminated by it, you will always have this kind of problem.

    Oh you can also do an HDR, but I really dislike most HDRs.
     
  5. realitycheck3907

    realitycheck3907 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks chris. I got this one.


    [​IMG]

    I just really liked the sunset and the car together. Maybe I can get a filter later on. Oh and I know the car is really dirty, I was actually there to capture the sunset but the car was there so I grabbed it too. :)
     
  6. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yeah, that one definitely worked better. Though I see you have a distracting building in the background there. You've stripped your EXIF info, but I'm assuming this was a small aperature since the background is fairly well in focus... maybe get closer to the car and use a larger aperature to fuzz out the background. I think a tighter crop would be better anyway... more car, less other stuff.

    I'm with you on the "oo! take the shot of the car too!" I've done that a lot with my R32. :)
     
  7. Rachelsne

    Rachelsne TPF Noob!

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    you could always mergew a selection of pictures in pp, similar to HDR
     
  8. realitycheck3907

    realitycheck3907 TPF Noob!

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    Rachel thanks, I thought about that but I dont have near enough pp skills for that. So i'll just have to try a filter.

    Chris I dont know how the exif. info got stripped but here it is, SS 1/15, F/3.5, iso 100, My focal point was 28mm though so maybe thats why the background was focused.
     
  9. Tiberius47

    Tiberius47 TPF Noob!

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    reality Check, it's well worth learning to use the Layer mask tool in Photoshop. it will really let you beldn different exposures like this together well.
     
  10. realitycheck3907

    realitycheck3907 TPF Noob!

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    Alright tiberius I thought about it last night, and i'm willing to give it a shot. I searched for a tutorial on it but dont think I found what I need. Do you guys have a tutorial I can follow?
     
  11. Tiberius47

    Tiberius47 TPF Noob!

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    try this....

    First, when you take the photos, make sure you use a tripod. When you take photos for this sort of use, the camera can't move at all. Put the camera on manual mode and take one photo with the settings to expose for the sky (The Sky exposure). Then adjust the shutter speed only (to avoid altering the depth of field) and take another photo to expose for the foreground (the Car exposure).

    Now, in Photoshop, put both photos into the same image. You;ll have two layers, one layer has the sky exposure, and the other layer has the car exposure. Let's put the sky picture on top.

    Now, on the sky picture, create a layer mask.

    Once you've got the layer mask, you can use the brush tool on this layer mask to hide or reveal parts of the sky image. Painting black on the layer mask will make the layer transparent. Painting white will show the layer (remember, black holds it back and white shows the sight. Not the most poetic wording, but it is an easy way to remember that black hides the layer and white shows the layer.)

    Click on the layer mask to select it, and then choose a large soft edged brush. make sure the brush is black. Now because the layer mask is the sky exposure, we want to keep the nicely exposed sky, but we want to hide the dark foreground. So paint over the foreground (the underexposed bits) with the black brush (making sure that you are working on the layer mask, not the layer itself). As you do this, you'll see the layer beneath (The car layer) show through.

    Keep doing this until you have the photo the way you want it. Basically, what we've done is put two photos above each other, then hidden the badly exposed part of one to show the properl;y exposed version beneath it.

    If you make a mistake whuile you are painting on the layer mask, just switch to white and paint over it to reverse it.

    of course, this is a rather basic way to do it, and if there are complex outlines it can be very hard to get it looking good. But this technique is a good place to start.
     
  12. realitycheck3907

    realitycheck3907 TPF Noob!

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    Alright tiberius, and everyone else that has been helping me. I know this is a pretty bad job of merging photos but the camera wasn't on a tripod when I took it I was just knealing down and I did move from photo to photo. So I didnt try and make it perfect I just wanted to try and get the basics down. So next time I can try to do better. Let me know what you guys think? And again thanks so much for the help. I love being able to come here and actually talk to real people and get real help. Instead of only reading books and not knowing how to correct what your doing wrong.

    [​IMG]
     

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