Overexposed Sky

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Vautrin, Jul 25, 2008.

  1. Vautrin

    Vautrin No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hi,

    So I bought a Polarizing filter for my camera and I've been trying to take pictures where the sky is a deep blue, and the clouds just "pop" out, like this:

    [​IMG]

    The problem I'm having is that this picture, which I really like, was dumb luck (I snapped it as I was crossing the street).

    Usually, my skies get so overexposed they almost look like they're white or are just a very pale blue:

    [​IMG]

    The weird thing is that sometimes I get a bluer sky but the thing I'm taking pictures of gets underexposed:

    [​IMG]

    These pictures were all taken within 30 minutes of each other, with the same sunlight (really bright).

    What can I do to get all pictures to look like the first one?

    My camera was on auto for these pictures so I'm not sure why it's picking what its picking.

    I took these pictures in raw and the settings on the first one were:

    Focal Length: 28mm
    Shutter: 1/100 sec
    F7.1
    0.0 EV
    WB 5300K
    ISO 100

    And the settings on the second pic were:

    Focal Length: 84mm (different lens -- does that matter?)
    Shutter: 1/125 sec
    F6.3
    0.0EV
    WB 5300K
    ISO 100

    And the settings on the third pic were:

    Focal Length: 44mm (still zoom lens)
    Shutter: 1/125 sec
    F7.1
    0.0EV
    WB 5300K
    ISO 100

    Thanks in advance for your help!

    -Dan
     
  2. Yahoozy

    Yahoozy TPF Noob!

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    ok, the reason that your camera is doing this is because of its light metering system
    oftentimes your camera exposes the shot so that your subject is properly exposed, while the sky is blown out and overexposed, because you need either a smaller aperture or faster shutter speed to expose the sky properly (the point being less light), which would, unaided, underexpose your subject
    generally what you need to do to fix this is expose your camera for the sky (either point it straight up at the sky and take an exposure reading and lock the exposure, or switch to manual mode and punch in those settings) then compose your shot as you would, but add a flash
    the flash fills in the subject, (usually) properly exposing them, and because your exposing for the sky, that doesnt blow out
    hope you got that hahah
    others can probably explain it better than me =P
     
  3. Vautrin

    Vautrin No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    So what happens with something like a building where my flash isn't going to help? Is there any way to get a sky with the right exposure and a building / mountain / whatever with the right exposure?
     
  4. Yahoozy

    Yahoozy TPF Noob!

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    you could set up a tripod and take 2 shots, 1 exposed for the sky the other for the building, then put em together in an HDR
    if that works idk
    HDR is not my forte hahah
     
  5. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    My guess (and it really is a guess) is that it also has to do with the position of the sun relative to your subject. It is probably somewhere behind you coming over your shoulder in the first one so it adequately lights both the clouds and the front of the building. It is my bet that it is somewhere behind the buildings in front of you in the second and third images, so the front of the buildings are in shadow -- making it hard to get the sky and the building front both with adequate exposure (unless you do an HDR).
     
  6. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes, the sun has something to do with it, also if its a polarizer that twists!!!, make sure its not spinning when you focus, or your polarized results will change every time!

    Also, if you cant seem to get it to work out, find a neutral zone, normally everything will be underexposed a little, but you can fix that up in some editing program like photoshop.

    What I mean is, instead of the sky being over exposed and the ground underexposed....or the sky being underexposed and the ground being over exposed...

    Find an exposure (shutter and aperture setting) that are inbetween so neither are blown out.

    Then go into photoshop and brighten it up. BTW: Easier to fix underexposed picture than a over exposed one...
     
  7. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    On the first one, the sun is shining from the left hand side, illuminating most of the buildings and giving a sky which does not differ too much from the buildings in brightness. Hence your camera is able to capture both of them well exposed.

    In the second and third image, the sun must have been in a different location - probably in front of you to the right. Therefore the building gets hardly any light, but the sky is bright. A digital camera often cannot really capture this range of brightness, hence you get either the building exposed well and the sky overexposed, or you get the sky exposed right and the building underexposed.

    With your metering and all on auto, the camera makes this decision, depending on where exactly you point it.
     
  8. dhilberg

    dhilberg TPF Noob!

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    As Alex_B mentioned, because of your orientation to the sun (based on the shadows, it seems to be off to the left) the foreground and sky are lit more evenly. Your orientation to the sun is also the reason the sky is a deep blue with the polarizer. Polarization of the sky is strongest at 90 degrees perpendicular to the sun. As your lens moves toward the sun or 180 degrees from it, the effect weakens.

    Also, your polarizer has a rotating ring that allows you to increase or decrease the overall effect. I noticed that each photo is at a different focal length. As someone else mentioned, if your lens's filter mount rotates when you focus or zoom the effect will change because the filter is rotating as well. If this is the case, readjust the polarizer after you are satisfied with the zoom and focus.

    Dennis
     
  9. rasheemo

    rasheemo TPF Noob!

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    it looks completely the polarizer's fault. make sure you twist it until the sky is blue (this is AFTER you focus)

    even with overexposure it should be pretty deep blue.
     
  10. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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