Pictures too dark

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by dancelikeamonkey, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. dancelikeamonkey
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    dancelikeamonkey New Member

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    Hi guys. Bought my first DSLR (Sony A200) a couple of days ago and didn't realise it would be so hard to use! I'm off to China in 2 weeks and regretting not buying the camera months ago to give me time to practise.

    I've been trawling the net a bit to try and find out what settings to use for certain situations and am slowly understanding some of it. However what I am really struggling to work out is why my outside shots come out so dark.

    Close up the pictures and lighting are fine (as can be seen on the duck photo), but in exactly the same conditions any shots of scenery come out looking like they were taken at dusk. I had read that setting the ISO number higher would mean that it would let in more light at the expense of the quality of the image, but no matter how high I set it the photo came out as dark as the one below (that was on ISO 800.) These were both taken on bright sunny evenings so I'm baffled why one comes out so dark.

    Can anyone give me any pointers as to where I am going wrong?

    Thanks in advance. :D
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
  2. seward93
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    seward93 New Member

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    What mode do you shoot in?

    Try "Av" (aperture priority) and set it to the F-stop that you want.

    Also, is the EV brought down a few stops?
  3. KmH
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    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish

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    Read in your manual about the different light metering modes.

    I don't know what Sony calls their broadest metering mode. Nikon calls it matrix. It has a look up file of over 30,000 images so it can make an edcucated guess what it is your trying to get a picture of.
  4. Dagwood56
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    Dagwood56 Well-Known Member

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    I have the Sony a100, I think the 200 is pretty similar. Check the "DRO" setting, its on the mode dial. Set it to DRO and press the function button then use the arrow buttons to choose "off" In my opinion this limited to Sony DSLR's feature stinks! Once I turned it off, I had much better luck with all my photos. You might also want topick up the "Lantern Guide to Sony a200" I have the one for the 100 and it's much easier to follow and understand then the Sony manual. Hope this is of some help.

    Also, set it to multi-segmented metering, spot focusing, and AFA focusing mode and see if that helps.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2009
  5. LarryD
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    LarryD New Member

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    The photos that you show have a very bright component, the water with the duck, and the skyline with the city scene..

    Your camera is merely trying to average out the bright, giving you a medium dark scene..

    You need to either spot meter your main subject, dial in extra exposure in these conditions, or manually increase exposure to bring up the shadows..

    You should not increase your ISO in these conditions... do not think of increasing ISO as "letting in more light", but think of it as "increasing the sensor sensitivity to light"; exactly the opposite of what you want in these conditions.
  6. dancelikeamonkey
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    dancelikeamonkey New Member

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    Wow , thanks guys. Didn't expect so many answer so quickly!

    I'm going to have to go back to the glossary to see what some of those terms means, but I'll certainly give them a try tonight after work.

    I'll try and find a copy of that Lantern Guide book. The Sony manual didn't do a great job of explaining what each setting does, but I guess it assumes some sort of knowledge.

    Thanks again.
  7. roentarre
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    roentarre New Member

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    The first shot is back lit in a way. So the colour does not pop. Add some fill in light in photoshop.

    The 2nd shot has a bright sky that would result in underexposure of the lower portion of the image.

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