Preventing Blowouts?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Sharpiks, Apr 25, 2010.

  1. Sharpiks

    Sharpiks TPF Noob!

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    Thing is, a lot of pictures I take are sometimes if not all the time blown out if the sky, sun or anything bright is involved. It's rainy here, and I decided to do a bit of practicing with the sky.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]


    What I'm trying to ask is how do I get the trees (or other objects) bright and clear, while at the same time I can get other bright objects in the foreground/background without it blowing out? Because if I target the trees, the sky blows the entire image out. If I target the sky, the trees become so dark they're beyond photo shopping.

    Is what I want to do even possible?
     
  2. reznap

    reznap No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You're dealing with the limited dynamic range of the sensor, from what I understand. Only ways around this are to use a flash or other lighting for a closer subject or take multiple exposures and merge them (like in photoshop or other image editing program). Whether it's a tone-mapped HDR or just a fusion of exposure.. that's up to you.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2010
  3. Sharpiks

    Sharpiks TPF Noob!

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    Yeah that would probably be the cause..
    Different metering modes wouldn't remedy my problem, I take it?

    It looks to me without a better sensor all of my photos will be washed/blown out.
     
  4. reznap

    reznap No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Even with a Canon Rebel or something better you have to watch out for situations with lots of contrast. I would get similar results with my T2i as you did with your Polaroid deal. It's something you have to work around or avoid altogether.
     
  5. Sharpiks

    Sharpiks TPF Noob!

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    I see. Yeah, to those who said photography is an easy way to be artistic with no skills obviously didn't know what they were talking about.

    Anyway, it was the same with these:
    [​IMG]
    With focus on the candle, it's crystal clear. But the background is dark.

    With focus on the background (mind the small PS blur) it's clear, but the candle is blown out.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Big Mike

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

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    Yes, your problem is that a camera can only capture a certain range of tones in a single exposure. It's called the dynamic range. Some digital camera are better than others, just like different types of film have a different dynamic range.

    The normal way that we deal with this, is to choose the most important parts of the photo, and expose for them.
    Another method would be to make selective edits in post, brightening or darkening certain parts of the image.
    Yet another method is to take two or more photos at different exposures and combine elements to make one image with a wider range of tones than you would have been able to get with just one exposure. Read up on HDR (high dynamic range) for more about this.
     
  7. burstintoflame81

    burstintoflame81 TPF Noob!

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    Either shoot HDR ( bracket your exposures ), or in some cases, use a split ND filter ( in the case of wide scenics with an even horizon/sky.

    I also read something interesting recently, that said it was better to be slightly over exposed than underexposed because in photoshop you can recover some highlights but when you underexpose and try to lighten the shadows it tends to introduce more noise.
     
  8. Sharpiks

    Sharpiks TPF Noob!

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    Alright. All of your posts were very helpful. Thank you - And I've actually been looking into HDR. I'm interested.
     
  9. TomBlaze

    TomBlaze TPF Noob!

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    For those shots, two things I would suggest in addition to the advice you have been given thus far that you use a circular polarizer and switch your metering mode to center weighted average and shoot in Aperture priority mode. This will help for a more even exposure but will most likely make it a little darker so use exposure compensation to bump it up a half stop or to a point where the capture looks a little over exposed allowing for a easier recovery of detail in post production editing.

    Best way to recover clipped highlights is to use edit the curve in points mode (in RAW editor) and reduce the input to the highlights a tiny bit.
     

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