Shooting Pictures without Blowing out the Background

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by PhotoJunkieJen, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. PhotoJunkieJen

    PhotoJunkieJen TPF Noob!

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    Hey guys... I'm looking for some tips on how to properly expose a foreground without blowing out a bright background.

    For instance, we little to eat at a waterside restaurant and take pictures there. How can I take a decent picture of my parents sitting inside the restaurant using a flash... without blowing out the sky behind them?
     
  2. reg

    reg TPF Noob!

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    Meter for the sky, use the flash to fill in the interior.
     
  3. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The idea is to have more light on your subject than in the sky, basically. You want to err on the side of underexposing the sky to get the blues. That can be VERY hard to do, because even an overcast sky tends to be far brighter than any source of artificial light.

    If you can, it's best to have the sun to your back, but it sounds like in the situation you are in that's essentially impossible. As reg said, try the flash.
     
  4. PhotoJunkieJen

    PhotoJunkieJen TPF Noob!

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    Are there any sort of filters that could be used in a sitation like that?
     
  5. reg

    reg TPF Noob!

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    Inside the restaurant.... how much sky is there in the scene anyway? A small square or two? 25%? The entire background?
     
  6. PhotoJunkieJen

    PhotoJunkieJen TPF Noob!

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    Well for this particular restaurant, it's open air... so it's basically you... the table and the sky, haha.

    But I'm also lookking for any general advice for shooting in a situation like this... For instance, shooting into the sun but not wanting to silhoutte the foreground.
     
  7. reg

    reg TPF Noob!

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    I'm telling ya, spot meter on the sky, and use the flash to compensate for the foreground.
     
  8. K8-90

    K8-90 TPF Noob!

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    ^ +1
     
  9. jwhphoto

    jwhphoto TPF Noob!

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    I haave a question along these lines, What if your subject is somewhat far away and the flash has little effect on this? is there any way to keep the sky from blowing out?
     
  10. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Then you may need to use a tripod and take few shots with different exposure settings such as bracketing and combine them together later with software.
     
  11. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

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    The Sunny 16 rule...

    the rule tells us on a bright sunny day to set your aperture at f 16 and convert the ISO film rating to the closest shutter speed.

    Example would be: f/16, ISO 400, Sutter 1/400
    or
    f/16, ISO 100, Shutter 1/100
     
  12. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    What the hell?

    As others have said, meter for the sky, and if you have a flash, use that to "fill in" the light for your subject (which would be WAY underexposed otherwise). If no flash is available, simply say "screw you" to the sky, and focus on your subject. If you can, position yourself so the overexposed sky is NOT in the shot.

    Basically -work with what you've got.
     

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