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Getting the Right Exposure


TPF Noob!
Mar 15, 2009
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I'm not sure if this should go into the advance section. I consider myself a beginner, so I hope I picked the right section.

In this photo I was trying to expose the car along with the car lights. I know I could probably have achieved my goal through editing, but I wanted to try to get it right with the camera first. I shot at ISO 100, F/5.6, and a Shutter Speed of 0.8 seconds in AV mode. Any idea on what I could have done differently?

The headlights are going to be so much brighter than the rest of the car that you aren't going to be able to get both exposed in the same photograph. You could try an HDR image if you really wanted to (take one photo exposed for the car and another photo from exactly the same position exposed for the headlights - use a tripod! - and then combine them in Photoshop), but I think that the headlights won't look very realistic in that case. What you've got there looks fine. :)
you will never get this right in camera since a camera doesn't see the full range of light stops as our eyes. So your best bet is an HDR.
Next time you should bracket the pictures and see which exposure you like the best.

I personally would've used a longer shutter to get more light on the wheels.

I also would've used an off camera flash to get some more light on the car to make up for the bright headlights. That way you wouldn't have so many underexposed areas. (like the whole right side of the car)
Thanks! I was thinking both HDR and off camera lighting but, just wanted to see if it could be done without any of those. I haven't quite explored either so I'm going to have to read up on both before giving either one a try.

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