I can't seem to get the right exposed shot!!!

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by TheMasterMind776, Sep 1, 2008.

  1. TheMasterMind776

    TheMasterMind776 TPF Noob!

    Sep 1, 2008
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    I have the fuji S5 and I seem to have 2 problems.

    1. No matter what, I can't get the right exposed shot. I don't know if my camera flash is set on the wrong settings. Which are:

    ttl iso100 0.6-5.3m M zoom

    Sometimes my photos are super bright and other times they are too dark and I find myself playing with them in photoshop for hours upon hours. I set the camera on program and use the +/_ to play with the picture after I take them, but as soon as I zoom in or out, I find I have to adjust the +/_ all over again and I never had to do this with any other camera. I shoot events where the lights are not balanced and I have dark spots and bright areas, usually on convention floors. But I never had a camera so sensitive. It makes it really hard to get an accurately exposed photo.

    2. If anybody is fimiliar with the nikon camera's what is the best setting to keep the camera on for face shots. This camera seems to have the hardest time focusing, If I am shooting a female subjest and have the button pressed to focus on her face, I will get the chest. Out of the four setting I have choices with by the thumb, I get I choose the second one up from the bottom. The one square focal point. If anybody can shed some light on these two problems I am seeming to have, I would appreciate it greatly.


  2. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Oct 14, 2007
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    Montreal, QC, Canada
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    I have a Nikon camera (D200), but I am not sure how much I will be able to help you out.

    Let's try a little divide and conquer to help narrow things a little:

    Our scenario:
    A single female (bust) portrait shot taken as she is sitting in a standard sized/height diing room chair.

    A single shoot through umbrella with a speedlight

    What are the settings that I would use to get the shot? It would depend on many things like distance of face from unbrella and strength of flash output as well as ISO used.

    A fast synopsis would be:
    - Distance of umbrella from just below the neck height of the subject: 4 feet
    - single SB-600 speedlight set to 1/4 power
    - ISO set to 200
    - Aperture of F/5.6
    - lens focal point would be between 18mm and 30mm
    - Using 0 degrees as "dead on and 90 degrees as full right or left side of the subject, my starting point is 20-25 degrees to the side as a light stand placement position. Relative angle may change, but unless I change light power, ISO or aperture, distance stays the same.

    With these settings, my histogram would show her face as being about 1.5-2 stops over 18% grey and JUST peaking at the top edge of the histogram. I do this by just letting the lens go out of focus and shoot a full fame of her cheek).

    I can go anywhere from a face only to a 1/2 body shot and anywhere in between these 2 areas and get as close to perfection for exposure as I can straight out of my D200. My Honeywell light meter shows the lighting as a reading of "dead on" F/8.0 as well.

    So, why did I recall these settings? These are my "start from" settings that I have practiced with dozens of times. I start here and morph to other settings as I play, or stay with these settings as I know they will always give me consistant results.

    Now... all of this assumes a couple of things:
    - flash is off camera
    - I am not using iTTL

    If you are using TTL, it *always* compensates and will very likely change from shot to shot. Use SPOT metering and set an exposre compensation of -0.7 as a starting point (-1 if your camera is a D80). Change to taste. If you have adequate DOF, focus and preset the iTTL on the cheek (not the eyes) before taking the shot.

    Your issue mainly explains the main reason I do not use iTTL much, if I an avoid it. ;) :D
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2008
  3. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Jun 26, 2006
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    Durham, UK
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    Try starting from scratch, turn off any compensation, use in shutter, aperture or manual priority and read the manual, here:

    practice till you know what your doing, my fuji's and old nikon cameras alter exposure as you zoom, zoom in = cut down the light allowed in the lens. zoom out = more light, this coupled with already messing with the compensation dials is most likely the problem, or, your flash distance to subject is too far/too near at the aperture/ss being used. H

    PS. I'd also use the centre focus area then recompose as needed while keeping the shutter half depressed to lock focus or simply use the ae lock button which in default should lock both for you.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2008

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