Overexposed sky; portrait shot; would ND filter fix this image?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by adamnyc31, May 25, 2018.

  1. adamnyc31

    adamnyc31 TPF Noob!

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    Hi,

    I'm using a Canon 5D w/ 16-35mm f/2.8 II I'm trying to take some portrait photos of my dog that also capture the landscape background but the sky is always blown out. I'm taking the photos about 6:30am before she is in direct sunlight.

    My goal is to capture this type of photo but have the sky also properly exposed. I generally need a pretty fast shutter speed (min of 500 second) in order to capture a sharp photo as my dog doesn't sit perfectly still.

    I have never used a filter. From my research it sounds like a graduated neutral density filter might be what I need. Seems like there are so many different filter configurations; how can I figure out which filter would be ideal for this type of composition where the subject is close to the camera and the sky is much brighter?

    Thanks!

    I attached an example photo; it was shot with:
    Shutter speed: 750
    F/2.8
    ISO 640

    [​IMG]


     
  2. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    No. ND filters adjust the overall exposure and are not 'selective' to any area. You'll need a graduated ND filter.
     
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  3. Jeff15

    Jeff15 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Hello and welcome. If I am not satisfied with a sky I put one in later using Photoshop..
     
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  4. sergezap

    sergezap TPF Noob!

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    If the sun is not right behind or infront of you, you can use a cpl filter instead of ND.
    But it'll affects the water reflections also.
     
  5. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    or an ND filter + flash.
     
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  6. ronlane

    ronlane What's next? Supporting Member

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    As mentioned a ND filter will effect the entire scene, a Grad-ND will effect part of the scene. To get the sky you want, you would need to expose for the sky and then use something to fill in the light on the subject. That could be flash or a reflector.

    You could replace the sky as mentioned above or you could take it into PS and do a gradient layer over the sky. When you put the gradient layer on, use black to transparent, then play with the blend modes (try overlay and softlight first) and also the opacity. Not saying that this will fix this image but I've seen this method make a difference in some of my images.
     
  7. photo1x1.com

    photo1x1.com TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Hi and welcome! Did you shoot RAW? You can add a sort of Grad ND Filter Effect in Lightroom under the local adjustments.
     
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  8. weepete

    weepete TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Try shooting with your back to the rising sun, that'd be the quick way to do it with natural light.

    GNDs may sort of fix the issue, however they work best with horizontal lines, and as a result anything sticking up through the horizontal line of the filter will be darker as well. Or as suggested expose for the sky and use fill flash.
     
  9. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Dynamic Range is the problem you're dealing with. The solution is not a one size fits all. There were a lot of good selections offered, but the choice depends on the range you're dealing with, and the options available. You have to either add light to your subject or take away from the background. Can you position doggy so you're shooting into the shade of a tree?? Add a flash or reflector to bring enough light onto doggy to counteract the sky. If the tree line is high enough then a graduated ND could be used to darken the sky. You could just expose for the sky (not blown), then selectively raise the exposure of the remainder of the image. Or you could use a tripod and take two images one without doggy and the sky exposed properly, and one with doggy in the same frame and exposed for doggy. Merge as layers in PS to combine the two.
     
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  10. adamhiram

    adamhiram No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Another easy fix is to simply underexpose by a stop or 2 to maintain highlights in the sky, then bring it back in post. As long as you keep your ISO pretty low, you shouldn't need to worry about losing much shadow detail.
     
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  11. sergezap

    sergezap TPF Noob!

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    It's a very bad idea.
    The upper 1.5 stops in RAW file contains smthng about 80% of all information.
    No matter how low your ISO set.
    With true linear response curve you'd get 3-3.5 stops of underexposing and completely kill your DR.
     
  12. waday

    waday Do one thing every day that scares you Supporting Member

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    Everyone is overthinking here. Just get a darker dog.

    :p
     
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