Photographing sunsets

silve225

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Hi everyone when I try to photograph a car with the sun setting in the background the sky is always over exposed. But if I change the aperture or shutter speed then it just gets to dark. Any recommendations you have to help. Also the lenses I have are 18-55m, 50mm, 10-24mm, 55-300mm and im shooting with a Nikon d5100
 

squirrels

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Sounds like you are having a problem of dynamic range. You want enough light to have detail on the car, but still also get a proper exposure for sky, right? A graduated neutral density filter might help you out here. See if this sounds like what is going on for you: Using Graduated Neutral Density Filters
 
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silve225

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Sounds like you are having a problem of dynamic range. You want enough light to have detail on the car, but still also get a proper exposure for sky, right? A graduated neutral density filter might help you out here. See if this sounds like what is going on for you: Using Graduated Neutral Density Filters

thanks. im going to read through that in a minute. But Instead of buying more filters is there a way to do it in post editing. the reason I ask is because I don't want to buy a few filters for my lenses since I don't always you the same lens.
 

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ETA: Wiser minds. See above.
 
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silve225

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Buckster

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Sounds like you are having a problem of dynamic range. You want enough light to have detail on the car, but still also get a proper exposure for sky, right? A graduated neutral density filter might help you out here. See if this sounds like what is going on for you: Using Graduated Neutral Density Filters

thanks. im going to read through that in a minute. But Instead of buying more filters is there a way to do it in post editing. the reason I ask is because I don't want to buy a few filters for my lenses since I don't always you the same lens.
As already brought up, lighting it at the time is far easier. Depending on the available light, you can use a reflector or speedlight to do it.

That said, it can be done in post. Shoot from a tripod and take two shots, one with the exposure you want for the sky, and another exposed the way you like for the car. Then stack the two photos as layers in Photoshop or another editor that allows layers, and use a mask to drill through one to show the properly exposed parts of each.

Alternatively, you can bring them together in HDR software, including Photoshop's HDR tools, but be careful - it's easy to go overboard with that technique.
 
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silve225

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Im decent at photoshop so I can try putting a few images together. I have done that in the past just never thought to try that for this image. But if I choose to light the car would one speedlight be enough?
 

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Im decent at photoshop so I can try putting a few images together. I have done that in the past just never thought to try that for this image. But if I choose to light the car would one speedlight be enough?
That all depends on the power and ability of the speedlight, how you use it, including modifiers, angle of attack, how big the car is, etc., etc., etc.

Check out this post in another thread: http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...rum/231947-speedlight-gels-2.html#post2138929
 

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Hi everyone when I try to photograph a car with the sun setting in the background the sky is always over exposed. But if I change the aperture or shutter speed then it just gets to dark. Any recommendations you have to help. Also the lenses I have are 18-55m, 50mm, 10-24mm, 55-300mm and im shooting with a Nikon d5100

lightroom has a graduated exposure tool that might work for this.
 

TCampbell

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Im decent at photoshop so I can try putting a few images together. I have done that in the past just never thought to try that for this image. But if I choose to light the car would one speedlight be enough?

Usually not... a car is too large and creates a "light falloff" problem.

The problem works like this: Each time the distance from the flash increases with a factor based on roughly 1.4 (in reality it's the square root of 2 which is a long irrational value but 1.4 is close enough) the light is cut in half.

Apply this to a car... let's suppose your car is 15' from long (font to rear). If the flash is 5' away then anything 7' away will get literally HALF as much light... and anything 10' away will get literally 1/4 of the light. That's the "fall off" problem. It's physics -- every light follows this rule.

What you need to do to illuminate the car with just a single light is to get the flash SO VERY FAR away that a factor of 1.4 from the near to far would fall within, say... a third of a stop (not perfectly even... but close enough that the light will may be acceptable.

Now imagine you move the light 100' away from the car. The light wont become half as bright until it gets to 140' away. That means a 15' car would be just be pretty close in that the front to back distance may only be in the neighborhood of 1/3rd of a stop.

You can see how this isn't really practical. It's seems a bit counterintuitive, but fall-off is more gradual if the light source is very far away because the fall-off happens the fastest if you're nearest to the light.
 
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silve225

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TCampbell you really confussed me. but I think I got the main part about what you were trying to say which is it really cant be done with one speed light
 

12sndsgood

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lighting is how I do it. sometimes you can work with one if the scource is big enough. i use a 30x42 lightbox and a studio strobe. but even then for the most part its not enough. i'll sometimes have 3 or so lights on a car. You can play around with lightroom or photoshop and select areas and adjust exposure, it can be done but its easier and better to just light it properly to begin with.
 

Mikej15

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Easiest way to photo against the sun is to use flash + shoot in raw so you can adjust exposure using lightroom or PS
 

TCampbell

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TCampbell you really confussed me. but I think I got the main part about what you were trying to say which is it really cant be done with one speed light

This may help:

When Mark starts explaining this, he'll be technical and accurate... but you may find it confusing. Stick with it though... because then he starts giving examples, simplifying the math, and then ultimately near the middle he starts shooting lots of examples with test targets and models so you can really see what's happening. It should really help things click.
 
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