photos blown out using natural light in doors

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redbourn

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Does the image look blown out to you?

I have a couple of reflectors but if the image is blown out am not sure that I want to add more light.
What does the histogram tell you? If the histogram indicates blown pixels, then yes.

No, do not add more light. There is enough light already on the tops, so if anything, there may be too much light. When you stop down, that is when you need to add light (such as a reflector or low power flash) on the near side to light the near side ONLY a bit more. Be careful how you position the reflector so as to not overexpose the tops again.

Thanks very much and will try again ..
 
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Just took this photo on my phone and in a way it's so demoralizing.

minute steak.JPG


None of the over exposure etc.

Same lighting exactly as yesterday and just a simple snapshot.

I want the best photos than I can personally shoot for my cookbook.

Michael
 

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Just took this photo on my phone and in a way it's so demoralizing.

View attachment 126127

None of the over exposure etc.

Highlights are blown out. In fact you have more totally blown highlights in the food in this photo than in the chicken.

Same lighting exactly as yesterday and just a simple snapshot.

It is not the same lighting as yesterday. The backlight is not as severe.

Joe

I want the best photos than I can personally shoot for my cookbook.

Michael
 

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Just took this photo on my phone and in a way it's so demoralizing.

Same lighting exactly as yesterday and just a simple snapshot.
From a completely different angle.
 
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redbourn

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.....BTW - I took a photo at every available f stop - when I got to f22 the camera started removing noise.

This doesn't make sense. Stopping down should require an increase in ISO and thus create more noise.

ISO remained the same.

Then the only other thing that could have changed was the shutter speed. Either way, you should not have increased noise.

Well the shutter speed changed when I got to f22 so the the camera then said "too much noise; going to reduce it!".
 

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.....BTW - I took a photo at every available f stop - when I got to f22 the camera started removing noise.

This doesn't make sense. Stopping down should require an increase in ISO and thus create more noise.

ISO remained the same.

Then the only other thing that could have changed was the shutter speed. Either way, you should not have increased noise.
he was probably in one of the auto modes ...
 

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...You don't have a light meter problem you have a lighting problem. A light meter would not fix or help this problem in any way.
I`m going to respectfully disagree with you on this Joe. Using a spot meter to determine exposure for the highlights would allow the OP to calculate proper exposure for the overall scene. Granted, using strobed light only would make this whole process much easier, but if one wants to use ambient in a challenging lighting scenario like this, I would suggest a meter is essential.

OP: You don`t need a $500+ Sekonic (`though it`s an excellent meter). For this particular scenario, I would recommend the Minolta Spot F (not that one in particular, just a link as an example).
 

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Yes, use a reflector to fill the shadows and reduce the exposure.

I just played with a white and gold reflector.

The white has very limited effect the gold has a much greater one.

I don't know why.

The gold is metallic and will reflect more light. Limited effect is fine. You aren't trying to light subject, you are just filling in some shadows. What you are trying to do is to reduce the dynamic range of the subject. Some fill light should allow you to reduce the exposure value without losing all the shadows. Your eyes do a better job of dealing with high dynamic range than your sensor is. There are also some things you can do in post process to reduce dynamic range and, of course, there is always the use of multiple exposures at different exposure values which are combined with HDR software. Getting dynamic range under control is your goal.
 

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...You don't have a light meter problem you have a lighting problem. A light meter would not fix or help this problem in any way.
I`m going to respectfully disagree with you on this Joe. Using a spot meter to determine exposure for the highlights would allow the OP to calculate proper exposure for the overall scene. Granted, using strobed light only would make this whole process much easier, but if one wants to use ambient in a challenging lighting scenario like this, I would suggest a meter is essential.

OP: You don`t need a $500+ Sekonic (`though it`s an excellent meter). For this particular scenario, I would recommend the Minolta Spot F (not that one in particular, just a link as an example).

The problem is that the meter doesn't resolve the lighting problem -- the lighting problem remains regardless of the exposure. The diffuse highlights are clipped and the red channel is nuked in the version presented, but the main subject is too dark. You could use a meter to calculate a reduced exposure and the main subject that is already too dark in the shadow will get darker in the shadow. That just makes the photo worse overall.

I'll bet the diffuse highlights are not clipped in the raw original -- there's actually very little highlight clipping in that photo. The clipping he's getting now is from processing as he struggles to lighten up the subject because the subject is in shadows due to the backlight.

A meter could help uncover the root problem, but so can eyes.

Joe
 

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.....BTW - I took a photo at every available f stop - when I got to f22 the camera started removing noise.

This doesn't make sense. Stopping down should require an increase in ISO and thus create more noise.

ISO remained the same.

Then the only other thing that could have changed was the shutter speed. Either way, you should not have increased noise.

Well the shutter speed changed when I got to f22 so the the camera then said "too much noise; going to reduce it!".

If everything was taken at ISO 100, the noise will be the same. I suspect you really didn't shoot them all at ISO 100. ISO is the ONLY thing you can change that will affect noise. Aperture doesn't. Shutter speeds don't. ONLY ISO.
 
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...You don't have a light meter problem you have a lighting problem. A light meter would not fix or help this problem in any way.
I`m going to respectfully disagree with you on this Joe. Using a spot meter to determine exposure for the highlights would allow the OP to calculate proper exposure for the overall scene. Granted, using strobed light only would make this whole process much easier, but if one wants to use ambient in a challenging lighting scenario like this, I would suggest a meter is essential.

OP: You don`t need a $500+ Sekonic (`though it`s an excellent meter). For this particular scenario, I would recommend the Minolta Spot F (not that one in particular, just a link as an example).

The problem is that the meter doesn't resolve the lighting problem -- the lighting problem remains regardless of the exposure. The diffuse highlights are clipped and the red channel is nuked in the version presented, but the main subject is too dark. You could use a meter to calculate a reduced exposure and the main subject that is already too dark in the shadow will get darker in the shadow. That just makes the photo worse overall.

I'll bet the diffuse highlights are not clipped in the raw original -- there's actually very little highlight clipping in that photo. The clipping he's getting now is from processing as he struggles to lighten up the subject because the subject is in shadows due to the backlight.

A meter could help uncover the root problem, but so can eyes.

Joe

Thanks for the reply.

Dropbox - dijon style chicken.NEF

Is the original or very close to it.

Michael
 
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redbourn

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Just took this photo on my phone and in a way it's so demoralizing.

View attachment 126127

None of the over exposure etc.

Highlights are blown out. In fact you have more totally blown highlights in the food in this photo than in the chicken.

Same lighting exactly as yesterday and just a simple snapshot.

It is not the same lighting as yesterday. The backlight is not as severe.

Joe

I want the best photos than I can personally shoot for my cookbook.

Michael

Shot on my phone.

Same place on the table and table same place next to the window and same time of day and weather.

Michael
 
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redbourn

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.....BTW - I took a photo at every available f stop - when I got to f22 the camera started removing noise.

This doesn't make sense. Stopping down should require an increase in ISO and thus create more noise.

ISO remained the same.

Then the only other thing that could have changed was the shutter speed. Either way, you should not have increased noise.
he was probably in one of the auto modes ...

Camera was set for aperture and I used a dozen f stops all with the same result.

Photo taken on my phone today did not have the same problem . very frustrating.

Michael
 

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