photos blown out using natural light in doors

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redbourn

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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. Variations in camera settings will not help this problem. Bottom line: you shot the plate backlit such that the primary subject is in shadow but you're trying to process the shot with the primary subject well-lit. All of the trouble you're having with this photo derives from the single root cause that the dominant light source is behind the subject.

You can have a backlight in the photo if you want, but you can't fail to light the chicken in the front. Look at the chicken on the plate and see that it's casting a shadow toward you. It's a photo of the chicken. The chicken fills the bottom half of the frame. The bottom half of the frame is in shadow.

Joe

Am very interested in your response and thanks for posting.

The chicken needs to be at the front since it's the feature.

Photos is table and window (at night) ..

I can have my back to the window and shoot in the opposite direction but then I will cast a shadow.

Ideas please?

Michael


window set up.jpg
 

Ysarex

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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

And here's a histogram of that raw file:

chicken_hist.jpg


Not a single pixel in the shot is clipped. This is a full detail raw file with all highlights fully intact.

You blew the highlights in the version you processed in LR because your subject (chicken) was too dark in the shadows and you tried to compensate for that in processing. The correct place to make that compensation was lighting the chicken in the first place.

Joe
 

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The chicken needs to be at the front since it's the feature.

Photos is table and window (at night) ..

I can have my back to the window and shoot in the opposite direction but then I will cast a shadow.

Ideas please?
You've tried a million different things since you first posted here, but as far as I can tell you don't seem to be actually working on learning the photographic process, you're just throwing s**t at the wall to see what sticks, and it doesn't matter if you throw overhand, underhand, or side-arm, it's all going to splatter messily.

You need to get some proper equipment; three-four inexpensive speedlights & triggers, so white & black cardstock to make reflectors & flags, and then get some prop food and spend a week or two with that and a copy of Light, Science, Magic! and actually learn how to do this properly. LEARN how to control highlights, LEARN what affect each parameter will have on your shot, etc, etc.
 

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Camera was set for aperture and I used a dozen f stops all with the same result.
sounds like you dont know how to operate your camera.
 

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redbourn

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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

And here's a histogram of that raw file:

View attachment 126143

Not a single pixel in the shot is clipped. This is a full detail raw file with all highlights fully intact.

You blew the highlights in the version you processed in LR because your subject (chicken) was too dark in the shadows and you tried to compensate for that in processing. The correct place to make that compensation was lighting the chicken in the first place.

Joe

Thanks for making the effort to help me.

I have a softbox.

So should I have used it on the chicken?

If nothing is blown out then is there a way to fix the photo in PS or LR ?

Michael
 
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redbourn

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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

And here's a histogram of that raw file:

View attachment 126143

Not a single pixel in the shot is clipped. This is a full detail raw file with all highlights fully intact.

You blew the highlights in the version you processed in LR because your subject (chicken) was too dark in the shadows and you tried to compensate for that in processing. The correct place to make that compensation was lighting the chicken in the first place.

Joe

If not softbox then a reflector or two ?
 

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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. Variations in camera settings will not help this problem. Bottom line: you shot the plate backlit such that the primary subject is in shadow but you're trying to process the shot with the primary subject well-lit. All of the trouble you're having with this photo derives from the single root cause that the dominant light source is behind the subject.

You can have a backlight in the photo if you want, but you can't fail to light the chicken in the front. Look at the chicken on the plate and see that it's casting a shadow toward you. It's a photo of the chicken. The chicken fills the bottom half of the frame. The bottom half of the frame is in shadow.

Joe

Am very interested in your response and thanks for posting.

The chicken needs to be at the front since it's the feature.

Yep, and it needs to be lit from the front since it's the feature. And this is the root of your problem.

Joe

chicken_trouble.jpg
 
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redbourn

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Natural light from the window and using a light box would cause problems.

So I will try tomorrow using one or two reflectors.

I mentioned in an earlier response that the white reflector had much less effect that a gold one.

So I will try both.

01:29 here so time to close my eyes.

Thanks for all the help.
 
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redbourn

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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. Variations in camera settings will not help this problem. Bottom line: you shot the plate backlit such that the primary subject is in shadow but you're trying to process the shot with the primary subject well-lit. All of the trouble you're having with this photo derives from the single root cause that the dominant light source is behind the subject.

You can have a backlight in the photo if you want, but you can't fail to light the chicken in the front. Look at the chicken on the plate and see that it's casting a shadow toward you. It's a photo of the chicken. The chicken fills the bottom half of the frame. The bottom half of the frame is in shadow.

Joe

Am very interested in your response and thanks for posting.

The chicken needs to be at the front since it's the feature.

Yep, and it needs to be lit from the front since it's the feature. And this is the root of your problem.

Joe

View attachment 126148

Thank you so much!
 
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redbourn

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Didn't solve the problem but was interesting.

Instead of lightning the chicken I darkened the exposure of the carrots in LR

dijon style chicken.JPG


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. Variations in camera settings will not help this problem. Bottom line: you shot the plate backlit such that the primary subject is in shadow but you're trying to process the shot with the primary subject well-lit. All of the trouble you're having with this photo derives from the single root cause that the dominant light source is behind the subject.

You can have a backlight in the photo if you want, but you can't fail to light the chicken in the front. Look at the chicken on the plate and see that it's casting a shadow toward you. It's a photo of the chicken. The chicken fills the bottom half of the frame. The bottom half of the frame is in shadow.

Joe

Am very interested in your response and thanks for posting.

The chicken needs to be at the front since it's the feature.

Yep, and it needs to be lit from the front since it's the feature. And this is the root of your problem.

Joe

View attachment 126148

I took on board as much as I could from all the posts yesterday and shot this photo with my back to the window.

The photo may be an improvement but it it's hard to make the meat look good because it's been marinated and is covered in a sauce.


A Minute Sweet And Sour Steak
Serves 4
Prep time 5 min
Wait time 30 min
Cook time 10 min
Total time dijon style chicken.JPG best minute steak.JPG dijon style chicken.JPG
best minute steak.JPG
45 minutes including wait time

A minute steak is a thin slice of high quality steak such as rib eye or porterhouse.
So please don't confuse it with a cube steak, which is a tough cheap cut, better suited to stews.

Ingredients
4 thin rib eye or porterhouse steak cut into strips against the grain, about 2 lb. (900g).
2 large thinly sliced onions
3-4 cloves of crushed garlic
2/3 cup red wine or stock
1/2 cup soy sauce
4 tbsp Dijon mustard
4 tsp of Muscovado sugar or 5 tsp or regular brown sugar
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix the wine, garlic, soy sauce, mustard and sugar in a big bowl, add the strips of steak and allow to marinade for 30 minutes.
Fry the onion over med-high for 4-5 minutes until it's golden brown, and set aside.
Remove the steak strips from the marinade with a slotted spoon and fry them in the onion pan over med-high heat for about a minute on each side.
The amount of time will depend on how well cooked you like your steaks.
Add the marinade and simmer until the marinade thickens and sticks to the meat.
Add the onions and season with salt and pepper to taste.

----

I don't know where the blue hue came from. Plate was on a light green table cloth but barely any was visible in the the photo.
 
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redbourn

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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. Variations in camera settings will not help this problem. Bottom line: you shot the plate backlit such that the primary subject is in shadow but you're trying to process the shot with the primary subject well-lit. All of the trouble you're having with this photo derives from the single root cause that the dominant light source is behind the subject.

You can have a backlight in the photo if you want, but you can't fail to light the chicken in the front. Look at the chicken on the plate and see that it's casting a shadow toward you. It's a photo of the chicken. The chicken fills the bottom half of the frame. The bottom half of the frame is in shadow.

Joe

Am very interested in your response and thanks for posting.

The chicken needs to be at the front since it's the feature.

Yep, and it needs to be lit from the front since it's the feature. And this is the root of your problem.

Joe

View attachment 126148

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. Variations in camera settings will not help this problem. Bottom line: you shot the plate backlit such that the primary subject is in shadow but you're trying to process the shot with the primary subject well-lit. All of the trouble you're having with this photo derives from the single root cause that the dominant light source is behind the subject.

You can have a backlight in the photo if you want, but you can't fail to light the chicken in the front. Look at the chicken on the plate and see that it's casting a shadow toward you. It's a photo of the chicken. The chicken fills the bottom half of the frame. The bottom half of the frame is in shadow.

Joe

Am very interested in your response and thanks for posting.

The chicken needs to be at the front since it's the feature.

Yep, and it needs to be lit from the front since it's the feature. And this is the root of your problem.

Joe

View attachment 126148

Briefly, how did you make such a big improvement to the photo?

I have PS and LR

It's so hard cook, be hungry, and have to shoot the photos before eating. And then having to recook and reshoot the food if the photos don't look good enough. Thank you!
 

astroNikon

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It's so hard cook, be hungry, and have to shoot the photos before eating. And then having to recook and reshoot the food if the photos don't look good enough. Thank you!
That's why you should just work on your photography knowledge; to just improve that with fake food and stuff before being on the clock with a certain amount of time to get the shot.
 

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