Why does my photo turn out like this?


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May 2, 2007
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I have two pictures. both taken in P mode. I am using a Nikon D80 with 18-135mm lens. with a SB-600 flash.

one of the picture i took regular. point and shoot in P mode pretty much. the other one i dont want the sky to be blown out so i point the camera towards the sky and lock exposure, then i point back at the yard and took the picture with flash on. but it took out weird. i had a d40 before this and i always use this method and it works fine. iono what happen this time. thanks in advance for any inputs.


It doesn't look like the flash fired for the 2nd photo.
Your flash definitely didn't go off in the 2nd pic. Try fill flashing to avoid the washed-out look. Maybe at -1 to -1 2/3 EV.
The D80 annoyingly exposes for the shadows to the extreme, so you need to set the EV way down like soylentgreen suggested to avoid nuking the sky. Could try slow sync flash at the lowered EV also. Or take the 2nd photo and crank it through Photoshops shadow filter, or DxO (much cheaper) to bring the shadowed area back up.
Lok to me like the first shot is exposed for the foreground and the sky is understandably blown out and the second is exposed for the sky and the fore... well you know where I am going. I don't think the flash went off in the second one and if it did it was way unerpowered. Either way this ind of scene is kind of hard to do wihout PP. I know you could do this as an hdr but I am not sure the subject matter would warrant the kind of work one would take (but to you it might I don't know).
well im pretty sure the flash fired. but maybe not that strong. i have the flash in my camera set on TTL and on the flash lcd screen it says TTL BL FP. am i doing anything wrong?

for feature ref i'm planning to shoot outdoors where there will be situations like this. how can i shoot to get a good balance exposure between the bright sky and the subjects.

example. parade.
hmmm how does Auto FP work. (high speed FP flash system) i mean if the d80 has a max flash sync of say about 250 shutter speed and the "auto fp" feature enables an external flash to fire at a much faster shutter speed why even have a limit. i'm compuzzle. someone clear all these up for me.

now that i look at the pictures again maybe the 2nd picture the flash did not fire. but thats weird. why would it do that.
The Auto FP mode is a "hack" mode that will allow the D80 to use a flash past its normal 1/200s flash sync speed limit. It's horribly wasteful with flash power. I've never tried it because in situations where I might need to do that I'd much rather take my D40 with its 1/500s flash sync and the little SB-400.

You might need to lower the flash compensation (different from exposure compensation) to like -0.7 or -1.0. You'll just have to play around. Or if you post process, the 2nd (darker) image is easily manageable as far as bringing the shadow/darker areas back up a bit.
I'm not so sure about the sb600 but I think you can put it in commander mode (I know you can with the sb800) and set it to TTL.
Now if you don't know much about metering just put your camera in P again, take a picture of the sky so it isn't blown out, then use those settings (f/# and shutter speed) to take a picture on manual while using your sb600 as a fill flash (Probably look better with a diffuser) that way your play set is exposed with more lighting and the sky isn't blown. Good luck!
I had a similar problem with a big exposure difference between the sky and the foreground. I'm just getting into photography so I'm not about to spend money on filters and such for my P&S camera but that may be an option for you. Or you could try photoshop. Take two exposures one for the sky and one for the foreground. Then use layers to combine the two.
I know you could do this as an hdr but I am not sure the subject matter would warrant the kind of work one would take (but to you it might I don't know).

These two samples would not work for HDR as they are so far out from being aligned.. If the shots could be recreated on a tripod , then it may be worth it, However that being said, (no disrespect intended here) they are snapshots and not the kind of image that would lend itself to the add'l work of HDR entails. But where as you want to be doing that sort of work outdoors, IE: Balancing out sky and forground I can see where this is a concern to you. As advised above, I'd take a look at the flash sync and see if that is where your problem lies. Good luck. Keep us posted on your findings.
I just wonder did you read the quote you posted where I aid i am not sure the subject matter would warrant it??? (HDR) or did you just want to think I am stupid.

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