Author Topic: Bright background  (Read 6517 times)

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Offline Barry

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Bright background
« on: January 19, 2010, 11:55:45 AM »
Hi,

Have been playing with my 350 for about a few weeks now. Great photos overall, but have not been able to overcome one problem. Scenario: bright sunlight background / landscape. Subject in shade. Result: okay subject but white background. Have tried various combos but same result. Lens used F/2.5 50mm prime, have also tried f/3.5-4.5 35 to 80mm zoom but the result is the same. Please help......

Offline keithf

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Re: Bright background
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2010, 03:39:32 PM »
Maybe try playing about with your White Balance Settings, or try underexposing by a third or so that might help no guarantees and just going through what I would try....
The camera doesn't lie, the software does.
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Offline Rob aka [minolta mad]

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Re: Bright background
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2010, 07:28:22 PM »
This is a problem that can only be resolved in a couple of ways
1. Take two images, one exposed for the sky, one exposed for the foreground and merge them together in Photoshop.
2. Wait for the light to shine on the subject and then the image will be exposed properly, but this is only ok if the light and location are in the right place ?
3. The most common, you will need a set of or a ND Grad's (neutral Density Graduated Filters) one part of the filter is dark and it graduates (hence the name) to clear. The darker part of the grad allows less light through it so will comabt the problem that you are having by reducing the brightness of the sky while allowing the darker foreground to be exposed properly.


Rob

Offline fother

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Re: Bright background
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2010, 08:59:41 PM »

Welcome to the forum Barry!

Depending on the subject, you might also be able to use fill-flash to brighten the subject without the background blowing out.

If you can post an example, we may be able to advise further... :)

Offline zekewhipper

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Re: Bright background
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2010, 10:11:51 PM »
One thing you need to know and understand is that "digital" doesn't have the same exposure latitude as film does.  So your problem is much more prevalent than in the old days of film.

With that said, the aforementioned suggestions should work, with fill-flash being probably the best option already stated.  However, another traditional means at addressing the problem is to:

1) Set your camera to spot metering and either aperture or shutter priority exposure mode.
2) Meter on the sky and remember the settings.
3) Meter on your subject and remember the settings.
4) Set your camera to manual exposure mode and set it to the aperture or shutter speed you used for the two previous meterings.
5) Find a related aperture or shutter speed (as applicable) that represents the half way setting between the two metered results.  Bias as desired to the subject or sky, and then take the shot.

This will give you the best compromise exposure without resorting to using a flash.
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Offline Clive

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Re: Bright background
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2010, 05:46:16 AM »
Depending on the primary subject and distance to that subject, fother has the likely solution...fill flash. This is a HUGE tool for us in the situation you describe.

These birds (click link) were in complete shade and the background mainly sunlit. Tough situation. I used a flash and darkened the background in PS.
http://photoshare.shaw.ca/image/2/d/8/63987/merlin6399800-0.jpg






 
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Offline Clive

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Re: Bright background
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2010, 05:55:01 AM »
Barry

Here is another example. The background is not completely in shade. Adam and the GH owl are totally shaded. Without using the flash, in order to get the correct exposure on Adam and the bird, the background would be mostly (badly) blown out.

The flash also enhances colors of the shaded subjects.

This image has no adjustments..only resized.

Can you show us an example of the setup? Thanks.

Clive 

« Last Edit: January 20, 2010, 05:56:40 AM by Clive »
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Offline Barry

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Re: Bright background
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2010, 09:32:10 AM »
Thanks for the various suggestions. I will try that out. I will also post an example of the photo with the complete white background. How do I set or adjust the exposure for the sky and also maintain the focus on the subject at the same time .

Barry

Offline zekewhipper

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Re: Bright background
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2010, 01:57:18 PM »
"How do I set or adjust the exposure for the sky and also maintain the focus on the subject at the same time ."

Expose for the sky, and then use your AEL (auto exposure lock) option.  Then focus on you subject.  That is the sort of situation it (AEL) is there for.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2010, 01:59:12 PM by zekewhipper »
DSLR's
Pentax K-5
Olympus E-520
Sony A100

SLR's
Minolta: Maxxum 600si
Zeiss Ikon: Contaflex Super BC

P&S's
Nikon: P7100

lenses: various AF zooms and M42 primes

Offline Mike (Senior)

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Re: Bright background
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2010, 02:46:54 PM »
shutter speed controls the exposure for the sky and aperture controls the exposure for the flash on your subject.
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Offline zekewhipper

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Re: Bright background
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2010, 04:06:13 AM »
Senior: Huh?  Where do you get that idea?
DSLR's
Pentax K-5
Olympus E-520
Sony A100

SLR's
Minolta: Maxxum 600si
Zeiss Ikon: Contaflex Super BC

P&S's
Nikon: P7100

lenses: various AF zooms and M42 primes

Offline Barry

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Re: Bright background
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2010, 05:19:13 AM »
I wanted to post the image, but it is not letting me ?


Offline fother

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Re: Bright background
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2010, 05:23:35 AM »

You need to host it on a website (eg flickr) and link to it - see this topic, for example: http://www.dynaxdigital.com/index.php/topic,1557.0.html

Offline Barry

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Re: Bright background
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2010, 05:35:04 AM »



Thanks for the tip to host the picture. Here is the white out / washed out background.

Offline fother

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Re: Bright background
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2010, 05:48:48 AM »

ok, yep, that's what I imagined you meant - because the exposure is adjusted to get the people looking right, and they're in shadow (relatively speaking) the background is much much brighter. To solve that, you light the people, so they're similar brightness to the background - fill flash will do this :)