Author Topic: Getting the Exposure correct  (Read 2941 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline craigyboy

  • Enthusiast
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Getting the Exposure correct
« on: October 04, 2009, 12:15:59 PM »
Hi,
I am very new to photography and new to this forum. I have had an A350 for a couple of months now and through a combination of trial and error and reading I am learning (albeit very slowly!)
One problem I have is getting exposure right where I have a bright sky against a darker foreground (a shot of a street for example) I have tried various apeture/shutter combinations but just can't get it. Either Sky white and washed out or street too dark! I have been using raw so the D-range optimiser does not work in this mode. (as I understand it?) I have read this type of shot often a compromise of one or the other but I would appreciate any tips from you experts. The lens I use most by the way, is the 18-70 that came with the camera.
Thanks
Craig

Offline GarryB (aka Uncle Mort)

  • Friend of DynaxDigital
  • *****
  • Posts: 1701
  • Gender: Male
Re: Getting the Exposure correct
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2009, 01:18:49 PM »
Hi Craigyboy and welcome to the site. I would suggest posting a couple of your shots into the critique section where members will look and advise you on technique. There are alot of very knowledgable,friendly and helpful people who will be more than happy to point you in the right direction.
Good Luck
Kit: A65, Minolta 70-210 Beercan, Tamron 90mm di Macro, Minolta 35-70, Minolta 28-85, Minolta Manfrotto 190xdb Tripod, Manfrotto Monopod

Offline Rob aka [minolta mad]

  • Administrator
  • Friend of DynaxDigital
  • ******
  • Posts: 10061
  • Gender: Male
    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1260183143#!/profile.php?id=1494244129
    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/robkendall/
    • http://www.redbubble.com/people/minoltamad
    • Westcountry Photographic
Re: Getting the Exposure correct
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2009, 03:53:14 PM »
Hi there and welcome,
The only way to get the exposure right with a bright sky and a darker foregroud is to do it one of a few ways.

1. Using a set of ND Graduated filters, as they reduce brightness by up to 4 stops. For an explanation look at this http://www.dynaxdigital.com/index.php?page=7

2. Take two pictures, one exposed for the sky, and one exposed for the foreground and blend them together in PS.

3. Take several exposures and make an HDR image.

4. Visit the location when the light/sun is behind you shining on the subject you want illuminated and then the sky and froeground will be exposed properly, though this is probably the most difficult one to achieve, as its limited to everything being right.

As suggested, show us some images and then we will be better able to help you.


Rob

Offline Clive

  • Past Moderator
  • Friend of DynaxDigital
  • *****
  • Posts: 11976
  • Gender: Male
    • My galleries
Re: Getting the Exposure correct
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2009, 04:54:13 PM »
Welcome craigyboy.

Is your camera set at spot metering? Spot metering will (can) throw off exposures badly.

Samples (as suggested) would be great.

Clive
Galleries
============================================
Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted, counts. Albert Einstein

Offline craigyboy

  • Enthusiast
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: Getting the Exposure correct
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2009, 10:12:16 AM »
Hi guys and thanks for the info. I will post a couple of my pics although tt may be in a couple of days time as my son often hogs our home PC! (i have to wait till he is out!)
Craig

Offline zekewhipper

  • Regular Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 195
  • Gender: Male
    • Zekewhipper
    • My Flickr Photostream
Re: Getting the Exposure correct
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2009, 04:00:22 AM »
Craigyboy: You first need to understand that you may not be able to get everything exposed correctly in the shot.  Digital does not have the same exposure latitude that film does and definately not as good as your eyes do. 

As for what Clive said "Spot metering will (can) throw off exposures badly.", that depends on what the situation is.  I think in this scenario, spot metering is the way to go.  Rob's suggestion of "Take two pictures, one exposed for the sky, and one exposed for the foreground and blend them together in PS." was almost there - in my opinion.  (I don't know as I don't use Photoshop.)

The traditional thing to do is set your camera to Aperture or Shutter Priority, and keep it there for each of the following meterings.  First, spot meter on the brightest thing in the scene and remember that reading.  Second, spot meter on the darkest thing in the scene and remember that reading.  Find half of the difference between the two and then set the camera manually to that (or adding a little adjustment to favor what is most important to you in the shot), and then take the photograph.  That is the easiest way to do it with the least amount of effort.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2010, 04:10:06 AM 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