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Thread: Capturing Shop signages.. Help Help!!

  1. #1

    Default Capturing Shop signages.. Help Help!!

    Hi everyone,

    I'm a newbie here.. and need some advise and help on capturing signage of shops. In the day its fine.. but it when it comes to night shots.. i'm unable to get the settings right so that the shop's name (signage that is lit up) come out legible and the surroundings area isn't too dark..

    Oh by the way can anyone teach me how to use "Gallery"? I did a search under FAQ but nothing is found. It prompted me to login but after i log in, it says its invalid and asked if my password is invalid (I am quite sure i keyed in the right password and user name) or to register (but I am registered as a member ain't I?). It also prompted me to change settings.. but what to change?? can someone help me??

    Thanks !!!!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Capturing Shop signages.. Help Help!!

    For your shooting problem:

    1) You can shoot in the twilight, just after the sun sets. There's still enough ambient light to capture both the lighted signs and the building in detail.

    2) Make two exposures, one for the signs, another for the surroundings. Use PS to combine.

    I guess you probably attempted to shoot around 9pm when its really dark. The problem lies in the limited exposure latitude of watever camera you're using ... the lighted sign's a highlight and the surroundings are shadows... thats about an 8 stop difference. So you either get the sign and the surrounding areas black or the surroundings with the sign blown out.

    Of the two I'd recommend option 1. 2's more complicated, and you won't get the deep blue hue for the sky.

  3. #3
    Senior Member yyD70S's Avatar
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    Default Re: Capturing Shop signages.. Help Help!!

    Another alternative, if the twilight hours are past you, is to use long exposure (bulb) with the camera mounted on a tripod/monopod/beanbag or whatever makeshift support you could find.

    Better still, use spot or centre weighted metering if your digicam permits you and bracket your shots. If you are using digital, you should be able to see the results right away on the LCD screen and adjusts your exposure accordingly.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Capturing Shop signages.. Help Help!!

    Thanks YYD70S and solarii,

    YYD70S - if i use spot or centre weighted metering where should i point it @? cos if i point it to the signage it will cause the focus to be on the lights n cause distortion of the rest of the pic right? and when u say bracketing you meant the one that gives you chance @ 3 shots @ 3 different exposure one right??

    solarii, thanks~! someone also suggested me to do #2 too.. but i thought it will better to capture all of them @ one shot, w/o editing.. hehe just a thought but thanks thou~

    will try shooting it in twilight.. since both of u mentioned it..

    Thanks~!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Capturing Shop signages.. Help Help!!

    I encountered the same problem with the gallery. Apparently, the gallery url is gallery.clubsnap.com and not .org.

    As for the problem with the exposure, meter the surrounding area, lock the exposure value, then focus where you want, the signage will be much brighter but unless the surrounding is so much darker, the signage should not be overexposed still.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Capturing Shop signages.. Help Help!!

    Even if you were to bracket, you'd still have to use PS to combine. Spot metering gives you more control, but depending on ambient you still might get blown out highlights with the signs OR a severely under exposed surroundings.

    It all really depends on the situation. Like I said, if the exposure latitude is too great its not possible to capture the full range in one frame...no matter what technique you use in camera. Its a technical limitation...just like how you can't pour 2 litres on water into a 1.5 litre bottle without overflow or spillage.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Capturing Shop signages.. Help Help!!

    Hmm...

    Sounds like i need alot of practice and luck.. got to find time..hehehe..

    Isisaxon - i dont quite get what you mean by saying "unless the surrounding is so much darker, the signage should not be overexposed still."

    The last a few times i tired.. either the building becomes too dark and the signage very nicely exposed or the building comes out nicely but signage is overexposed.. I'm trying alternatives other than editing.. cos my fren who saw my pictures and also tried with me says 'Use PS'... but thought that must be other ways to get both in the shot nicely exposed. so that's y asking all the experts here for help hehehe
    Last edited by Lain; 15th January 2006 at 10:54 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Capturing Shop signages.. Help Help!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lain
    Hmm...

    Sounds like i need alot of practice and luck.. got to find time..hehehe..

    Isisaxon - i dont quite get what you mean by saying "unless the surrounding is so much darker, the signage should not be overexposed still."

    The last a few times i tired.. either the building becomes too dark and the signage very nicely exposed or the building comes out nicely but signage is overexposed.. I'm trying alternatives other than editing.. cos my fren who saw my pictures and also tried with me says 'Use PS'... but thought that must be other ways to get both in the shot nicely exposed. so that's y asking all the experts here for help hehehe
    Then the place is too contrasty. The best you can probably do is get the signage slightly overexposed but not blown and the building slightly underexposed. You have got to strike a compromise there. Or go around 7pm to 7:15pm (Singapore?) where the sun has just set, the signs would already have been lit up but the sky is still not that dark like what solarii has suggested.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Capturing Shop signages.. Help Help!!

    Ever thought of 'painting with light'? If you have a portable flash, you can set you shutter speed to at least 30 secs. and run around with the flash and hit the areas that you want lit.

    Or just shoot at dusk.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Capturing Shop signages.. Help Help!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lain
    Hmm...

    Sounds like i need alot of practice and luck.. got to find time..hehehe..
    It is skill, the guys here already given you some good tips how the professional would have done it. But if you still want to do it in one shot would be to change the light tubes or bulbs to balance up the whole environment.

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