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Thread: Capturing Blue Sky & Sea (Water)

  1. #1

    Default Capturing Blue Sky & Sea (Water)

    Hi all,

    I'm wondering how is the setting in order to get a quality of photo when there is a blue sky or blue sea (water).

    I'm using Canon EOS 400D.
    Lens:
    75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM
    28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 USM
    18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Kits
    50mm f/1.8
    Normal Hoya UV Filters

    I have no L Lens, no special filter as well.

    is it possible to do that? Please advice.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Capturing Blue Sky & Sea (Water)

    yes u can...meter the sky if u want nice blue sky...

  3. #3

    Default Re: Capturing Blue Sky & Sea (Water)

    First of all, do you mean you only have a blue sky or blue sea in your picture?

    My guess is that you want blue sky/sea as well as proper exposure on the other things in your composition too. That will be a different story from having just a blue sky/sea already. The dynamic range of the scene will have to be taken into account. Do a search for dynamic range in this sub-forum and you may find some relevant answers.

    If this range is too large, your camera's sensor (which as a dynamic range of only about 8 compared to well over 10 in the real world) won't be able to capture the exposure of everything within the frame nicely. If you meter the brightest area (e.g. sky) properly, you will get a nice blue sky but some of the other things in the frame will be under-exposed.

    The position of the sun vis-a-vis your camera facing and the time of the day are determines the dynamic range of your composition. So you have to choose the right time of the day to take effect you want. If the sun is shining from 45 degree behind you, it will lit up everything that is in front of you and the dynamic range is usually small enough for your camera to capture everything in front of you nicely exposed. At this 45 degree sun angle from behind , the sky is also usually the most blue.
    Last edited by Clockunder; 13th February 2007 at 11:03 AM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Capturing Blue Sky & Sea (Water)

    Quote Originally Posted by westwest1 View Post
    yes u can...meter the sky if u want nice blue sky...
    but the result that i get is only a very light blue sky, is not what i see. any other setting can helps?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Galdor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Capturing Blue Sky & Sea (Water)

    Try using a CPL and position the sun to be 90 degree to your body (ie. use your shoulder to face the sun)
    Minolta. Konica Minolta. Sony

  6. #6

    Default Re: Capturing Blue Sky & Sea (Water)

    Quote Originally Posted by Clockunder View Post
    First of all, do you mean you only have a blue sky or blue sea in your picture?

    My guess is that you want blue sky/sea as well as proper exposure on the other things in your composition too. That will be a different story from having just a blue sky/sea already. The dynamic range of the scene will have to be taken into account. Do a search for dynamic range in this sub-forum and you may find some relevant answers.

    If this range is too large, your camera's sensor (which as a dynamic range of only about 8 compared to well over 10 in the real world) won't be able to capture the exposure of everything within the frame nicely. If you meter the brightest area (e.g. sky) properly, you will get a nice blue sky but some of the other things in the frame will be under-exposed.

    The position of the sun vis-a-vis your camera facing and the time of the day are determines the dynamic range of your composition. So you have to choose the right time of the day to take effect you want.
    First of all, Thank so much.

    What i want is somehting similiar on ur guess, the blue sky/sea is just for a background for a present subject (human, animal, building etc..). I agree, if i meter the sky, i will get with the blus sky but the subject will be under exposed.

    What if i want to have better result like correct exposion on the subject and the blue sky?

    A bit "chim" for me leh. Hope you guys can help.

    Thanks.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Capturing Blue Sky & Sea (Water)

    Image steal from 'mod-der' with permission, which he did it without filter on a D200+17-35mm, spot metering + manual setting. The canon 400D is a good camera friend got his img published in Asia Ngeo with it.




    credit go to mod-der.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Capturing Blue Sky & Sea (Water)

    Quote Originally Posted by longkangman View Post
    Image steal from 'mod-der' with permission, which he did it without filter on a D200+17-35mm, spot metering + manual setting. The canon 400D is a good camera friend got his img published in Asia Ngeo with it.


    credit go to mod-der.
    Hi, Thanks.

    Manual setting? mind to tell & share your setting? 400D do not have any spot metering, is it possible to get this effect?

    Nice shot.

    Thank you.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Capturing Blue Sky & Sea (Water)

    Quote Originally Posted by longkangman View Post
    Image steal from 'mod-der' with permission, which he did it without filter on a D200+17-35mm, spot metering + manual setting. The canon 400D is a good camera friend got his img published in Asia Ngeo with it.




    credit go to mod-der.
    Done with fill flash or light reflectors to cast light onto the model? BTW, the tilted horizon is quite annoying.
    Last edited by Clockunder; 13th February 2007 at 11:24 AM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Capturing Blue Sky & Sea (Water)

    Quote Originally Posted by Clockunder View Post
    Done with fill flash or light reflectors to cast light onto the model? BTW, the tilted horizon is quite annoying.
    thanks for pointing it up.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Capturing Blue Sky & Sea (Water)

    Quote Originally Posted by hlkho View Post
    First of all, Thank so much.

    What i want is somehting similiar on ur guess, the blue sky/sea is just for a background for a present subject (human, animal, building etc..). I agree, if i meter the sky, i will get with the blus sky but the subject will be under exposed.

    What if i want to have better result like correct exposion on the subject and the blue sky?

    A bit "chim" for me leh. Hope you guys can help.

    Thanks.
    I will let the experts give the practical lessons.

    Here's my theory part :

    As explained earlier, you need to have both the subject and blue sky to be within the dynamic range of your camera's sensor.

    Therefore, you need to understand Dynamic range and exposure first. In many situations, the dynamic range of the scene is easily more than 12 stops but just that our eyes are able to adjust and get correct exposure as we focus our eyes. Most sensors on digital cameras can only capture 7-9 stops of different intensity of light only. If the scene's dynamic range is 12 and your camera can only capture 8 stops, then regardless of how you meter, 4 stops of the scene will either be exposed as total blacks or blown out whites (that's why we often see pictures with blown out white skies when the foreground subjects are properly exposed).

    A good read : http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tut...amic-range.htm
    THE HUMAN EYE

    The human eye can actually perceive a greater dynamic range than is ordinarily possible with a camera. If we were to consider situations where our pupil opens and closes for varying light, our eyes can see over a range of nearly 24 f-stops.
    On the other hand, for accurate comparisons with a single photo (at constant aperture, shutter and ISO), we can only consider the instantaneous dynamic range (where our pupil opening is unchanged). This would be similar to looking at one region within a scene, letting our eyes adjust, and not looking anywhere else. For this scenario there is much disagreement, because our eye's sensitivity and dynamic range actually change depending on brightness and contrast. Most estimate anywhere from 10-14 f-stops.
    The problem with these numbers is that our eyes are extremely adaptable. For situations of extreme low-light star viewing (where our eyes have adjusted to use rod cells for night vision), our eyes approach even higher instantaneous dynamic ranges (see tutorial on "Color Perception of the Human Eye").
    This means that if the real world we can see with our eyes without any pupil size changes to regulate the amount of light (i.e. 1 constant exposure) is classified as 1 to 14 stops in dynamic range (brightness), you can only capture about 8 of them on your sensor …….it means that the dynamic range you can capure on your camera is only be 1-8 or 2-9 or 3-10 or 4-11 or 5-12 or 6-13 or 7-14. If you set your camera exposure to capture no. 6-7 as midtone (of course indirectly through the use metering and camera settings etc.), then 3-10 in the real world (i.e. 8 stops) would be captured as the 8 stops on your camera. No. 3 will be captured as almost black and 10 as almost white. Anything below 3 in the real world is captured as black and anything above 10 as blown out white.


    So first of all, you need to get everything in the scene to be within that 8 stops of your camera. To capture a scene within 8 stops, you can either choose the right time of the day and camera facing so that the whole scene is not more than 8 stops in dynamic range or reduce the dynamic range of the scene by the use of fill flash or light reflectors (set up to reflect sun light onto the subject) on the less bright areas if they are near enough to be flashed or reflected.

    Even when the dynamic range of the scene is within 8 stops, you also need to expose correctly so that the 8 stops of the scene falls nicely within the 8-stops of your camera’s image sensor. If they don't match, then the same problem of over- or under-exposure of some areas will occur. For e.g. if the brightest object (e.g. the sun) in the scene is metered using spot metering on automatic exposure without any compensation, it will be exposed as midtone and about the next 4 stops less bright than the brightest will be captured as under-exposed and the rest (i.e. the darkest 3 stops or so in the scene) as totally black (This makes it a silhouette shot).

    Instead, you should try to have the midtone of the scene exposed as midtone in your camera so that the darkest and brightest in the 8-stop scene fall nicely within the extremes of the dynamic 8-stop range of your camera. In the aforesaid example, if you’re using aperture priority, you may still be able to get the 8-stop scene correctly exposed if you use +3 EV (exposure compensation which tells the camera in any auto exposure mode now to increase the exposure by 3 stops, in this aperture priority case, has the effect of setting a shutter speed to 3 stops slower than having the metered bright object as midtone) so that the brightest object which you have used for spot metering will be moved 3 stops brighter to be at the top end of the 8-stop range of your camera and the rest of the brightness also get moved up accordingly.

    Some people may use manual exposure (as well as manual control of flash power if they’re using fill flash(es)) and also do exposure bracketing.

    Whatever exposure and metering mode you use and whatever you choose to meter in a 8-stop scene is not important. What is critical is making the necessary adjustments to get the midtone of the scene to be captured as midtone in your camera. It can only be done if you understand what your camera does at different exposure modes (manual, shutter priority, aperture priority etc.) and metering methods, and then also after considering the effect of fill flash/reflectors etc., make the necessary camera adjustment to get the whole scene to fall nicely at 8-stops of the camera’s sensor.

    At the end of the day, you need to understand exposure and its relationship with metering methods on the camera well before you decide on how to go about capturing the scene within the 8 stops of your camera. You may want to do some reading on exposure, metering methods and dynamic range.
    Last edited by Clockunder; 13th February 2007 at 05:53 PM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Capturing Blue Sky & Sea (Water)

    Quote Originally Posted by hlkho View Post
    Hi, Thanks.

    Manual setting? mind to tell & share your setting? 400D do not have any spot metering, is it possible to get this effect?

    Nice shot.

    Thank you.
    Next time we go labrador or changi boardwalk we learn from each other. ok.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Capturing Blue Sky & Sea (Water)

    Quote Originally Posted by longkangman View Post
    Next time we go labrador or changi boardwalk we learn from each other. ok.
    Hm...good idea....but i stay in Bukit Panjang leh...where u stay?

  14. #14

    Default Re: Capturing Blue Sky & Sea (Water)

    Quote Originally Posted by Clockunder View Post
    I will let the experts give the practical lessons.

    Here's my theory part :

    As explained earlier, you need to have both the subject and blue sky to be within the dynamic range of your camera's sensor.

    Therefore, you need to understand Dynamic range and exposure first. In many situations, the dynamic range of the scene is easily more than 12 stops but just that our eyes are able to adjust and get correct exposure as we focus our eyes. Most sensors on digital cameras can only capture 7-9 stops of different intensity of light only. If the scene's dynamic range is 12 and your camera can only capture 8 stops, then regardless of how you meter, 4 stops of the scene will either be exposed as total blacks or blown out whites (that's why we often see pictures with blown out white skies when the foreground subjects are properly exposed).

    A good read : http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tut...amic-range.htm
    This means that if the real world we can see with our eyes without any pupil size changes to regulate the amount of light (i.e. 1 constant exposure) is classified as 1 to 14 stops in dynamic range (brightness), you can only capture about 8 of them on your sensor …….it means that the dynamic range you can capure on your camera is only be 1-8 or 2-9 or 3-10 or 4-11 or 5-12 or 6-13 or 7-14. If you set your camera exposure to capture no. 6-7 as midtone (of course indirectly through the use metering and camera settings etc.), then 3-10 in the real world (i.e. 8 stops) would be captured as the 8 stops on your camera. No. 3 will be captured as almost black and 10 as almost white. Anything below 3 in the real world is captured as black and anything above 10 as blown out white.


    So first of all, you need to get everything in the scene to be within that 8 stops of your camera. To capture a scene within 8 stops, you can either choose the right time of the day and camera facing so that the whole scene is not more than 8 stops in dynamic range or reduce the dynamic range of the scene by the use of fill flash or light reflectors (set up to reflect sun light onto the subject) on the less bright areas if they are near enough to be flashed or reflected.

    Even when the dynamic range of the scene is within 8 stops, you also need to expose correctly so that the 8 stops of the scene falls nicely within the 8-stops of your camera’s image sensor. If they don't match, then the same problem of over- or under-exposure of some areas will occur. For e.g. if the brightest object (e.g. the sun) in the scene is metered using spot metering on automatic exposure without any compensation, it will be exposed as midtone and about the next 4 stops less bright than the brightest will be captured as under-exposed and the rest (i.e. the darkest 3 stops or so in the scene) as totally black (This makes it a silhouette shot).

    Instead, you should try to have the midtone of the scene exposed as midtone in your camera so that the darkest and brightest in the 8-stop scene fall nicely within the extremes of the dynamic 8-stop range of your camera. In the aforesaid example, if you’re using aperture priority, you may still be able to get the 8-stop scene correctly exposed if you use +3 EV (exposure compensation which tells the camera in any auto exposure mode now to increase the exposure by 3 stops, in this aperture priority case, has the effect of setting a shutter speed to 3 stops slower than having the metered bright object as midtone) so that the brightest object which you have used for spot metering will be moved 3 stops brighter to be at the top end of the 8-stop range of your camera and the rest of the brightness also get moved up accordingly.

    Some people may use manual exposure (as well as manual control of flash power if they’re using fill flash(es)) and also do exposure bracketing.

    Whatever exposure and metering mode you use and whatever you choose to meter in a 8-stop scene is not important. What is critical is making the necessary adjustments to get the midtone of the scene to be captured as midtone in your camera. It can only be done if you understand what your camera does at different exposure modes (manual, shutter priority, aperture priority etc.) and metering methods, and then also after considering the effect of fill flash/reflectors etc., make the necessary camera adjustment to get the whole scene to fall nicely at 8-stops of the camera’s sensor.

    At the end of the day, you need to understand exposure and its relationship with metering methods on the camera well before you decide on how to go about capturing the scene within the 8 stops of your camera. You may want to do some reading on exposure, metering methods and dynamic range.
    Woo...long and details explaination. thanks bro.

    Maybe I need to explore more on the metering & exposure...Thanks for your advice.

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    Default Re: Capturing Blue Sky & Sea (Water)

    Quote Originally Posted by hlkho View Post
    Hm...good idea....but i stay in Bukit Panjang leh...where u stay?
    In Singapore distance is not a problem, anytime lah to labrador park or sentosa.

    I have drove 500mil in 4.5hrs to LA for a shoot and 200km in thailand with a group of photographers.

    Cheers

  16. #16
    Member Hitman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Capturing Blue Sky & Sea (Water)

    With your equipment, the easiest way is to bracket the shots and merge them in photoshop. Otherwise, if you do a lot of landscape involving the sky, investing in a good Graduated ND filter can help in getting a balanced exposure.

    Quote Originally Posted by hlkho View Post
    Hi all,

    I'm wondering how is the setting in order to get a quality of photo when there is a blue sky or blue sea (water).

    I'm using Canon EOS 400D.
    Lens:
    75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM
    28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 USM
    18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Kits
    50mm f/1.8
    Normal Hoya UV Filters

    I have no L Lens, no special filter as well.

    is it possible to do that? Please advice.

    Thanks
    Pictures always should have a special story behind it or a special meaning to the photographer.

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