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Thread: Exposing the sky properly

  1. #1

    Default Exposing the sky properly

    Hi,

    I have a problem. I am using centre weighted metering and try to take a scenery shot that has a blue sky in it. However, the sky becomes washed out. If I focus on the sky, the sky becomes blue but the objects like trees, plants in the scene becomes under exposed.

    How can achieve a blue sky and at the same time have the trees, plants expose properly?
    Can it be achieved without a polarising filter?


  2. #2

    Default Re: Exposing the sky properly

    hi!

    i'm faced with this problem too. hmm what i gathered is you can try using a GND, graduated neutral density filter (do a google to find out how it works) or a CPL, circular polariser.

  3. #3
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Exposing the sky properly

    shoot the scene with the sun behind you.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Exposing the sky properly

    this is because of the lighting, if your buildings, etc are in shadow, and are much darker than the sky.. then obviously, they will appear much darker if you expose for the sky, and the sky will be blown out if you expose for them

    so turn the other way and shoot things in the sun

    if you MUST shoot things in the shade, use gnd.. if you don't want to do that, grab your tripod and learn how to do hdr and get a decent hdr program

    for what gnd and hdr are, do clubsnap search or let me tell you:



    cheers, there are tons of excellent articles on both techniques/equipment out there

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Exposing the sky properly

    To expose the sky properly, normally, you do not have much choice but to put at least a polarising filter and turn it so that the skt are appears "ok". Alternatively, one can always do a DRI, or dynamic range increase, using photoshop if you are savvy with photoshop, which i'm not. haha... this is a good read http://www.tofahrn-foto.de/index.php?lg=en&pg=tipps.dri

  6. #6

    Default Re: Exposing the sky properly

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    shoot the scene with the sun behind you.
    The sun is not in front of me. In fact, there is no sun, it is just a normal scenery shot with 1/3 the sky and 2/3 the lake.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Exposing the sky properly

    Quote Originally Posted by qing02051981 View Post
    The sun is not in front of me. In fact, there is no sun, it is just a normal scenery shot with 1/3 the sky and 2/3 the lake.
    the sun has to be somewhere, it could be behind clouds but that still means that it is going to be brighter.. ?

    don't tell me you are shooting at night

  8. #8

    Default Re: Exposing the sky properly

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    the sun has to be somewhere, it could be behind clouds but that still means that it is going to be brighter.. ?

    don't tell me you are shooting at night

    Think it must be somewhere in the sky. Probably there is too much clouds so I do not see the sun.

    Guess the best choice is ND filter?

  9. #9

    Default Re: Exposing the sky properly

    Quote Originally Posted by qing02051981 View Post
    Think it must be somewhere in the sky. Probably there is too much clouds so I do not see the sun.

    Guess the best choice is ND filter?
    gnd, not nd.. one is graduated, one is not

    alternatively, shoot away from where it is, there will be brighter parts of the sky, and not so bright parts

    note that polariser should not help with such issues, btw, it will increase contrast in the sky if it is blue, i.e. defintiion of clouds especially, but it will not really even out exposure

  10. #10

    Default Re: Exposing the sky properly

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    gnd, not nd.. one is graduated, one is not

    alternatively, shoot away from where it is, there will be brighter parts of the sky, and not so bright parts

    note that polariser should not help with such issues, btw, it will increase contrast in the sky if it is blue, i.e. defintiion of clouds especially, but it will not really even out exposure
    Botanic garden is bright and sunny. Can't find a place not so bright

    I think I know how to do HDR. Just that I happen do not have a tripod with me yesterday so I can't take multiple shots with different exposures.

    I am not so familiar with filters because I only own a UV filter. What do you call that filter again? Polarising filter?

  11. #11
    Senior Member zoossh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Exposing the sky properly

    read here: 5.1 Handling frames of wide tonal discrepancy.

    it is an unprofessional source, but you can surely google more and better readings.

    first, understand why, and you can know how.

  12. #12
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Exposing the sky properly

    a simple answer is just tell you to do a HDR, photoshop, or use ND Grad.

    but if you really want to take a nice shot of a particular scene, you should try to see the location under difference kind of lights, it means you need to visit the location a few time, see when is the best time to photograph the scene, no short cut.
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Exposing the sky properly

    HDR probably wont work so well for plants etc as they will move in the wind, with each successive shot you take your subject will have moved and therefore will probably blur upon merging. Best advice is to shoot with the sun behind you or use a ND Grad filter (different from a poloriser)

  14. #14

    Default Re: Exposing the sky properly

    Quote Originally Posted by wildstallion View Post
    HDR probably wont work so well for plants etc as they will move in the wind, with each successive shot you take your subject will have moved and therefore will probably blur upon merging. Best advice is to shoot with the sun behind you or use a ND Grad filter (different from a poloriser)
    do what i do sometimes - single raw with gnd in use

    generate "hdr" from there and.. should be good to go

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Exposing the sky properly

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    do what i do sometimes - single raw with gnd in use

    generate "hdr" from there and.. should be good to go
    True, but for users without a program such as photomatrix, photoshop will not be able to find enough range to process, or so ive found anyway.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Exposing the sky properly

    Quote Originally Posted by wildstallion View Post
    True, but for users without a program such as photomatrix, photoshop will not be able to find enough range to process, or so ive found anyway.
    photoshop <<< photomatix for hdr

    the only advantage, is that the colors in photoshop remain relatively natural photomatix just makes it look different somehow

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Exposing the sky properly

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    photoshop <<< photomatix for hdr

    the only advantage, is that the colors in photoshop remain relatively natural photomatix just makes it look different somehow
    If you mess around with the white point and black points you can get it normal ish, especially with a reduced strength, or just colour correct in photoshop.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Exposing the sky properly

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    shoot the scene with the sun behind you.
    Here's my classic example.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Exposing the sky properly

    like in zoosh article, there is one technique shift and meter. Where did you meter? the hdb or the sky?

  20. #20

    Default Re: Exposing the sky properly

    Quote Originally Posted by qing02051981 View Post
    like in zoosh article, there is one technique shift and meter. Where did you meter? the hdb or the sky?
    Matrix metering. You need to understand what the metering can and cannot do.

    You just need to make sure the HDB is illuminated as much as or even more than the sky is. This is best achieved when the sun is 45 degrees behind you. This will guarantee the polarization of the sky 45 degrees in front of you is the highest and bluest. Next time just observe the sky if it's not that cloudy. The bluest part will always be 90 degrees from the sun. In the example I showed, the buildings are illuminated by the sun much more strongly than the clouds and the skies are.

    Also beware of high clouds, they will scatter light also, so best is a cloudless sky in front of you. You see in the example, there are some parts of the sky more greyish than the rest. Those are due to scattering by the high clouds.
    Last edited by lsisaxon; 10th March 2008 at 02:34 PM.

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