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Thread: Exposure Problem

  1. #1

    Default Exposure Problem

    Hi,

    I was shooting using my Panasonic Lumix DMC FX5 the other day when the sun was very bright and there was no clouds.

    I encountered an exposure problem when I tried to shoot this one scene. When I metered using the dark tree, the white building and the sky in the background got washed out. When I metered using the white building, the tree and plants in the foreground appeared dark and dull. I was using spot metering and white balance was set at Auto.

    Metering using trees


    Metering using white building / sky



    Can I ask in situations like this, where should I meter for a good exposure? I tried using the average metering, but the white building and sky was washed out too.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Exposure Problem

    The dynamic range is too large for the sensor. I had faced this problem before, I have no choice but to shoot at a later hour when the sun is not so sunny.

    Just to add, some pro might suggest you to get a GND or ND filter. But I dun think it is able to mount onto the FX5?
    Last edited by NoMoney; 18th May 2008 at 11:05 PM.
    Let's get rolling :)

  3. #3
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Exposure Problem

    in simple word, the exposure ratio of the two subjects are too great for the camera sensor to handle.
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  4. #4
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Exposure Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by NoMoney View Post
    The dynamic range is too large for the sensor. I had faced this problem before, I have no choice but to shoot at a later hour when the sun is not so sunny.

    Just to add, some pro might suggest you to get a GND or ND filter. But I dun think it is able to mount onto the FX5?
    in this situation, no.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Exposure Problem

    How about u do this, turn on the flash on ur camera, then meter on the building, sky then shoot, the fill flash will brighten the ground and tree,

    *edit : If too far for ur flash then i guess taken 2 then go home merge 2 exposure together
    Last edited by bahibo; 18th May 2008 at 11:15 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Exposure Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by NoMoney View Post
    The dynamic range is too large for the sensor.
    Rather, the default tone curve in the camera which maps the sensor data to the JPEG output data doesn't cope well with high contrast. The sensor itself is rarely the limitation.

    Possible solutions:

    1) Adjust the conversion curve in camera (e.g. by adjusting "contrast") - usually very limited adjustments available.
    2) Save raw data (if the camera permits) and adjust the conversion curve on the computer - arguably by far the best approach
    3) Salvage what you can from the dark JPEG file by adjusting on the computer - limited room for adjustments, and JPEG artifacts are troublesome.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Exposure Problem

    Hi,

    Thank you all for your comments/suggestions/recommendations. Really helped me alot and gave me more understanding on my camera exposure limitations.

    Just wondering if the compact cameras today (mine is 5 years old) will have the same limitations?

    Quote Originally Posted by NoMoney View Post
    The dynamic range is too large for the sensor. I had faced this problem before, I have no choice but to shoot at a later hour when the sun is not so sunny.

    Just to add, some pro might suggest you to get a GND or ND filter. But I dun think it is able to mount onto the FX5?
    No, unless I hold the filter in front of my camera?..not sure if its possible to mount a filter on a compact...

    Quote Originally Posted by LittleWolf View Post
    Rather, the default tone curve in the camera which maps the sensor data to the JPEG output data doesn't cope well with high contrast. The sensor itself is rarely the limitation.

    Possible solutions:

    1) Adjust the conversion curve in camera (e.g. by adjusting "contrast") - usually very limited adjustments available.
    2) Save raw data (if the camera permits) and adjust the conversion curve on the computer - arguably by far the best approach
    3) Salvage what you can from the dark JPEG file by adjusting on the computer - limited room for adjustments, and JPEG artifacts are troublesome.
    My camera does not allow me to shoot in RAW. So i guess one option is to edit the picture using computer.

    Quote Originally Posted by bahibo View Post
    How about u do this, turn on the flash on ur camera, then meter on the building, sky then shoot, the fill flash will brighten the ground and tree,

    *edit : If too far for ur flash then i guess taken 2 then go home merge 2 exposure together
    Thanks for this tip! I never thought of it. Will try it next time!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Exposure Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by bahibo View Post
    How about u do this, turn on the flash on ur camera, then meter on the building, sky then shoot, the fill flash will brighten the ground and tree,

    *edit : If too far for ur flash then i guess taken 2 then go home merge 2 exposure together
    I am pretty sure a small on-camera flash can fill in a *huge* scene like that. Even a SB800/580EX cannot do that effectively.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Exposure Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    in this situation, no.
    So for DSLR, will using a GND or ND be a better fit in this case?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Exposure Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by BlurQueen78 View Post
    So for DSLR, will using a GND or ND be a better fit in this case?
    GND is graduated; it cuts light at around halfway across the frame.
    ND is uniform; it cuts light across the whole frame.

    In this situation a GND will be of use; a ND will probably be of no use here.

  11. #11
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Exposure Problem

    for this picture, how you filter the light behind the tree and will not affect the exposure on the tree?

    I can't think of any filter fit on the camera lens can do that.
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  12. #12
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Exposure Problem

    for this picture, if would to use flash to fill...

    you need a few assistants to set up a few out door strobe lights for you.
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  13. #13
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Exposure Problem

    you can use photoshop to balance up the both area,
    a layer mask of highlight area, bring down the exposure.
    another layer mask of the shadow area, lift up the exposure.

    not the best way, but workable. remember not to overdo it, else looks super fake..


    most of the time, this type of scene, you have to think of composition first, if is worth of taking it, come again to shoot it will the best light, it can be morning or late afternoon, depends on the sunlight direction, the best time is the sun is behind you.
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Exposure Problem

    good advice from catchlights..

    i think if the light is not on your side.. wait for a more opportune moment.. gnd and nd will not help for this scene (and it not a compositionally very interesting scene in the first place too)..

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Exposure Problem

    For no-operating cost digital age;

    Just shoot first. Then follow catchlight advice.

    When back home, got time - review - worth savage? then try PS, etc... maybe you got a creative gem, who knows If not, DEL. Nothing to lose, rather than prior decide on site to shoot or not to shoot or came back again....

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