Exposure Problem


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ggdragon

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Apr 12, 2008
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#1
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!
 

NoMoney

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Mar 20, 2007
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Ang Mo Kio
#2
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?
 

catchlights

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Sep 27, 2004
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#4
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.
 

bahibo

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Aug 6, 2006
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#5
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 :D
 

Jan 23, 2005
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#6
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.
 

ggdragon

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Apr 12, 2008
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#7
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?

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...

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.

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 :D
Thanks for this tip! I never thought of it. Will try it next time!
 

calebk

Senior Member
Jul 25, 2006
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Clementi
#8
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 :D
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.
 

calebk

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Jul 25, 2006
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Clementi
#10
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.
 

catchlights

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Sep 27, 2004
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#11
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.
 

catchlights

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#13
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.
 

swhyge

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Apr 5, 2003
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#15
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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