need help


Mar 24, 2011
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#1
hi everyone! i just getting started doing photography and I need a lil help here, here's the thing.. everytime I'm trying to shoot a subject (person) during sunny day under a shaded area (eg bus stop) and trying to include a nice daylight sky or even a white painted building as a background, image of the sky and building is always messed up and it's like it's over exposed (very white), and if I tried to point my AF on the background, my subject become dark, anyone can help what is the trick on this issue?

Note: I'm not an avid fan of a flash so I don't wanna use it, and I'm just using a standard kit lens of 18-55mm.. thanks a lot
 

spree86

Senior Member
Feb 3, 2009
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#2
JMagination said:
hi everyone! i just getting started doing photography and I need a lil help here, here's the thing.. everytime I'm trying to shoot a subject (person) during sunny day under a shaded area (eg bus stop) and trying to include a nice daylight sky or even a white painted building as a background, image of the sky and building is always messed up and it's like it's over exposed (very white), and if I tried to point my AF on the background, my subject become dark, anyone can help what is the trick on this issue?

Note: I'm not an avid fan of a flash so I don't wanna use it, and I'm just using a standard kit lens of 18-55mm.. thanks a lot
It's because of the metering. The easiest way to solve it is the one that you don't wanna use, which is fill flash. In this case, you can take a few pictures at different exposure settings and try to stitch them together during post-processing but it's a lot more tedious
 

Mar 24, 2011
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#3
thanks for ur reply bro.. is there anyway that I can cheat that metering and still skip that flash thing? coz I don't really feel comfortable using flash in public places specially if my subject doesn't really know that I'm taking pics of him :)
 

kei1309

Senior Member
Apr 12, 2010
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#4
thanks for ur reply bro.. is there anyway that I can cheat that metering and still skip that flash thing? coz I don't really feel comfortable using flash in public places specially if my subject doesn't really know that I'm taking pics of him :)
use manual mode. if the background is pretty bright, chances are, that with a slower shutter speed you can properly expose the subject and the background.

first up, there is no magic setting for shooting a particular genre of photography. settings will change with the conditions.
 

Mar 24, 2011
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#5
hi kei thx for ur reply, i actually always shoot in manual mode, regarding that slower shutter speed, I already tried that and I managed to get the proper exposure of my subject but it just makes the background even brighter and over exposed :( sorry if I really sounded an airhead here :(
 

ZerocoolAstra

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2008
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#6
seems like there's too much of a difference in exposure between your subject and the rest of the scene.

If the subject is well-exposed, the background is WAY overexposed.
If the background is well-exposed, the subject is underexposed.
You have to reduce this difference somehow.

1) chose another timing when ambient light is not so great
2) use fill flash (not preferred it seems)
3) use reflector (also presumably not preferred)
4) multiple exposure (bracketing)
 

kei1309

Senior Member
Apr 12, 2010
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#7
hi kei thx for ur reply, i actually always shoot in manual mode, regarding that slower shutter speed, I already tried that and I managed to get the proper exposure of my subject but it just makes the background even brighter and over exposed :( sorry if I really sounded an airhead here :(
sorry wait. after lunch dozing off and i wrote the wrong thing. for your situation it's best to use the Fill Flash. but, if you're doing streets, you might just irritate the person. you can also do bracketing like what ZCA has mentioned and blend them together.
 

Mar 24, 2011
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#8
ok now I'm really being a dummy here and I believe I'm starting to irritate y'all, my apology really.. but how to do that "bracketing" thing? :( I'm really new.. sorry :(
 

ZerocoolAstra

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2008
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#9
ok now I'm really being a dummy here and I believe I'm starting to irritate y'all, my apology really.. but how to do that "bracketing" thing? :( I'm really new.. sorry :(
Dunno what camera you're using, but some models do have a 'BKT' (or similiar name) function.
This is known as 'exposure bracketing' (i think).
You can also choose how to bracket (exact + over; exact + under; under-exact-over), and by how much (eg. 1EV, 2EV, etc)
If you're using manual exposure, you can also opt to take 1 shot (subject well-exposed) then immediately reduce the shutter speed in order to take another shot for the background exposure. If you use tripod, then the stationery objects won't move from shot to shot. If you handhold, then there will be some movement, which translates to more work in PP :)

This might be getting a bit too much to absorb now... :)
 

daredevil123

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 25, 2005
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#10
Just to remind bros here that not all
Cameras come with exposure bracketing, esp the entry level ones. ;)
 

catchlights

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Sep 27, 2004
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#12
the gap of exposure level are too great for these two subjects, the sky or white building could call for f16, subject under shade is f4, that is four stops different.

even you bracket from f16 to f4, none of them is usable, you need to bring these two exposure in a closer range, say less than one and a half stop different.
 

Mercy77

New Member
Jan 14, 2011
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#13
Some other solutions:
1) use a graduated neutral filter to step down exposure of the bright portion.

2) use center focus metering or spot focus metering for the camera to set (exposure lock) the right exposure of the subject you want the right exposure.
 

ZerocoolAstra

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2008
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#14
Some other solutions:
1) use a graduated neutral filter to step down exposure of the bright portion.

2) use center focus metering or spot focus metering for the camera to set (exposure lock) the right exposure of the subject you want the right exposure.
focus and metering are 2 different things.
No such thing as spot focus metering :dunno:
neither is there center focus metering.

Using spot metering to get accurate exposure of subject will not solve the problem of severe overexposure of the bright background.
 

Last edited:

Cowseye

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Mar 7, 2010
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#15
Even if you can bracket it doesn't mean your subject won't move between shots. The best solution is still using fill flash. Perhaps using bounce flash or lighter strength of flash can help?
 

Mercy77

New Member
Jan 14, 2011
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#16
It's center metering and spot metering?

Anyway, only subject would be properly exposed.
 

tecnica

Senior Member
Dec 26, 2004
3,660
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#17
meter for the background and fill flash your subject.

cant have the best of both world, can you?
 

Mar 24, 2011
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#18
Im using Nikon D3100 with standard lens 18-55 mm/f3.5-5.6.. anyway..thanks so much guys for all your replies, I guess the best way to do it is to wait for another timing wherein the gap of exposure difference between the subject and the background is not that great just like what ZCA and catchlights mentioned. but then again I really appreciate everybody's own idea coz i learned new things from it as well.. just like that "bracketing" thing 

Cheers 
 

ovaltinemilo

Senior Member
Sep 12, 2009
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#20
Im using Nikon D3100 with standard lens 18-55 mm/f3.5-5.6.. anyway..thanks so much guys for all your replies, I guess the best way to do it is to wait for another timing wherein the gap of exposure difference between the subject and the background is not that great just like what ZCA and catchlights mentioned. but then again I really appreciate everybody's own idea coz i learned new things from it as well.. just like that "bracketing" thing 

Cheers 

Sometimes, it is good to overexpose bg that's cluttering to minimise distraction...tt's another way to make your subject stands out...
 

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