Highlights always off. How can I fix?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by SebZen, Oct 13, 2009.

  1. SebZen macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    #1
    Aside from post processing, how can I fix this within my camera?

    When taking pictures of brightly lit places, such as outdoors, my highlights are always much too white and in iPhoto I always have to slide the highlights all the way to 100 for it to look like it's supposed to.

    Does this mean my camera's white balance is off? If so, there is a way to manually set it, by showing the camera a neutral grey or white. But what should I point the camera to? The sky?
     
  2. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    Feb 24, 2008
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    #2
    When you're shooting in high-contrast situations, you might want to try setting your exposure compensation down a bit on the camera.
     
  3. SebZen thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    #3
    Unfortunately I can only use the exposure compensation in one mode, called Program, which I can't figure it even after reading the manual. I can't manually set shutter speeds or aperture in Program so I don't use it. Usually I shoot under Manual (so I can set the aperture and shutter speeds as needed) or plain auto. Neither of these two modes have the exposure compensation meter to adjust.
     
  4. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #4
    Well if you're shooting in Manual mode, then just underexpose a tad--it's the same concept. Just increase your shutter speed a bit or else stop down the lens.
     
  5. SebZen thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Apr 12, 2009
    #5
    Ah, alright, I can do that.

    What does stopping down the lens mean?
     
  6. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #6
    That means using a smaller aperture (i.e. one with a greater f#). So if you're using f/5.6 and then change to f/8, you've just stopped down the lens (which lets in less light).
     
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #7
    Now matter how you do it, in auto or manual, what you need to do is reduce the amount of exposure. So rather then 1/60th shoot at 1/120th. Basically you should under expose by one stop or so.

    It turns out that in digital you can recover from under exposure in post processing but you can't fix and over exposed image. If you remember film, digital is just like shooting slides, best to under expose slightly.

    In manual mode you don't need "exposure compensation". You can manually set the aperture or shutter down a stop or so.

    "Program" mode is easy to understand. in this mode there is just one control wheel and you can think of that wheel as adjusting either the shutter or the aperture. There is noe switch or buttem, you just think about adjusting either the shutter or the aperture and then when you adjust that the camera automatically adjusts the one you didn't.

    I tend to use this mode in conjunction with exposure compensation. The end effect is that I get to select everything just like in manual mode but it's faster on a camera with a single control wheel. On dual wheel camera bodies perhaps manual is faster
     

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