How do I correct this

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by BarryJ, Jun 13, 2010.

  1. BarryJ macrumors 6502a

    BarryJ

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    Location:
    Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
    #1
    [​IMG]

    I'm not an expert, I'm an enthusiast trying to do better. This is a photo I took on a recent hike through the bush. There's a big canopy of trees with dappled sun shining through from time to time. I shoot RAW.

    So how do I avoid the blown highlights on the plants in the foreground?

    My camera's light meter was on center weighted metering.

    Should I have used spot metering and exposed for just the foreground ?

    Mind you the lens I used is not a high end lens at all. I used an old 35-80 mm AF for this... because I like the light weight and the replacement cost. So it does not have all the newest coatings and the like. But could the crappy lens be the root cause here ?

    In these scenarios I don't have time to hump and set up tripods because my hiking partners don't carry cameras and they are out to make distance in a short time... and this is bush, not a city park.

    And even though I shoot RAW, there was not enough "information" to recover the highlights.

    So any thoughts or suggestions would be most welcomed. Thanks in adavance. Barry
     
  2. ComputersaysNo macrumors 6502

    ComputersaysNo

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2010
    Location:
    Amsterdam
    #2
    There's just not enough light. Exposing for the highlights will make everything else darker.

    You've reached the limits of your sensor on this one. The difference between the brightest parts and the darkest parts is out the dynamic range of the sensor.
     
  3. Doylem macrumors 68040

    Doylem

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Location:
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    #3
    I would generally expose for the highlights, in a scene like this... and let the unlt woodland fall into deep shadow. Make a virtue of the dappled lighting... instead of thinking of it as a problem

    I always use manual metering, and, in 'difficult' lighting conditions like this, I'd bracket shots one stop either side of my chosen value. Nothing wrong with your lens, IMO... you're just coming up against your camera's inability to record brightly lit areas and deep shadows in the same image...
     
  4. emorydunn macrumors 6502

    emorydunn

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Location:
    Austin Texas
    #4
    I kind of hate to suggest this, just because it is abused so often, but this is a situation where HDR might actually do some good.

    What you need to do is bracket the exposure (expose for the shadows, the highlights, and then a "normal" exposure) and then combine them in post to increase the dynamic range. Just remember to go for a realistic look and not crazy over-saturated colour vomit.
     
  5. bend macrumors newbie

    bend

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #5
    I am no expert either, but as Doylem mentioned bracketing might help (-1,0,+1). You can then use Photomatix to generate a HDR and see how that looks. I just tried it out with your image using Photoshop to generate a -2 and a +2 image and then ran it through Photomatix and here are the results. It might look a little bit artificial for some though.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. dplxy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2010
    #6
    adjusted white balance and exposure
    just to remove the brown light
     

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  7. BarryJ thread starter macrumors 6502a

    BarryJ

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    Location:
    Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
    #7
    Thanks

    You know.... my camera has the ability to be a "bunch" of cameras. ie I've set up one memory "bank" to shoot Jpegs... another RAW, and another "Mirror up" for tripod mounted remote release photos.

    I have one more "Bank" I can use and that one I'll set up for exposure bracketing. I do use Photomatix so I'll give that a try and see what transpires the next time I'm in this situation and although I know the plug in tries to "align" the images, I'll make sure I have the tripod handy.

    I do make an effort to try to think about what I'm shooting... I guess I just have to think harder ! ;)

    Doylem when you say you meter manually.... you mean from your camera's built in meter or do you use something else ?

    Thanks all

    Barry
     
  8. Doylem macrumors 68040

    Doylem

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Location:
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    #8
    I always have the camera on manual mode, with spot metering. I'll take a shot, using the camera's suggested shutter speed (my aperture, typically, will be f11), check the back of the camera, adjust shutter speed - if necessary - take my shot... then one shot 'under' and one shot 'over'...
     
  9. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #9
    Easier fix.... don't shoot scenes like this on a sunny day. Wait for a slightly overcast day, and your camera will have an easier time capturing the range of light.

    The problem with using technology to fix a shooting problem is that it looks like technology was used to fix a problem.
     
  10. Doylem macrumors 68040

    Doylem

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Location:
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    #10
    Well put... Woods (and waterfalls) are great locations for overcast days, when the light isn't suitable for most kinds of landscape pix...
     

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