Quick Question

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by superted666, Aug 13, 2006.

  1. superted666 Guest


    Oct 17, 2005
    Hi there,

    I was in london the other day and i took some snaps of a old ship they have docked, now because of the way the path runs around it the only way i could get a shot of the whole thing was if i took it from the front against the sky on a sunny day.
    My boat kept turning out dark no matter what setting i had, whats the tip or method we should use when shooting dark subjects against bright backgrounds so both appear correctly?
    Shot included so you can see.


  2. pulsewidth947 macrumors 65816


    Jan 25, 2005
    Unfortunately, theres nothing you can do. This happens as a result of the limited dynamic range of cameras. We take this for granted as our eyes have a superb dynamic range.

    People get round this problem by taking two pictures, like you have, 1 metered for the subject (the boat), 1 metered for the sky. Then bringing them together in Photoshop. The resulting image is called a HDR (High Dynamic Range) image.

    Check out the following sites:
    PS CS2 HDR
    Flickr: How to HDR
  3. superted666 thread starter Guest


    Oct 17, 2005
    Just what i was looking for, your a star! going to try it with RAW and 3 Jpegs tonight see what i can achieve.


  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    The "normal" method would not work so well with a subject was large as a ship. That would be to add some "fill" light using either a strobe or a reflector to brighten up the shadows. You would need a quite large strobe to light up the entire ship but for smaller subjects that is the way to go. Reflectors are not expensive and cardboard works if you paint it white or glue on some foil. The lettle strobe built into the camera has very limited range in the daylight.

    The other method is to take two exposures, one of the backlist subject and one of the bright sky. Later using Gimp or Photoshop you can composite the two shots together using a mask

    It helps if you use a tripod so the frames are exactly the same in each. Yes you cam shift the image if you have to to align them but if the camera moves there will be parallax effects that are hard to remove

    You are also much better off shotting in RAW format when doing this kind of work. It allows for a slightly wider dynamic range and lacks the image artifactssome camera introduce to the JPG image

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