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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:12 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:07 am
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Location: California
I'm completely new to photography and I went out yesterday to take some pictures of the bay. However, I was standing on a shaded hill. Whenever I took photos that included the foliage on the hill and the sunlit bay, the trees ended up looking black and the bay very bright. How do get the foreground to be bright to match the bright background (which is the focus of the shot)?


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:22 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:24 am
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Learn about your camera's metering modes. In Nikon Speak you have Matrix, Centre Weighted and Spot Metering.

Matrix looks at the whole scene and averages the exposure to give a best guess at what the shutter speed should be.

Centre Weighted and Spot place more of total emphasis on the (by default) focus point that you're aiming for.

Be warned though - if there is such a difference in brightness between dark foreground and light background you may expose correctly for the foreground but completely lose detail in the background and get overexposed highlights. This is where Matrix Metering and fill flash might be useful.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:58 am 
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Location: locust grove, GA
Will fill in flash work in this case?

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:49 am 
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Joined: Fri May 27, 2011 4:10 pm
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Location: Ras Al Khaimah, UAE
My 2p's worth:

Cameras dont have the same 'dynamic range' as the human eye. This means they dont see the difference between dark darks and light lights as well. Basically you need to change the lighting of the photo in some way to compensate for it. Off the top of my head you have a few options:

1- Take the photo under different lighting conditions. This could be at a different time of day. Mid day always has the harshest light, the brightest brights and the darkest darks, sunrise and sunset are much less so but the shadows are longer. Also at a different time of day the foreground might not be in shadow. In some circumstances overcast/cloudy lighting helps but rarely in a landscape imo.

2- Change the light. Flash is one way of doing this. Using flash to 'fill in' the shadows can help with foreground objects relatively close to the camera.

3- Change the light entering the camera. In the days of film cameras photographers used graduated neutral density filters to darken the sky to even up the exposure required for the shot. Bit old skool this one.

4- Use High Dynamic Range (HDR) processing. Basically take more than one image with different exposures and combine the best of each into one image that shows what you want. Have a look at this months 'On Assignment' for lots of HDR images.

There are probably plenty of other options that I haven't mentioned but I'm sure someone else will help out.

Its would be worth posting the problem image as then folks will be able to suggest the right kind of solution for this particular situation.

Hope this helps

Ian

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:50 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:07 am
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Location: California
Thanks for the responses. A flash probably won't work because of how far the shaded area extends. I will give metering a try, as that seems to be the simplest solution. HDR sounds super awesome and definitely something I will look into when I progress further into photography. Still need to get a tripod :D


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:01 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:23 pm
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Location: Boca Raton, FL, USA
What camera do you have? Some cameras actually have an HDR function built into the camera, that can take 2 or 3 photos and merge them in camera to a single shot. Several models of P&S cameras from several manufacturers, as well as some mirrorless and DSLR cameras, have this function. Many can be shot handheld too.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:25 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:07 am
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Location: California
T2i, don't think it has that function


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:45 am 
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If you add magic lantern to the t2i you'll get a HDR bracketing function so it will take the photos you need. It doesn't add an internal processing function though

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Canon EOS 550D (with Magic Lantern)
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430EX II Flash with Phottix Strato Wireless Tigger Set
Manfrotto 190CXPRO3 with 496 Ball Head. Gorilla Pod SLR
Canon Powershot A720IS with CHDK and intervalometer script. Pentax Optio W90

My Blog - http://www.ianganderton.wordpress.com


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