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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:03 pm 
How can i avoid this?

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DSC_0625 by Chrispy61, on Flickr


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:21 pm 
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Location: NW England
Try adjusting the EV. Maybe start at +1, then more if needed.

I quite like the pic btw. Nice silhouette.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:54 pm 
Haha, yea i guess its the kinda shot you would maybe look for. Just an example of what i dont want this time.

Will post a few more up soon in the other part of the forum.

Is it a case of finding the balance between getting the subject in view without letting the background get too over exposed?


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 2:12 pm 
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Well your camera (most digital cameras actually) have a limited dynamic range. I'd expose for the sky, and then add some fill light later (postprocessing).

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:15 am 
Cant see the picture but from the discription the background is bright and the subject/focus point to dark. Probabaly use a flash.

Gordon did an excellent video tutorial about it.
Click on the DSLR tutorials at the top menu and you see an excellent explanation about this problem.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:20 pm 
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Generally, in situations where a person or subject is standing in relative shadow, or without light in front of them, and standing in front of a very bright or backlit background or with light coming from behind them, you have a few different ways to try to approach it:

1. Meter for the subject - switch to spot meter, put the crosshairs on the subject's face, let the background blow out bright and white, and get the detail in the subject you need.

2. Meter the background, in which you get the results you posted - the background looks normal, the subject is in silhouette.

3. Meter in between - using the spot meter, or setting the aperture and shutter, find something in between the background and foreground - using the spot meter, you can fish around the outer edge of your subject so that the meter sees half shadow and half light - or find a lighter area like a white shirt that's in less shadow - this will give you a slightly blown out bright background and a slightly silhouetted subject. From there, you can often post process to bring up the shadows on the subject for a better exposure, or use the camera's dynamic range function (DLighting, DRO, etc) to correct the shadows in camera.

4. Shoot for HDR - take a burst of at least 2 or 3 shots using the EV bracketing function (best to take the shots in a burst, very quickly together, so there is little subject movement between frames) or if you have a camera with built-in HDR stacking, use it. This will take 1 shot exposed for the background, one for the middle, and one for the shadowed subject, then blend the three together for a proper exposure on both darker subject and brighter background.

5. Use a flash for fill light. Setting the flash control in camera to 'fill', then metering the scene as normal, the camera will meter the background just like it did in your shot, but the flash will also fire to provide light to the front of the subject, making them better exposed as well. Fill flash sometimes may take some getting used to, so you don't have an overly artificial light on the subject - learning how to throttle down the flash a little if necessary would be good.

Just a few different ways to approach such a shot!

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