Velocity Reviews - Computer Hardware Reviews

Velocity Reviews > Newsgroups > Computing > Digital Photography > Correct exposure with bright skies

Reply
Thread Tools

Correct exposure with bright skies

 
 
Tim
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      06-28-2007
Hi
Can anyone offer some basic advice or links about getting a decent exposure
when the sky is overcast and glaring!

I'm a noob pretty much so I tend to use too much guesswork!

Here is a shot where the "interest" if I can be so bold has a lot to do with
the sky so I tried not to burn it out too much, but the grass wasn't that
dark, every time I try and lighten it up I start burning the sky out!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/19643174@N00/631104443/

Here the main subject is the planting so I let the sky blow out, is there a
way round that at all? BTW it was a one off day trip so the going back when
the light's better isn't really an option
http://www.flickr.com/photos/19643174@N00/542799595/

Am I kind of doing OK or am I making stoopid errors?

Thanks for any tips

Tim
--
http://www.timdenning.myby.co.uk/


 
Reply With Quote
 
 
 
 
Chris Gilbert
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      06-28-2007
Tim wrote

> Can anyone offer some basic advice or links about getting a decent
> exposure when the sky is overcast and glaring!


SLR ? Graduated Neutral Density filter

P&S ? HDR composite

Chris


 
Reply With Quote
 
 
 
 
Don Stauffer in Minnesota
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      06-28-2007
On Jun 28, 8:01 am, "Tim" <no (E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> Hi
> Can anyone offer some basic advice or links about getting a decent exposure
> when the sky is overcast and glaring!
>
> I'm a noob pretty much so I tend to use too much guesswork!
>
> Here is a shot where the "interest" if I can be so bold has a lot to do with
> the sky so I tried not to burn it out too much, but the grass wasn't that
> dark, every time I try and lighten it up I start burning the sky out!http://www.flickr.com/photos/19643174@N00/631104443/
>
> Here the main subject is the planting so I let the sky blow out, is there a
> way round that at all? BTW it was a one off day trip so the going back when
> the light's better isn't really an optionhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/19643174@N00/542799595/
>
> Am I kind of doing OK or am I making stoopid errors?
>
> Thanks for any tips
>
> Tim
> --http://www.timdenning.myby.co.uk/


The problem is that the sky-even an overcast sky- is a source of
light, while the grass and plantings are visible by reflected light.
Because of limitations on dynamic range of print media, they cannot
show this whole dynamic range. Thus, you must make the classic choice
of the print photographer- let one end of the tonal range disappear,
or reduce contrast (which can make the result look muddy).

You can play with the exposure some, but never really solve the
problem. Both film and digital cameras have far more dynamic range
than prints. Projected images can help solve this dilemma, but of
course not many of us want to lug a projector around everywhere we go.

Another option is to have a lab print the file as a transparency, and
display it with a light box, but that is expensive. Photographic
transparencies have a lot more dynamic range than prints.

There are, of course ways to capture high dynamic range images via
photoshop and such, but this makes the printout/display problem even
worse We have to be resigned to the fact that print media only
have about a 50:1 dynamic range. Even the deepest blacks, either
photographic print or ink, have about a 2% reflectance.


 
Reply With Quote
 
Marvin
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      06-28-2007
Tim wrote:
> Hi
> Can anyone offer some basic advice or links about getting a decent exposure
> when the sky is overcast and glaring!
>
> I'm a noob pretty much so I tend to use too much guesswork!
>
> Here is a shot where the "interest" if I can be so bold has a lot to do with
> the sky so I tried not to burn it out too much, but the grass wasn't that
> dark, every time I try and lighten it up I start burning the sky out!
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/19643174@N00/631104443/
>
> Here the main subject is the planting so I let the sky blow out, is there a
> way round that at all? BTW it was a one off day trip so the going back when
> the light's better isn't really an option
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/19643174@N00/542799595/
>
> Am I kind of doing OK or am I making stoopid errors?
>
> Thanks for any tips
>
> Tim

Several image editors - including Paint shop Pro, the one I
use - allow you to brighten the darker parts of a photo
without washing out the brighter parts. The effect is
similar to "dodging" in making prints from negatives, but a
lot easier to do.
 
Reply With Quote
 
Steve B
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      06-28-2007

"Marvin" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Tim wrote:
>> Hi
>> Can anyone offer some basic advice or links about getting a decent
>> exposure when the sky is overcast and glaring!
>>
>> I'm a noob pretty much so I tend to use too much guesswork!
>>
>> Here is a shot where the "interest" if I can be so bold has a lot to do
>> with the sky so I tried not to burn it out too much, but the grass wasn't
>> that dark, every time I try and lighten it up I start burning the sky
>> out!
>> http://www.flickr.com/photos/19643174@N00/631104443/
>>
>> Here the main subject is the planting so I let the sky blow out, is there
>> a way round that at all? BTW it was a one off day trip so the going back
>> when the light's better isn't really an option
>> http://www.flickr.com/photos/19643174@N00/542799595/
>>
>> Am I kind of doing OK or am I making stoopid errors?
>>
>> Thanks for any tips
>>
>> Tim

> Several image editors - including Paint shop Pro, the one I use - allow
> you to brighten the darker parts of a photo without washing out the
> brighter parts. The effect is similar to "dodging" in making prints from
> negatives, but a lot easier to do.


That's quite a nice image, I think it's best to underexpose as you have done
to retain the highlights, and if you want to brighten up the image nicely
then something like the already mentioned Paint shop Pro's Fill Flash tool
works wonders (I tried it) with one simple click.


 
Reply With Quote
 
Eric Miller
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      06-28-2007
Tim wrote:
> Hi
> Can anyone offer some basic advice or links about getting a decent exposure
> when the sky is overcast and glaring!
>
> I'm a noob pretty much so I tend to use too much guesswork!
>
> Here is a shot where the "interest" if I can be so bold has a lot to do with
> the sky so I tried not to burn it out too much, but the grass wasn't that
> dark, every time I try and lighten it up I start burning the sky out!
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/19643174@N00/631104443/


Just crop the bottom third and don't worry about the grass. This will
get the horizon line out of the middle of the photo and lose some of the
darker grass area anyway. Your exposure is fine. If you insist on not
cropping, select a gradient create a new adjustment layer and lighten
the grass until your heart is content.

>
> Here the main subject is the planting so I let the sky blow out, is there a
> way round that at all? BTW it was a one off day trip so the going back when
> the light's better isn't really an option
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/19643174@N00/542799595/


One of the ways of darkening the sky is to lighten the foreground. In
this case, shooting with the sun to your back would have brightened the
plants in relation to the sky, eliminated much of the glare on the
plants and given you richer more saturated colors. Because the scene
would have been more bright and the sky (the part away from the sun)
more dark, some of your problem would have been alleviated. But, as you
can't change position now, the shot shows that you did a good thing by
showing as little of the blown out sky as possible. It's not a bad image
as is.

>
> Am I kind of doing OK or am I making stoopid errors?
>
> Thanks for any tips
>
> Tim


Gradient selections in Photoshop can assist in the lightening/darkening
area.

Here is an example using just an HDR method to darken the sky and
lighten the foreground:

http://www.photosig.com/go/photos/view?id=2009562

Here is an example using gradient selections from the same multiple
exposures:

http://www.photosig.com/go/photos/view?id=2012900

Eric Miller
www.dyesscreek.com


 
Reply With Quote
 
Joseph Miller
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      06-28-2007
Tim wrote:
> Hi
> Can anyone offer some basic advice or links about getting a decent exposure
> when the sky is overcast and glaring!
>
> I'm a noob pretty much so I tend to use too much guesswork!
>
> Here is a shot where the "interest" if I can be so bold has a lot to do with
> the sky so I tried not to burn it out too much, but the grass wasn't that
> dark, every time I try and lighten it up I start burning the sky out!
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/19643174@N00/631104443/
>
> Here the main subject is the planting so I let the sky blow out, is there a
> way round that at all? BTW it was a one off day trip so the going back when
> the light's better isn't really an option
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/19643174@N00/542799595/
>
> Am I kind of doing OK or am I making stoopid errors?
>
> Thanks for any tips
>
> Tim


The latest versions of Photoshop have an automatic picture combiner. You
shoot the same scene with, say, 3-5 exposures of different exposure
value. You should change the shutter speed, not the aperture. Some
cameras will do this automatically for you. All parts of the scene are
properly exposed on at least one of the images, and Photoshop combines
them to take advantage of this. I've seen some spectacular sunset
pictures done this way, though there is somewhat of a artificial
appearance to the final picture. The real world just doesn't look they
was do.

All this may be too much trouble, but you have some other, simpler ways
of making a reasonable compromise in the other posts.

Joe
 
Reply With Quote
 
Garry Knight
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      06-28-2007
Chris Gilbert wrote:

> Tim wrote
>
>> Can anyone offer some basic advice or links about getting a decent
>> exposure when the sky is overcast and glaring!

>
> SLR ? Graduated Neutral Density filter


Tim: This will also work with some bridge cameras, such as the Canon S3is.
And on sunny days, a polarizing filter will even out the sky light for a
better balance as well as giving you richer colours, but at the expense of
a couple of stops (don't worry if you don't know what this means, the
camera usually takes care of it for you; time enough to learn later).

--
Garry Knight
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed)

 
Reply With Quote
 
Mike Russell
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      06-29-2007
"Tim" <no (E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:JiOgi.13205$(E-Mail Removed) ...
> Hi
> Can anyone offer some basic advice or links about getting a decent
> exposure when the sky is overcast and glaring!
>
> I'm a noob pretty much so I tend to use too much guesswork!
>
> Here is a shot where the "interest" if I can be so bold has a lot to do
> with the sky so I tried not to burn it out too much, but the grass wasn't
> that dark, every time I try and lighten it up I start burning the sky out!
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/19643174@N00/631104443/
>
> Here the main subject is the planting so I let the sky blow out, is there
> a way round that at all? BTW it was a one off day trip so the going back
> when the light's better isn't really an option
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/19643174@N00/542799595/
>
> Am I kind of doing OK or am I making stoopid errors?


Nothing stupid about it - it's one of the oldest puzzles in photography, and
was thought to be unsolvable in the early days of blue sensitive emulsions.
As time passed, with better black and white emulsions, various colored and
graduated filters were used to selectively darken the sky. Now that we are
using color, and digital to boot, the problem of blown out skies is back
again in force. Skies are generally too bright, and this is one area where
color correction after the fact can help enormously.

Since no one has yet mentioned using curves, here's my take at the first of
your two images, using curves and a bit of sharpening to bring out the grass
without losing the action in the sky:
http://mike.russell-home.net/tmp/bristol/

Other techniques include using a mask to correct sky and foreground
separately, or making multiple exposures, and combining them, using masks or
HDR techniques.
--
Mike Russell - www.curvemeister.com


 
Reply With Quote
 
Tim
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      06-29-2007
Thanks to everyone who took the time to look at the pictures and comment.
It's nice to know that I'm not doing anything "wrong" particularly



A grad filter might be a good start, I'll do some research thanks



Also looks as though I'm going to have to get much better acquainted with PS
etc! Understanding curves and masks is one thing, getting the damn
information to stick in my head so it's second nature is another



Thanks again



Tim

--
http://www.timdenning.myby.co.uk/


 
Reply With Quote
 
 
 
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Canon SD1000 - 15 sec exposure -- time delay exposure actuary@mchsi.com Digital Photography 2 06-12-2007 05:44 PM
DVD Verdict reviews: COLORCALM: SKIES, WHATEVER HAPPENED TO AUNT ALICE?, and more! DVD Verdict DVD Video 0 01-14-2005 10:16 AM
Digital Exposure Question -- Middle Gray vs Exposure At Highlights S. S. Digital Photography 3 06-24-2004 07:04 AM
Dramatic skies in Photoshop? Nod Digital Photography 1 07-27-2003 06:12 PM
Enhancing skies Nod Digital Photography 2 07-17-2003 10:28 PM



Advertisments