Severe Light Variation

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Bob Daun, Aug 5, 2004.

  1. Bob Daun

    Bob Daun Guest

    I am an amateur photographer and am on my second digital camera. The
    current one is an Olympus 4000 series 4.0 MP.
    I have one problem which I have not been able to overcome even though trying
    varied aperatures, exposure settings, shutter speeds, etc. Whenever I am
    shooting outside, especially in the AM around mid-summer, I get tremendous
    variations in the intensity of color in landscape type photos. This is
    basically due to the great light variation between light and shade. If, for
    example, I am taking some pictures of flowers in partial shade and focus on
    the flowers, any lawn in direct sunlight is almost completely washed out. I
    can take the same picture with my 35mm Nikon using 400 speed color film and
    not get anywhere near the severe variation in light in the finished
    photograph.

    Is this a concern that is characteristic of digital cameras in general, or
    is there some way (combination of settings, filters, etc.) to minimize this
    problem and make my pictures more equivalent to what I get with film (other
    than only taking pictures on cloudy days of course)?

    --
    Bob Daun
    Bob Daun, Aug 5, 2004
    #1
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  2. Bob Daun wrote:
    > I am an amateur photographer and am on my second digital camera. The
    > current one is an Olympus 4000 series 4.0 MP.
    > I have one problem which I have not been able to overcome even though
    > trying varied aperatures, exposure settings, shutter speeds, etc.
    > Whenever I am shooting outside, especially in the AM around
    > mid-summer, I get tremendous variations in the intensity of color in
    > landscape type photos. This is basically due to the great light
    > variation between light and shade. If, for example, I am taking some
    > pictures of flowers in partial shade and focus on the flowers, any
    > lawn in direct sunlight is almost completely washed out. I can take
    > the same picture with my 35mm Nikon using 400 speed color film and
    > not get anywhere near the severe variation in light in the finished
    > photograph.
    >
    > Is this a concern that is characteristic of digital cameras in
    > general,


    Yes and non-digital cameras. Photographers have been fighting with or
    mastering the use of light almost as long as the traditional artist.

    Try some reading on Ansel Adams and his works. While a lot of it is how
    to for film photography, I believe you may find a lot of good information to
    start understanding the problems and opportunities light control brings to
    photography.

    > or is there some way (combination of settings, filters,
    > etc.) to minimize this problem and make my pictures more equivalent
    > to what I get with film (other than only taking pictures on cloudy
    > days of course)?


    --
    Joseph E. Meehan

    26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
    Joseph Meehan, Aug 5, 2004
    #2
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  3. Bob Daun

    DSphotog Guest

    "Bob Daun" <> wrote in message
    news:411254ac$...
    > I am an amateur photographer and am on my second digital camera. The
    > current one is an Olympus 4000 series 4.0 MP.
    > I have one problem which I have not been able to overcome even though

    trying
    > varied aperatures, exposure settings, shutter speeds, etc. Whenever I am
    > shooting outside, especially in the AM around mid-summer, I get tremendous
    > variations in the intensity of color in landscape type photos. This is
    > basically due to the great light variation between light and shade. If,

    for
    > example, I am taking some pictures of flowers in partial shade and focus

    on
    > the flowers, any lawn in direct sunlight is almost completely washed out.

    I
    > can take the same picture with my 35mm Nikon using 400 speed color film

    and
    > not get anywhere near the severe variation in light in the finished
    > photograph.
    >
    > Is this a concern that is characteristic of digital cameras in general, or
    > is there some way (combination of settings, filters, etc.) to minimize

    this
    > problem and make my pictures more equivalent to what I get with film

    (other
    > than only taking pictures on cloudy days of course)?
    >
    > --
    > Bob Daun
    >
    >

    Bob,

    Digital cameras have a relatively narrow dynamic range. 5-6 stops is the
    accepted thinking with the best. This is similar to the dynamic range of
    transparency (slide) films.

    In your specific example of the flower in partial shade, the easiest
    solution is to create a situation where the flower is lighted by one or the
    other. Since it would be difficult to move a growing flower out of the
    partial shade, the answer would be to enlarge the shaded area to cover the
    entire flower. (i.e. use some device to shade the flower completely) You
    have thus reduced the dynamic range of the scene to better fit the dynamic
    range of the medium you are using.

    This problem with dynamic range is the main reason we flower shooters tend
    to shoot on overcast days.

    Hope this help,
    Dave
    DSphotog, Aug 5, 2004
    #3
  4. Yes, you have discovered one of the lesser attractions about digital imagery
    in the main.

    Is there any consolation? Why yes, quite a lot of brands have the same
    phenomenon

    What can you do about it?
    Learn to master your media. It will take time and experience and cast a
    critical eye over the images you take. Try to identify what works well and
    not so well incorporating this experience into future shoots. Photography
    is a skill.

    There are software solutions or partial solutions too and that is why some
    cameras tend to underexpose a little. Once the hilights are blown well,
    they have well and truly gone. If underexposing preserves data that data
    may be tweaked in software.

    BTW photographers have always had to wrestle with light, it really is
    nothing new but some brand holders seem reluctant to admit it is so (can't
    think why)

    Arts

    ps - one didgital camera brand has much experience in film media and insists
    on using slightly different sensors with slightly different configurations
    and advertise on a theme of preserving highlights. Now you know why

    A

    "Bob Daun" <> wrote in message
    news:411254ac$...
    > I am an amateur photographer and am on my second digital camera. The
    > current one is an Olympus 4000 series 4.0 MP.
    > I have one problem which I have not been able to overcome even though

    trying
    > varied aperatures, exposure settings, shutter speeds, etc. Whenever I am
    > shooting outside, especially in the AM around mid-summer, I get tremendous
    > variations in the intensity of color in landscape type photos. This is
    > basically due to the great light variation between light and shade. If,

    for
    > example, I am taking some pictures of flowers in partial shade and focus

    on
    > the flowers, any lawn in direct sunlight is almost completely washed out.

    I
    > can take the same picture with my 35mm Nikon using 400 speed color film

    and
    > not get anywhere near the severe variation in light in the finished
    > photograph.
    >
    > Is this a concern that is characteristic of digital cameras in general, or
    > is there some way (combination of settings, filters, etc.) to minimize

    this
    > problem and make my pictures more equivalent to what I get with film

    (other
    > than only taking pictures on cloudy days of course)?
    >
    > --
    > Bob Daun
    >
    >
    Arty Phacting, Aug 5, 2004
    #4
  5. Bob Daun

    Ken Weitzel Guest

    Bob Daun wrote:
    > I am an amateur photographer and am on my second digital camera. The
    > current one is an Olympus 4000 series 4.0 MP.
    > I have one problem which I have not been able to overcome even though trying
    > varied aperatures, exposure settings, shutter speeds, etc. Whenever I am
    > shooting outside, especially in the AM around mid-summer, I get tremendous
    > variations in the intensity of color in landscape type photos. This is
    > basically due to the great light variation between light and shade. If, for
    > example, I am taking some pictures of flowers in partial shade and focus on
    > the flowers, any lawn in direct sunlight is almost completely washed out. I
    > can take the same picture with my 35mm Nikon using 400 speed color film and
    > not get anywhere near the severe variation in light in the finished
    > photograph.
    >
    > Is this a concern that is characteristic of digital cameras in general, or
    > is there some way (combination of settings, filters, etc.) to minimize this
    > problem and make my pictures more equivalent to what I get with film (other
    > than only taking pictures on cloudy days of course)?
    >


    Hi Bob...

    I don't know your specific camera, but with all my
    Oly's I have the option of selecting low contrast...

    It seems to help, leaves me more range to work with
    in post-processing tweaking...

    Try a few test shots; see how it works for you.

    Take care.

    Ken
    Ken Weitzel, Aug 5, 2004
    #5
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