Question to photography technique

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Glen Martyn, Jun 25, 2005.

  1. Glen Martyn

    Glen Martyn Guest


    I have a 10D and want to take a photo of a room. The camera points into
    direction window where there are beautiful trees outside. Unfortunately
    the outside (since it is very bright/sunny) looks overexposed on the
    shot. What would be the best technique to take the shot with having the
    room *and* the outside proper exposed? Flash?
    Thank you for some tips.
    Glen Martyn, Jun 25, 2005
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  2. Glen Martyn

    Ken Weitzel Guest

    Hi Glen...

    I'm far from a pro; barely qualify as a snapshot guy, but
    am pretty sure that a flash is going to 'destroy' the window. :)

    Best bet I can come up with is trying to pick the precise
    time of day that the ambient outdoor light is just right.
    (early morning or late evening sun, perhaps when the sun
    is just arriving or leaving the horizon)

    Hopefully the pro's will have better ideas, in which case
    we'll both learn :)

    Take care.

    Ken Weitzel, Jun 25, 2005
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  3. 1 - Try fill-in flash, but avoid the camera seeing a direct reflection of
    the flash, so make the picture at an angle to the window, not straight on.
    Bounce flash?

    2 - You could take two pictures (if the camera is on a tripod to keep the
    viewpoint the same), one picture exposed for the room, and one exposed for
    outside, and combine the pictures in post-processing.

    David J Taylor, Jun 25, 2005
  4. Take on shot correctly exposed for outside view. Then take one for the
    inside of the room and then merge them in Photoshop with layers.

    You'll need a tripod of course for this.


    "I have been a witness, and these pictures are
    my testimony. The events I have recorded should
    not be forgotten and must not be repeated."

    -James Nachtwey-
    John A. Stovall, Jun 25, 2005
  5. Glen Martyn

    dadiOH Guest

    Of course. Lots easier than applying neutral density film to the

    Your other alternative is a properly exposed shot of each - camera on
    tripod - and a photo editing program to merge the two.


    dadiOH's dandies v3.06...
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    dadiOH, Jun 25, 2005
  6. Fill in flash will work, but it can be a little tricky. Reflections can
    be a problem matching exposure can be a problem (very likely your built in
    flash will have a very difficult time providing enough light to match the
    window light.

    You have a digital camera and that gives you another solution. David
    and John explained that one well
    Joseph Meehan, Jun 25, 2005
  7. Glen Martyn

    Bill Funk Guest

    Depending on how dark thre room is, that could take a huge flash!

    Take two pics, one exposed for the room, one exposed for the window
    (both from a tripod, so the picures are the same except for the
    exposures), and combine them in your editing software.
    Mask the window out of the first, reverse the mask for the second,
    combine the two, and you've got a picture with both the room and the
    window exposed right.
    Bill Funk, Jun 25, 2005
  8. Glen Martyn

    Mr. Mark Guest

    2 - You could take two pictures (if the camera is on a tripod to keep the
    That's my choice. Avoids complex strobe setup.
    Mr. Mark, Jun 25, 2005
  9. Glen Martyn

    Marcin G Guest

    Use manual settings:

    These are the settings of the photo I took in similar conditions.

    YCbCrPositioning - Centered
    ExifOffset - 196
    ExposureTime - 1/500 seconds
    FNumber - 4.00
    ExifVersion - 220
    ShutterSpeedValue - 1/501 seconds
    ApertureValue - F 4.00
    ExposureBiasValue - 0.00
    MaxApertureValue - F 2.80
    MeteringMode - Multi-segment
    Flash - Flash fired, compulsory flash mode, red-eye reduction mode
    FocalLength - 7.81 mm
    UserComment -
    FlashPixVersion - 100
    SensingMethod - One-chip color area sensor
    FileSource - DSC - Digital still camera
    CustomRendered - Normal process
    ExposureMode - Auto
    WhiteBalance - Auto
    DigitalZoomRatio - 1.00 x
    SceneCaptureType - Portrait
    Quality - Superfine
    Flash mode - On + red-eye reduction
    Sequence mode - Single or Timer
    Focus mode - Single
    Image size - Large
    Easy shooting mode - Portrait
    Digital zoom - None
    Contrast - Normal
    Saturation - Normal
    Sharpness - Normal
    ISO Value - Auto
    Metering mode - Evaluative
    Focus type - Auto
    AF point selected -
    Exposure mode - Easy shooting
    Focal length - 250 - 749 mm
    Flash activity - Fired
    Sequence number - 0
    White Balance - Auto

    Marcin G, Jun 25, 2005
  10. Glen Martyn

    Scott W Guest

    I have never had much luck with the merging of two photos method, it
    kind of works but the window frame always ends up looking just a bit

    I have had a fair bit of luck with using a fill flash, like this photo

    This will show you the full exif data on how the shot was done, at the
    bottom of the photo

    I find it interesting the so many people have given advice on how to do
    this kind of shot but nobody it showing examples, some example of what
    you are talking about would be a large help.

    Scott W, Jun 25, 2005
  11. Glen Martyn

    Frank ess Guest

    Sloth. I did some that worked good, but they are in storage. Easier to
    add a link where the principles are explicated and demonstrated:
    Frank ess, Jun 25, 2005
  12. Glen Martyn

    Sheldon Guest

    I think your advice is the best compromise and easiest to perform. You just
    have to be able to adjust the bounce flash to match the windows.
    Sheldon, Jun 25, 2005
  13. Glen Martyn

    Frank ess Guest

    OK, here is a set of three made in haste to gift the across-the-street
    folks with a photo of their Christmas lights: Three photos from a

    Here are three versions of a single photo, a through-the-windscreen
    effort. In the actual exposure Minolta Dimmidge Xt), foreground detail
    was buried:

    Opening up the foreground lost the sky's definition and impact:

    Adding a layer of each of the foregoing and erasing the faded sky made
    it much more like what I saw:
    Frank ess, Jun 25, 2005
  14. Glen Martyn

    ASAAR Guest

    Besides the other suggestions, another technique would be to
    equalize the inside and outside brightnesses as much as possible.
    If you're relying on a single flash, the indoor illumination will
    probably be uneven, depending on what parts of the room will be
    included in the picture. You could instead use as much fluorescent
    lighting as possible (a much better color match to the outside than
    tungsten), and then wait. Wait for the late afternoon when the sun
    goes down far enough to balance the indoor and outdoor illumination.
    The brighter you can make it indoors, the sooner you can take the
    pictures, which will preserve as much as possible the quality of the
    outdoor light. If you don't mind the more greatly lengthened
    shadows and other changes to the light that occur as evening
    approaches, you could get by with less indoor lighting. Since the
    lights would be set up well in advance, you'd have plenty of time to
    position them so as to minimize/eliminate reflections in the window.
    ASAAR, Jun 25, 2005
  15. In addition to the other suggestions, here is a technique that can use
    just one exposure, and may not need flash:

    A simpler technique I sometimes use is to take a Raw photograph, then
    process it twice in the Raw converter. Make these different conversions
    into two layers in Photoshop (or whatever), then delete PARTS of the
    top layer, exposing the layer underneath.

    The different conversions may involve the following, and more, although
    only the 1st (and last?) is relevant to this case:

    - Different settings for "exposure" and/or "shadows" in ACR, or the
    equivalent in other converters. The room layer may drive its window
    part of the image into clipping, but you delete the latter and show the
    unclipped or recovered windows layer through.

    - Different settings for noise reduction. You may use a high ISO
    setting to photograph animals, but noise reduction may damage their fur
    texture. Use no noise reduction for their fur, and lots of noise
    reduction for the background, and delete the latter layer where the
    animal is.

    - Different settings for lens aberrations. This may be useful if
    foreground and background parts of the image need different settings to
    reduce aberration. Perhaps with wide-angle zoom lens at the widest

    - Different white balance settings. Adjust the WB in one case for
    (say)tungsten, and the other for daylight.

    This technique may not be as good as the others for what you want, but
    it is worth knowing for the cases where you really have to rely on a
    single exposure.
    Barry Pearson, Jun 25, 2005
  16. Glen Martyn

    JME Guest

    With the 10d All you have to do is point the camera out the window, depress
    the shutter button half way, until you get a meter reading. Then, as you
    hold the shutter button half way down push the "star button " by your right
    thumb. This will lock the exposure for outside. Now allow your flash to do
    the inside exposure..
    JME, Jun 25, 2005
  17. Glen Martyn

    Ric Trexell Guest

    Light up the room as best you can and take a meter reading of it. Get up in
    the morning and wait till the outside reading is the same or thereabouts.
    Mount camera on tripod and shoot. Nothing to it. Ric in Wisconsin.
    Ric Trexell, Jun 26, 2005
  18. Glen Martyn

    Glen Martyn Guest

    Thank you everybody.
    I have 2 flashes (550 and 430).
    Jason, your advice was the one I was after.
    I was reading something about it in the manual but didn't quite get it.

    Thanks again everybody- very helpful tips.
    Glen Martyn, Jun 26, 2005
  19. Glen Martyn

    Hunt Guest

    Fill from about any on-camera strobe is likely to be too weak to illuminate
    even a small room at a level equal to the outside illumination. Along these
    lines, one might want to place Rosco ND gel, or similar, on the windows to cut
    the illumination. Or, just add enough strobe power to overcome the outside
    illumination. This is easily accomplished with larger "studio-type" strobe
    units. I'd also establish inside illumination about 1/f brighter than outside,
    and expose for it, thus rendering the outside exposure -1/f. Your eye will
    tell you when the outside is not too obvious.
    This is by far the best solution, unless one has bunches of strobe power
    handy, and a strong gaffer to schlep it around. In Photoshop, Layers, with
    Adjustment Layers, and Layer Masks will yield excellent compositing results in
    moments. I would urge one to light the interior for the best effect, then just
    do expose for the outside on a separate image. You might need to do a third
    for areas around a window, if the "well lit" exposure yields blooming near the
    Hunt, Jun 27, 2005
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