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Thread: Over Exposure?

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    Member tahlia's Avatar
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    Over Exposure?

    Hello,

    My catus has started flowering so I decided to whip the new camera out - 1000D with a 18-55mm lens.

    I tried to take the photo's with many different setting, but the colour still seems to blow out.

    Im thinking that the time of day perhaps wasnt the best - around midday sometime, not at dusk or dawn.

    Anyone have any advice for me.

    [IMG][/IMG]

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    NOTE: This is the best shot out of about 20. I can see that it is not very focused, but I wasnt using a tripod, and was using auto focus. I couldnt get it to get the middle pollen sticks in to focus either - im guessing that I need a macro lens?

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    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser OzzieTraveller's Avatar
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    G'day Tahlia

    You are asking about exposure - and from loving flower photography for many years may I offer you some of my experiences ...
    I have found that with small flower / single blossom photography, the light meter is regularly 'fooled' by the background - the flower occupies the "centre-bit" of the image, but the meter is seeing the "whole-bit" ... and thus the darker outside overpowers the centre-bit and causes the exposure to go 'off'

    There are several ways around this - 1) is to go for spot metering [and maybe spot focusing] and concentrate on the flower; 2) is to try exposure bracketing [AEB on your menu options] and maybe set the camera to +/- 2/3EV - and keep the best of the resulting images.

    On one of my cameras I can zoom to maximum image size and press & lock the AE Lock button, then zoom back to frame the pic as I want it to be - thus I am achieving spot metering & focusing manually (sort of thing) before actually taking the image

    Another thing I use when hand-holding flower pix is to use burst-exposure as well ... knowing I will move +/- a few cms, I shoot 3-4-5 images and look very closely at them and keep the best of the bunch. Doesn't always work, but surprisingly is quite successful

    Hope this helps a bit ...
    Regards, Phil
    Of all the stuff in a busy photographers kitbag, the ability to see photographically is the most important
    google me at Travelling School of Photography
    images.: flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/

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    Thanks Phil,

    I didnt even think to change the metering.

    When I go home, hopefully they are still blooming and I will try spot metering (I dont think my camera has spot focusing) and also try the burst and AEB (I did this but manually changing after each shot - Forgot about AEB)

    Thanks very much

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    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser OzzieTraveller's Avatar
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    G'day tahlia

    Good on you for giving it a go again

    If I may - here are two samples from my collection of flowers, each shot via the method I described earlier ... I suspect that they've lost a bit of sharpness in the downsizing, but it's the exposure I want to show you





    Note how in each of them the whites are still white & have detail in the petals - this is what you will get with more accurate exposure where the meter's "weighting" is not influenced by the darker background

    Hope this helps a bit ...
    Regards, Phil

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    Hi Phil,

    I took a look at my camera and I dont have spot metering as a choice - would centered be the next best option?

    Still havnt been home to try again.

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    G'day tahlia

    In your camera's menu or short-cut buttons, look for something like ...



    Spot metering is 'the hole in the donut' sort of thing
    next best would be 'centre-weighted' -ie- the donut including the hole [rather than the whole image/screen]

    [btw - what camera are you using?]

    hope this helps
    Regards, Phil

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    Nope I dont have spot metering, centered I do.

    1000D

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    I don't think that the mode used for metering is an issue here, and realistically the image presented by the OP doesnt' even look overly blown out either.

    One thing about the image is a lack of sharpness, and 300mm and 1/60s, coupled with slightly higher ISO value will always give you less image sharpness.
    But this thread is about exposure, and not sharpness(BTW Tahlia, did you use a tripod? If not, you should)

    back on the exposure topic: Looking at the histogram of the image, there is about 1/6(or less) Ev over exposure and only in the red channel. This quite normal in digital photography due to the nature of the digital sensor.
    BEST methods to minimise over exposure in the red channel is, firstly use a polarizer filter. Also shoot in raw format where a more appropriate whitebalance setting can then be set in post processing. Finally, don't be afraid to let the (raw) image over expose by a small amount either. If you only ever shoot in jpg mode, then be very careful not to over expose an image, but with raw format you have a lot more leeway to bring back lost highlight detail.

    Because you have no shadows in your image(as Phil has in his samples), there is a high probability that you shot in overcast conditions, and the camera may have chosen an inappropriate WB setting in it's automatic wisdom, and you also used a flash(on board?)
    Problem would be that if the WB was set to cloudy(due to the conditions being cloudy) then the WB may come out a little warm, and the red channel is going to blow out slightly. a cloudyt WB sertting is usually approximately 6000K in temperature value, so lowering the WB to about 5700K may pull back the red channel enough for it to not blow out.

    To be honest, and looking at the image's histogram, I wouldn't worry too much about the exposure. IF the image looks 'way too bright' on your screen, then a more plausible reason you think the image is over exposed is an inaccurate screen setting and calibration, which is a normal situation for most consumer grade PC screens.

    At the bottom of my reply will be a long step wedge ranging from black(on the right) to white(on the left). You should be able to differentiate between each and every step wedge. You can (almost)accurately adjust your monitor using both brightness and contrast adjustments to see the step wedge correctly if you need too.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


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