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Thread: Outdoor, Winter, Over Exposure

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    Member Roger45's Avatar
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    Default Outdoor, Winter, Over Exposure

    I upgraded to a Nikon D90 and overall love the camera. I have three different Nikkor lenses that I use. I have found that I am getting a majority of outdoor shots that are badly over exposed (dogs/shade in snow). I am *learning* all the whistles and bells on this camera, and have an after market manual. I find using AUTO, P, A, or S all give me the problem...I am not sure if it is just how flat our light has been this winter of other??? Manual WB helps, but does not cure it. Any recommendations out there??? Thanks...
    "...and then Jack chopped down the beanstock, adding murder and ecological vandalism to the theft, enticement and vandalism charges already mentioned, but he got away with it and lived happily ever after without so much as a guilty twinge about what he had done. Which proves that you can be excused just about anything if you're a hero, because no one asks the inconvenient questions." Terry Pratchett's The Hogfather

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    I usually find snow and white skys result in under exposure, but all cameras are different.

    The quick fix is to adjust the auto exposure compensation.

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    Member Floyd_Davidson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger45 View Post
    I upgraded to a Nikon D90 and overall love the camera. I have three different Nikkor lenses that I use. I have found that I am getting a majority of outdoor shots that are badly over exposed (dogs/shade in snow). I am *learning* all the whistles and bells on this camera, and have an after market manual. I find using AUTO, P, A, or S all give me the problem...I am not sure if it is just how flat our light has been this winter of other??? Manual WB helps, but does not cure it. Any recommendations out there??? Thanks...
    As Jim Strutz indicates, that is usually the opposite of what people get!

    I can think of a couple of possible causes. One is if you are using spot metering and meter on something very dark. The black dog in the snow bank example would result in underexposure with anything other than spot metering, and over exposure with spot metering of the dog.

    The other possibility, except it should affect everything you do, is if Exposure Compensation is set to something like +2 or +3.

    Hmmm... I guess viewing on a monitor that isn't adjusted quite right might do it too, but that should affect a lot of other things too.

    Any chance you can post a full sized, straight out of the camera, JPEG that includes the Exif data?

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    A camera meter sees the world as 18% gray, so keep that in mind when shooting dark or light subjects. Without maniuplation dark subjects will be light and light subjects will be dark. I guess today's new digital cameras will also allow you to select various "scenes," such as "Beach," and "Snow," Portrait," and so on. If you don't like what you see on your "LCD" than you simply tweak your exposure comensation dial.

    Jim

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    Default D80 overexposure

    I have a D80 and it has the same issue. I simply adjust the exposure compensation to -0.7 or greater, depending on the scene. That seems to take of the overexposure issue for the most part.
    -Patrick

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    Member Floyd_Davidson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solo hunter View Post
    I have a D80 and it has the same issue. I simply adjust the exposure compensation to -0.7 or greater, depending on the scene. That seems to take of the overexposure issue for the most part.
    -Patrick
    That's certainly the way to "fix" the problem.

    But you also jolted my thoughts a little and I realized what is probably happening. Are you folks using "3D Matrix Metering"? If so, try "Center Weighted" and see if you get the opposite effect and have under exposed snow scenes. (And like everybody else, need to set Exposure Compensation at +0.7 rather than -0.7. Not that this makes your life easier, just that it makes you "normal", like the rest of us.)

    Matrix metering is a relatively new technology, and probably will become much more effective (and complex) in coming years. Basically with the D80 is divides the screen into 420 separate areas and then compares the color and brightness of those areas to an in camera database of 30,000 "known" scenes, and adjusts exposure accordingly. That is, it can detect back lit portraits, landscapes with bright skies, low contrast from foggy days, and lots of other things that require slight adjustments to exposure. But it isn't perfect, yet... :-)

    One other odd thing about the D80's Matrix Metering is that it cannot handle extremely bright scenes. Any scene measuring higher than Light Valaue 16-1/3 is reduced to 16-1/3. Hence I would expect a very bright sunshiny day will exceed that, and result in over exposed images.

    (I never use Matrix Metering. I can't tell what it's going to do...)

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    Member Majik Imaje's Avatar
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    Gosh !! I am at a complete loss for words here. WoWoW !!

    SORRY: but I am going to put my 2cents in here. If YOU don't mind !!

    My first question: Why did you upgrade ? did you think your photographs would LOOK better ?? All you did was introduce more variables (extra features).

    Did your job require better equipment (that your not familiar with yet). What was the purpose of changing cameras ? THAT IS MY FIRST QUESTION. (rehtorical).

    Have your skills in your artristy demanding this change ?

    Have you MASTERED the camera you have been using to its FULL POTENTIAL ?? Do you think that by spending hundreds of dollars more your going to see that much difference ??

    I have seen this same thread with the same basic answers on two forums I have been hanging around on in the UK.

    But I have never seen (this solution) on any of them - until I typed it out.

    If you get rid of all of the variables - then YOU CAN CONTROL THE CAMERA - but you want some computer with all these extra features that can recognize what you are looking at . ROFLMAO !!

    What is wrong with using your own eyes?? Turn all that crap off and switch to manual mode !!

    I CHALLENGE anyone to perform this simple test !! I already know what the results will be and what is going to happen because I have been using this same SIMPLE principle for 30 years (and longer).

    First lets look at an image that is CORRECTLY EXPOSED. ( I have noticed with digital) then when I import my images (straight from the camera) *.jpg only or *TIFF. (Raw introduces too many more variables to contend with.) for me my opinon only.. go for what works for you.

    I have noticed when importing straight from the camera . Underexposed and over exposed results BUT once I bring them into Lightroom 0R Photoshop or Painter or any image editing program - I get much better results. Especially in unwanted color shifts.

    I want to show you something so simple. Children understood this with no problems what so ever. They hadn't acquired certain 'habits'. because they were all brand new to photography.

    You have heard of the Sunny 125 @ f 16 RULE that is pure rubbish

    Because there is also a 125 @ F11 Sunny @ F 22 Etc up and down the whole range of that exposure value

    EV 15 learn it !!! It is just so simple..

    Put your camera on manual. Now lets elimiate all of the variables so that you can control that camera. (properly).

    when I walk around (anywere) to create images (hand held) I only use one of two different shutter speeds. Usually I already know what I might be photographing. If it is moving 1/250 If it is still 1/125

    So, Usually My shutter is already set @ 1/125 and I am just walking looking, If it is sunny outside my aperature is set to F 11 If that subject is in the sunlight and casts a shadow click that exposure is dead on (for film). Digital does not have as wide of a lattitude that color negative film .

    Digital responds in the same manner as Transparancy film - You need to be within a half stop to get those excellent eye poping saturated colors.

    Now you have your camera on manual, (auto focus)? all you have to move is your aperature ring. ONE VARIABLE only !!

    Go to to a park - an open field - 125 @ F 11 what happens (sun is at your back)..Is it too light ? Is it too dark ? what do you d0? You have instant results. Haven't you noticed when you look at your great photographs.. Once you get one color to show up right - THEY ARE ALL right !! Proper density !

    In other words in a wide open field with sun shinning on (any) subject casting shadows, 125 @ F 11 is gonna get you in the ball park

    You will never have to CONSIDER F22 - F 32 SO FORGET that end of the aperatures.

    125@ F 11 or F8 or F5.6 (hint: there are no other choices available) !!!

    Once you see how this performs with your camera - then you will BEGIN to 'train' your eyes to see what YOU ARE LOOKING AT !! light / shadows are important - LOOK -practice. Dark colors / objects fillilng the viewfinder OPEN one more stop. Bright open areas white snow/ blue sky then.

    you close to F 16 .. ah.. but in digital this is not perfected yet. lens sharpness doesn't increase as it does when using F32 - F 45 & F 64 or 3 even F 90 In professional large & medium format film

    Has anyone ever seen prints created using F 90 ? well you are familiar with Ansel Adams - He belonged and only used F 64. That is the secret to his incredible RAZOR SHARP images throughout the entire scene.

    So to avoid going to F 16 you increase your shutter speed one and decrease your aperature by one . =- tada it is all that simple.

    Lets look at an image:

    Now although was created in digital (check out the exif). To bear witness with what I am trying to convince you of.



    When I come upon a scene such as this. I look at the face - I see the shadows on the clothing. All I care about is to expose for facial tones only! Get those correct.. .. and every other color follows suit !!

    Looking at this scene 100 ISO 1/250 F 11 OR 1/125 @ F16

    EXIF DATA: says 1/1000 @ F 3.7 or 1/500 @ F 6.8 or 1/250 @ F 11

    In other words - IT PLACES YOU RIGHT IN THE BALL PARK exactly where I said you would be !!

    PRACTICE : and pay attention ! use your eyes - and save a lot of money !!

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    Ahhh! Majic. You are indeed a traditionalist, a photographer for God's sake. And that sample is a wonderful image indeed.

    If you do like Majic suggests you will eventually do all this instinctively.

    Majic,

    The trick I also used a lot was to meter off my open palm letting the same light that is falling upon my subject also fall upon my hand. And then open up one stop. Good when you're in a hurry.

    Jim

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    Member Majik Imaje's Avatar
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    Well (chuckle) thanks Jim. I am glad to see someone is paying attention and understands how simple this technique is.

    That image is a perfect for illustrating my point - There is detail in the brightest of white - textures & detail even in the blackest of blacks - this is straight out of the camera - NO POST PROCESSING WHAT SO EVER !

    Keep your shutter speed fixed and learn how to look at the light on that object and adjust accordingly - once you get proficient at sunlight - then you will easily master cloudy - raininy days etc.. but it all takes time - practice & notes !!

    Metering your hand is a valuable tool for a photographer to use. But I greatly fear - that todays Digital wanna be's are Autotographers !!

  10. #10
    Member Majik Imaje's Avatar
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    To the original poster -Roger45 you UP-graded to a Nikon D90 -

    TO PROVE A POINT: I DOWNGRADED to a 200 dollar toy camera the size of a credit card !! 'just to prove.. .. a point !'

    SONY CLAIMS: This camera will function in the temp range of 32 degrees above zero to 104 degrees above zero.

    SORRY - sony is wrong - we used this many times in sub zero temps of 40 below zero ! Arctic tested and passed with flying COLOR(S) !!

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    Member Roger45's Avatar
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    I have been away from this forum for a while and was very surprised at all the quality responses I have gotten. I have been working hard on figuring this problem out. First, I have been UNDER exposed, not Over...my bad. Second, the problems I have had are in the shade, or at least without direct sunlight. Third, doing a manual White Balance is CRITICAL I have found out. Ergo, larger Aperture and faster Shutter speed (because of motion blur in my application). This basic understanding has helped me *adjust* my shooting and I am getting far better shots. To test, I took both the D40 and D90 out and used the same lens on both and got very similar results...I still like the crispness overall with the D40! But I am learning and the more I get into RAW/NEF processing, the more the D90 is the clear winner

    I have been doing some indoor shooting the last few days, and that has been a challenge! There is no comparing the two cameras here...D90 all the way for me!

    Again, thanks for all the ideas and comments, I have a lot more to learn!
    "...and then Jack chopped down the beanstock, adding murder and ecological vandalism to the theft, enticement and vandalism charges already mentioned, but he got away with it and lived happily ever after without so much as a guilty twinge about what he had done. Which proves that you can be excused just about anything if you're a hero, because no one asks the inconvenient questions." Terry Pratchett's The Hogfather

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