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Old Jun 21, 2005, 11:13 AM   #1
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I will be posting 4 pictures of the same fire taken withen 5 minutes. All with slightly different settings which will show the effect on the scene.

The first one is the most accurate of how the sky and surrounding area looked. Time of day is 3:25 PM and overcast. Settings were F4.0 and 1/220 ISO 200.
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Old Jun 21, 2005, 11:16 AM   #2
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Second: F7.0 1/550 ISO200. All of the shots were auto exposure, spot metering and auto WB. You will notice in this one the sky looks like night and the scene is considerably darker due to smaller aperature and faster shutter speed.
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Old Jun 21, 2005, 11:20 AM   #3
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Third: F5.6 1/450 still darker than it actually was.
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Old Jun 21, 2005, 11:27 AM   #4
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Fourth and last: F5.6 1/450. These were taken for documentary purposes only and no thought to any kind of compostition. They were only resized except for the first one was cropped and resized. These also show how you should be aware of your settings, I though I knew what they were, but when I pulled my camera out of the bag the top dial turned accidentally to Programmed Auto mode:roll:and that was the reason for the wide variance in the settings. Pictures didn't turn out excactly like I wanted, but the served a purpose for the challenge. For any one who is haveing problems getting fire to be seen in their pictures,,, build a bigger fire!:blah:
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Old Jun 22, 2005, 11:13 AM   #5
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What a weenie roast! It's a good thing you live in the country or you'd be arrested for a fire like that.

The first shot is obviously the best. The exposure and composition are great. It looks like the spot metering in the other shots worked against you. You've got a bright fire and the spot metering must have registered a really bright part of the flame to darken the background like that.

One thing to keep in mind is the way the metering system behaves with really bright scenes and dark scenes. The metering system, in auto, will always try to render the scene (or the spot in the case of spot metering) to an equivalent of 18% gray. Consequently, a really bright scene will be darkened and a dark scene will be lightened. In your case, it looks like the spot meter picked a bright spot and reduced it to 18% gray. This resulted in the rest of the image being dark.

The way to get around this "quirk" in auto metering is to use exposure compensation. If the scene is bright, try using +1.0 compensation. If the scene is dark (night), use -1.0 compensation. Common sense says this is wrong but it isn't. It works. You may have to adjust the compensation amount for best results.

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Old Jun 23, 2005, 9:24 PM   #6
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Thanks Cal,

We did place a courtesy call to the local Fire Dept. to give them a heads up if they got any calls. I was hoping someone would pick up on the spot metering making the everything but the fire dark. I like the first one best also, but the flame is on the edge of being blown out, but I don't think it really detracts too much. I do like the exposure of the flames on the others better though. I knew about the 18% grey, but I will have to keep in mind about over exposing bright scenes and under exposing dark ones. Thanks for the tip, it does go against conventional thinking. That tip also works with bright snow, helping make it white and not grey/blue, but I hope not to see that for about 6 more months!
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