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Old Apr 26, 2005, 10:52 AM   #1
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Sometimes when I take a picture of say a White House in the Middle of a group of trees, the camera obviously reads the white (of the house) & it winds up being completely blown highlights. I shoot everything in TV Mode & either ISO 100 or 200. I have even tried a couple of shots by using Automatic, but that usually makes the image too dark. This happens when I am using my 20-35 Canon or my 28-135 Canon. I know it's me, & not the camera or lens. A friend who is a Canon Tech Rep said to change the White Balance setting to cloudy. I also have a Circular Polarizer for the 28-135 (I keep a Tiffen Warm UV on it at all times), but no polarizer for the 20-25. However, sometimes, I have done other shots of white houses & have NO problems. I did some yesterday on what I call a Bright cloudy day, not straight on shots, but sort of off to one side, & they did pretty good. I corrected them to look even better, as these were old, worn out closed buildings. The ones I have blown are of old Antebellum homes in Mississippi in Good sunlight.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

(using the 300D by the way)
Thanks -


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Old Apr 26, 2005, 12:12 PM   #2
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What does your histogram look like?

You could try usingEL (the * button)as a sort of spot meter to get the apeture and shutter speed for different part of the scenes and use that as a guide to find the best settings for the range of the scene.

Example would be: set the aperture to f8 (just as an example) and point the camera at the brightest part of the scene and hit EL, note the shutter speed. Then do the same process for the darkest part of the scene. Use a shutter speed that's inbetween the two readings you've taken as a guide.

The scene you're trying to take a picture of just might be out of the range of your camera's sensor. In that cause you'd have to take two different pictures, one for hightlight exposure and one for dark andblend them in photoshop.

Here's a link on how to do that.


*edit: didn't mean FEC meant EL
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Old Apr 26, 2005, 1:10 PM   #3
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Hi Railfire

For now, if you really need to capture a moment without time to make precise adjustments , and if keeping detail in the highlights iscritical to yourphoto, it is probably safest to expose for the brightest parts of the scene. This can be done using AE in the TV mode you like to use. I am assuming the 300D has this. :-)

If the 300D allows you to select the Center AF point only , lock this point on the brightest part of the scene ( white house, sky, and so on.) Press shutter halfway and hold, Hit AE lock, recompose and shoot.

Althouth parts of the scene may well be underexposed, it is much easier to pull detail from the shadows in Post Processing than to recover blown highlights.However, once highlights are blown, much of that detail is most likely gone for good. Good luck, no easy answers on this type of situation..


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Old Apr 26, 2005, 9:39 PM   #4
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Railfire wrote:
Sometimes when I take a picture of say a White House in the Middle of a group of trees, the camera obviously reads the white (of the house) & it winds up being completely blown highlights.
If the reads the white -> it would wind up underexposed instead!
i.e. the camera think it's too bright and would compensate by making the exposure darker...

Proxes has the right solution, but should EL(*)lock on something which is equivalent to 18% grey of a grey card... and he could be right on being out of range of your camera's sensor as well, especially on a bright sunny day since digital camera has less dynamic range than film

FYI - http://www.naturespic.com/articles/a.../article4.html
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Old Apr 28, 2005, 6:03 PM   #5
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The camera is probably setting the exposure for the trees. This causes the the highlights to blow out. Make sure you get the exposure on the white house even if you have to move closer to do it. Once you've got the exposure value you can set the exposure, in the camera, and then move back to compose the shot.
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Old Apr 28, 2005, 7:31 PM   #6
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I am fairly new at all this but I find that I am beginning to really like using the RAW setting so I can set the white balance and other settings after the fact.

You can also do a lot with exposures that are not quite right in the EOS viewer exposure compensation if it is a RAW image.

The only real disadvantage I can see to using RAW is it is can be more time consuming, and they take up more memory but it is worth it.

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