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Old Aug 30, 2009, 4:27 PM   #1
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Default outdoor lighting challenges

I took a series of pictures of my nephew playing outside and it was mid-morning on a bright day. I had some serious lighting challenges and have posted an example. I'd love some feedback on ways to correct this, both while shooting and after the shot. The picture is just reduced for posting, the technical details:
set on Manual, K7, DA* 200mm, F2.8, ISO 400, 1/800 sec

I was shooting from shade, which was part of the problem, but maybe a smaller aperture?
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Old Aug 30, 2009, 5:52 PM   #2
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My personal opinion is for a shot like this, let the camera do the work. If you want to use f2.8 for a tiny dof, then use Av and let the camera set an appropriate shutter speed and ISO. Or use TAv and set the aperture/shutter speed combination you want and let the camera decide the ISO for correct exposure. You've set values using manual settings that over-exposed the shot - allowing too much light in for the scene. It looks like this was bright sunlight and you probably could have used the same shutter/aperture combination at ISO100 and have a properly exposed shot.

The biggest problem you have lighting-wise is the hat and the shadows. If your background is properly exposed, his face will be in shadow (it's in shadow here, but not as over-exposed as the rest of the picture). Unless you put more light on his face, you'll end up with a difference like what you see here (or his face much darker). Using a flash as fill-flash in this situation would help a lot.
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Old Aug 30, 2009, 5:54 PM   #3
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There are many others on this forum who know more about this than I do, but with that said, I suspect the large light-colored area in the background fooled your light meter. In such bright sunny conditions I would guess you would want a shutter speed of 1/2000 sec. You could also have set the ISO to 100, or used a smaller aperture like f 5.6 or f 8. But the smaller aperture would probably be undesirable snce it would have put much of the background in focus.

I suspect you could rescue at least some of the blown out highlights with careful post processing.
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Old Aug 30, 2009, 11:11 PM   #4
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hard, contrasty light is hard
fill flash would help
was it spot metered??

for a reference the sunny 16 rule is to set your shutter speed equal to the asa and shoot at f 16
so for this at iso 400 the shutterspeed would be 400 and the f stop 16
quite a difference in exposure
(that setting may result in dark shadows so you would need to open the f stop a bit, but it gives you a place to start)

great expression
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