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Old Jan 19, 2007, 9:12 AM   #1
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I was at the zoo today and the scene was very complicated in term of light, there were places where the light was very bright and there where places that are very shadowed, most of the photos I've taken looked bad, I wanted to get an even light, and without the use of flash, I have the Canon 400D and want your advice of how to compose and image with very difficult light. Also I want to know how to overcome string highlight in my photos that accures in some place of my images.

most of the images I've taken where under exposed I've noticed it when I calibrate my monitor and after printing photos on the lab, what is the best way to recover those images. (any good software or tutorial for that that does it automaticley?)

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Old Jan 19, 2007, 9:49 AM   #2
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can u post a sample
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Old Jan 19, 2007, 12:32 PM   #3
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You should only worry about the light on your subject which I would think would be an animal or a bird in a zoo. You should expose for the subject, why do you care about the light say in the corners.
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Old Jan 19, 2007, 12:58 PM   #4
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Well, the bright spots in the background can be distracting.
bobbyz is right that you should worry about getting the exposure correct on the subject. That is the most important thing.

To reduce the distracting elements (like bright spots) you can do a variety of things.

- I would suggest you use adjustment layers with masks and reduce the brightness of the bright distracting elements.

- You can also blur the background more... but this can look artificial if you do too much of it.

- You can reduce the saturation or contrast of the background. This works better if part of the nature of the subject is that it has interesting colors or contrasty elements. This would make them more the focus of your eyes than the rest of the image. Its a subtle trick that painters use, and it can work well if done properly.

The key here is to use masks on top of layers so that the change you make is isolated to the part of the image you want to change. For example - so you can darken just the hilight, not the entire image.

Does that help?

Posting an example image (with comments about what you don't like) would be helpful for us to give you the type of advice you're looking for instead of more generic information.


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Old Jan 20, 2007, 2:24 AM   #5
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There's another way to possibly get rid of bright spots as well as other defects. You can clone them out. But, it all depends on the background. If it's too busy it will be very difficult.

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Old Jan 20, 2007, 5:16 AM   #6
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Here is a photo, please advice (I want to use it without a flash) , maybe I don't know the differences between (Partial meterring and the other options etc.) Can you advice when to use each type and how.


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Old Jan 20, 2007, 6:48 AM   #7
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What you're experiencing here is the dynamic range limitation of your digital camera...

-> You're shooting against a very dark shaded confined area with a bright sunshine coming through and no digital camera can cover such a wide dynamic range! This is where a full-frame camera can come in handy (i.e. 5D/1Ds), but even so, it'll be a stretch as compared to some films



Idan wrote:
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Here is a photo, please advice (I want to use it without a flash) , maybe I don't know the differences between (Partial meterring and the other options etc.) Can you advice when to use each type and how.
May it's time to master the use of flash(es)... or reflectors (if you absolutely hate flash)

-> This will bring up the shadow area and alleviate your dynamic range issue - This has nothing to do with metering (the digital camera just can't capture the whole gamut)
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Old Jan 20, 2007, 6:57 AM   #8
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the picture has two different dynamic range. The bright sun light and the dark shadows.

U can either meter for the sunlight or the shadow. To meter for both u need to take two different pictures (hoping the bird to stand still in the same spot with zero movement) and merge them

The alternative is to take a picture in the mid way between these two metering zones and adjust some brightness or darkness in photo editing softwares

Generally in these situation if ur using the Aperture mode, check for time exposing the bright spot. Similarly check for time exposing the dark spot

Then move the dial to manual mode and set the aperture and a middle value between the two time u memorized.

Thats the least solution u can get.

May be the 1 Series cameras may have a better metering system. 5D is suppose to have a better dynamic range control than the 30D. But still these kind of ppictures are hard to perfect.

Any picture with two different extremes of dynamis needs to photo edited later taking different exposures.

Thats how it works in digital

In case of film, i am guessing one can take different exposures on the same film strip without forwarding the film and taking it over the previously exposed one. But again i may be wrong. I never tried them in film SLR's

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Old Jan 20, 2007, 7:02 AM   #9
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The other option is to cut back on the sunshine with diffuser panels... but I don't know if they let you set that up in a zoo :lol: :-) :G

PS I had the same problem with this baby chick, and it wouldn't have come out without flash: http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=11 - ditto with the white and black bird, but thankfully the overcast/rainy day help (Some of my brighter shots of the background have all the white areas highlight on the bird clipped!)
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Old Jan 20, 2007, 7:40 AM   #10
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1) So my conclusion is that you have to use flash in this situation, ok. But what are the differences between different kind if mettering and when each one is best to use at.

2) What are the advantages of shooting RAW , concerning Shadows and highlights, Does the photo taken with RAW would look like the same when shoot JPG ?
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