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Old Apr 17, 2003, 10:01 AM   #1
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Default What did I do wrong in this picture?

What did I do wrong in this picture? Why is it so dark?

Thanks, Brad (a newbe)

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Old Apr 17, 2003, 10:27 AM   #2
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The window backlights fooled the camera auto-exposure. This camera average the whole scene, which is OK, but you wanted the dark area to be brighter. The subjects need to be lighted from the front, ie use the fill flash!
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Old Apr 17, 2003, 12:15 PM   #3
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All things considered it's not bad.

As said above use fill-in flash (my camera does automatically by detecting the back-light).

Or over expose an Fstop

Don't know what camera you use but you could lock the exposure on a darker area - there are lots of tricks.
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Old Apr 17, 2003, 12:15 PM   #4
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Default Use spot exposure on the Subject.

Use spot metering, if your camera has it.

It can try to correct for this, but u probaly will blow the highlights in the window.
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Old Apr 17, 2003, 3:21 PM   #5
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Or over expose an Fstop
This won't give the best result 'cos the backlight is not on the subject where you want it. Here are my amateur comments:

This is tricky to get right and I appreciate you are a newbie. Over exposing and burning the highlight behind is easy digicams have little foregiving latitude, you risk lens flare and flat lighting on your subject.

I had a similar scene to shoot, but my window had a lovely pano sea view through it - I wanted the sea view normal to slight over expose, and the foreground OK - and I'd had my cam 3 days! First try your cam on auto, with internal flash set to 'forced' if you have it. This stops the flash being controlled by the cam light sensor, which is staring at the bright window.

If you can, get your cam off auto on to manual settings - this includes focus as glass can confuse. Then shoot a few test shots at about f5.6 tweaking the shutter high to get the window background about right without burning out (over expose). Or you could try aperture priority if you have it. You must get focus at the distance of your subject. At f5.6 the background window focus on infinity, will still be reasonable.

Now set the flash on and shoot with subject in front, leaving aperture and shutter set as before. Select forced flash (manual no auto) if you have this. If you have flash brightness control, at your shooting distance, increase or decrease the flash output to get close to good exposure on subject. If you are using internal flash, move closer or further away to get the correct foreground exposure. If you cannot control the internal flash you may be able to fool the flash light sensor by blocking it. Internal flashes are puny, so a few feet back will reduce the light if too bright.

With an external flash you have more control of the flash power to work with. The only problem to watch is flare reflection back from any glass behind. Moving camera position left or right can help.

Finally, if all you want is the foreground right like you were shooting at night, and you can unhook your cam's auto point and shoot, fix your shutter high - say 1/500. This will kill most ambient light (try it), the flash still needs disconnecting from auto or the sensor blocked, but your shot will be lit mostly at the front from flash. Note: shutter speeds do not affect the exposure of flash since flash is much faster, but higher shutter will cut out background light. Use this tip also when shooting flash in rooms with bright tungsten or flourescent light.

Welcome to the world of digicams and if you were wondering, this would be difficult to get right with film as well! Cheers - VOX
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