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Old Aug 1, 2003, 12:50 PM   #1
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Default Dark pictures in sunny days?

I recently had two photo sessions outside under very different conditions. One was a very sunny day, the other was overcast. Most of the pictures taken in the sunny day came out dark (nothing I could not solve in my PC) but the ones taken in the overcast day came out great with the same camera. I use fill flash a lot during sunny days.

Is that typical of digital cameras or all cameras (digital or film) will have the same problem?
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Old Aug 1, 2003, 2:20 PM   #2
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No, I would say that it is not typical (at least not for me.)

Do you have the EXIF data off the pictures? Could you post a link to one of your pictures along with that info? Also, what camera were you using? That will go a long way to helping answer the question.

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Old Aug 1, 2003, 2:20 PM   #3
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Can't tell without seeing the pictures, with Exif info intact, but my guess is it depends on where the sun was (in front of or behind the camera) when you took the pictures. The sun can fool the exposure meter. If the sun is in front of the camera but behind the subject, the subject will turn out dark. Check out:

http://www.photocourse.com/05/05-04.htm

This will happen with any camera with a light meter/automatic exposure.
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Old Aug 1, 2003, 3:04 PM   #4
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The camera is a Kodak DX4330. Most pictures were taken with the "Landscape" mode (fixed focus at infinity). I know about the problem with facing the sun and try to have the sun behind me or to the side and use the fill flash if there is no choice. The sun was high on the sky (between late morning and mid-afternoon - living in the tropics). There were also other pictures with the sun low in the sky in late afternoon that came out dark also but I was expecting that anyway for those pictures.

I can describe one of the pictures, though. I took a picture of a lake close to noon, with mountains, blue sky and clouds in the background. I was facing east or northeast at that moment. There were no reflections on the lake surface, just the usual blue color.

Unfortunately the pictures are not posted anywhere on the Internet so I cannot provide a link. Also I am away from home right now and won't be back to my PC (and thus, to the dark pictures) for a week.
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Old Aug 1, 2003, 3:34 PM   #5
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Perhaps your camera metered off of the clouds and underexposed the shot. That's all I can think of without actually seeing your pictures.
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Old Aug 1, 2003, 7:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marokero
Perhaps your camera metered off of the clouds and underexposed the shot. That's all I can think of without actually seeing your pictures.
Yes, living in OZ this is a problem. A lot.
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Old Aug 2, 2003, 1:00 AM   #7
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When doing landscapes, I dont think that the the fill flash will work because the flash would probably be to weak to illuminate the entire photographed area.
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Old Aug 2, 2003, 1:28 AM   #8
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Fill flash is only one way to compensate (for close up subjects anyway).

The others is to change the f-stop/shutter speed manually, or use the exposure compensation (usually labled EV).
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Old Aug 2, 2003, 4:32 AM   #9
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Checkout what metering settings your camera uses. If set to Average, then 2/3 bright sky in the background will get the correct exposure. Check the eyedropper values of your highlights with PS. If close to 255 in the sky, then the average metering has done its best.

If you can set for centre zone metering and point the camera first at the foreground, then at the background, the difference in exposure will give up some clues. If you expose for the foreground, expect the sky to be burned out. Also, with some sky backgrounds especially at higher altitudes, there are high UV levels, and the metering can be fooled by this apparent level of invisible light. That's why filters are a good idea, get rid of the UV before it hits the sensor and is metered. Do you live under an ozone hole?
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Old Aug 17, 2003, 3:51 PM   #10
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Revisiting this subject after a while.

My camera does not have any manual metering settings, so that is out of the question.

When I started this subject I was on vacation but at the place I was staying I had access to a computer where I could download the pictures from my camera. Back there was where I noticed the situation with dark pictures because as of the date I started the subject, all pictures I have taken during my vacation were with overcast sky and most pictures came out fine. I also printed about half of the pictures in a photo lab and most came out ok.

Now back home, when I viewed the very same pictures in my own monitor, I find some of them dark, including some of the ones that came out fine in print form. My monitor is to blame. How do I adjust my monitor to improve appearance? I know there are the brightness and contrast adjustments, but I cannot get the right combination of brightness and contrast that will give me better brightness, and yet keep the screen black when blank.
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