Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > General Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Aug 25, 2008, 4:28 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Boldstar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 241
Default

I've been having this problem quite a bit... What looks like a great photo opportunity with my eyes turns into a picture where the sky behind my subject is bright white. I hope I'm explaining this properly...

This morning I was trying to take a picture of our house (my wife wanted shots of her gardens). It was about 9:00 a.m., sunny but the house is mostly shaded that time of day by a huge tree on the neighbour's lawn. The sky was blue, not overcast. In the pictures... white sky.

Of course I can marginally correct the problem by focussing on the top peak of the front of the house, but it still doesn't look right. And focussing on my actual subject (the front porch area) gave me white sky.

If anyone has advice, I'd love to hear it.

I'm using a Canon S2 IS set to P mode, matrix metering.
Boldstar is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Aug 25, 2008, 6:00 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
dlpin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 143
Default

Im not sure what is available on the S2, but if it is anything like my old fuji s5200, here's what you can do:

1- set exposure based on the background, although that might leave the subject itself too dark
2- try filters, either polarizing or ND, depending on the situation
3- post processing. Expose it based on the background so as not to clip highlights, and then use whatever software you are comfortable with to suppress shadows, thus making the subject that was previously too dark brighter

dlpin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 25, 2008, 6:56 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Boldstar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 241
Default

Thank you for the input dlpin, but I'll be honest. Your message might as well have been written in Chinese! :?

I know how to play with the exposure, but what do you mean by "filters?" Do you mean an attachment to my lens? What does "ND" mean? And the clipping highlights and surpressing shadows part made my head spin!

Sorry, I guess I should have mentioned that I'm not a professional and I'm not up on the current lingo and acronyms.
Boldstar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 25, 2008, 8:16 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
BillDrew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Hay River Township, WI
Posts: 2,512
Default

If you think dlpin's message was written in Chineese, you better get out several books and start reading. You will not be able to figure out how to fix your problem until you understand the kind of terms dlpin used.
Boldstar wrote:
Quote:
... sunny but the house is mostly shaded that time of day by a huge tree on the neighbour's lawn. The sky was blue, not overcast. In the pictures... white sky. ...
Your problem is that the sky is blown - at the highest value your camera has. That is pure white. Try some experimenting with exposure. I don't know your specific camera (ask for details in the forum for that camera, or better yet, read the manual), but it almost certainly has an exposure compensation setting. Ding about with that - or go to pure manual if you want complete control.

You will find (as dlpin said) that when you get the sky to look right, the house and yard will be to dark. To figure out how to fix that you will have to learn Greek, Latin, and Mongolian as well as Chineese..

Photography is a continuing puzzle: the more you figure out, the more there is to learn. Great fun.
BillDrew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 25, 2008, 9:35 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Boldstar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 241
Default

I'll give it another shot tomorrow and fiddle with the exposure settings. That's easy enough to do. I'm not a complete newbie at this, but I'll admit I never thought of that.

Unfortunately my user's manual pretty near useless. Thank you for the advice.
Boldstar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 26, 2008, 8:03 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
dlpin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 143
Default

Boldstar wrote:
Quote:
Thank you for the input dlpin, but I'll be honest. Your message might as well have been written in Chinese! :?

I know how to play with the exposure, but what do you mean by "filters?" Do you mean an attachment to my lens? What does "ND" mean? And the clipping highlights and surpressing shadows part made my head spin!

Sorry, I guess I should have mentioned that I'm not a professional and I'm not up on the current lingo and acronyms.
These superzoom cameras often have adapters that allow you to use filters - pieces of glass- in front of the lens. Polarizing filters reduce the glare you might see on a cloudy day, for example. Another way of dealing with this is with a neutral density filter that is darker at the top to keep skies from being overblown. But this would be a solution that would certainly be more expensive.

Now, post processing is generally the cheapest way of doing this.
Our cameras, much like our eyes, cannot handle the full range of lights at once: if we expose our pics for darker areas, brighter areas will seem white, and this is what I refer to when I say clipping highlights: the camera cant handle brighter areas so everything looks white. Conversely, if we expose for the brighter areas, the dark areas will simply look black. To deal with this, the more complex solution would be to take 2 pictures of the same scene, one exposed for the bright areas and the other for the dark, and blend them in your computer. If you only take one picture, most modern software can still help you out. Blown areas cannot be helped, so choose an exposure that will keep the sky blue, and then use a software to improve the darker areas. In photoshop, this is done through the "shadow/highlight" sub menu. Other software have different ways of dealing with this.
dlpin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 26, 2008, 9:49 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Boldstar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 241
Default

Thanks for the clarification dlpin. I have Photoshop CS2, but I'm no expert. I've been using it to crop photos, and to adjust the levels, color balance and contrast. I've never played with shadows and highlights. I'll have to give it a try. As far as blending two photos together goes... I think I know how that's done, but I have my doubts about it working properly. At the very least I assume it'd look like it was Photoshopped.

Thanks for all the great advice. I'll give all these suggestions a shot.
Boldstar is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 9:03 PM.