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Old Apr 18, 2004, 11:35 PM   #1
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Default How would you have saved this shot?

I'm a fairly amateur photographer. I know what an aperture is, shutter speed, understand DOF. But, 95% of the time I'm still just pointing and shooting and just enjoying the practice of picture taking. I'm going to pick the collective brain on this board and see if I can siphon some of the photography knowledge you guys have. I basically want to show you guys a picture, and critique it and give me pointers on what I could have done differently to make it better. Whether it be the composition, camera settings, hardware (filters, tripods, different camera, etc), post processing, whatever it would have taken to get a better shot. Anyhoo, here is the first shot I want you guys to critique. It was resized and I added some jpeg compression to save bandwidth.

F/4
1/200 sec.
ISO-50



In order to get the composition I wanted you can see I got a bad reflection and all the colors on the turtle's shell washed out. I didn't get as much saturation as I would have hoped in the bright yellow of the turtle's skin. I was at full 12x telephoto zoom on my little Panasonic FZ-1. So, what would you have done differently to make this a better shot?
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Old Apr 18, 2004, 11:40 PM   #2
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IMHO and hindsight, if you would have underexposed the shot originally, then you could have brought up the exposure as necessary while processing and saved the washed out areas.

Believe it or not, I have read some threads on here where the photographer knew he was going to blow the highlights and purposely underexposed to do the above.

Good luck and keep pointing and shooting.

p.s. the post is not square with the edge of the photo
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Old Apr 19, 2004, 12:30 AM   #3
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This is primarily an exposure problem. It is overexposed. You didn't mention in which mode you use your camera, but I would venture to guess that you allowed your camera to guess what exposure to use. Unfortunately, scenes such as this can often fool the camera's exposure meter. You must learn to recognize when this will occur and take the corrective steps to overcome it. You can do that either by using the EV override controls on your camera or using the camera in manual mode and under/overexposing your picture as the case calls for. Yes, you can underexpose a shot and pull it out with post processing, but I think this is the WRONG approach. If you want good pictures, you must get it as close to being right in the camera as you possibly can. This requires you to do more than "point and shoot". Had you properly exposed this picture, the colors would have been closer to your expectations. Another factor leading to this is the strong lighting which only adds to the contrast. The harsh shadows and bright sunlight really make metering difficult.

I rather like the composition. I think you handled the placement of the subject well. The slanted rail adds something to this shot, but you did cut off the very end of the rail. The two turtles basking in the sun gives the viewer the impression of a warm summer day. I would have preferred to see sharper definition on a wider scale than the aperture you chose allowed. Increasing to a higher ISO would have allowed you to shoot at f/8 or higher with sufficient shutter speed. This would have increased your depth of field so that the turtles were sharp as well as the bench. The background is such that it doesn't distract so you don't have to worry about it.

Hope this helps you think about exposure some. Exposure is critical to a successful photo. Don't take shortcuts thinking you can fix it later in postprocessing. Doing so often leads to increased noise and loss of overall sharpness. If you come across a situation that you know you have too much tonal range for the capacity of the digital film, you can either use a graduated ND filter or take two shots and blend them. A good photograph starts before you take the picture.

Wow...I just re-read what I wrote and it's really disjointed. LOL. Hope you can decipher my rambling and gain something from it!
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Old Apr 19, 2004, 12:49 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohenry
Wow...I just re-read what I wrote and it's really disjointed. LOL. Hope you can decipher my rambling and gain something from it!
Yep, to disjointed your opinion has been disqualified. :lol:

Of course Ohenery is right and if you can expose it right the first time then you won't have to resort to chicanery but if you are unsure, error on the side of underexposure.

That’s what I love about digital…as long as the subject allows, shoot away. The more you shoot the more knowledge you gain.
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Old Apr 19, 2004, 1:26 AM   #5
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Default Re: How would you have saved this shot?

When in doubt over correct exposure, why not use the exposure bracketing facility, if you have have one? That way you can have five different versions to play with (or even merge using using your image editor).

It's a nice picture, anyway. Good luck
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Old Apr 19, 2004, 4:16 AM   #6
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I was gonna say to zoom a little tighter but then I saw you were already at max zoom :roll: As for the exposure dillema, if you had a light meter I'd get a reading for the light hitting the turtles on the other side and then filled in the rest with flash. But if you don't have one, measure off of the bright sunlit wood, lock exposure or dial in that exposure reading, recompose and shoot with flash. Another thing you can do is use a reflector to fill in the shadows, though at that distance I don't know how effective a reflector would be.
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Old Apr 19, 2004, 9:47 AM   #7
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Thanks for the great replies guys. I have a lot of things to try out when I get home today. My camera has the bracketing ability, I just never think to use it. I'll have to dig up some morephotos for you guys to chew on now
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Old Apr 19, 2004, 10:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JinE
Thanks for the great replies guys. I have a lot of things to try out when I get home today. My camera has the bracketing ability, I just never think to use it. I'll have to dig up some morephotos for you guys to chew on now
Recommend that you put the photos in the appropriate forum below for broader inputs.
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Old Apr 19, 2004, 10:21 AM   #9
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Yes, appropriate forums. Why not join the Weekly Challenge thread? It's indispensible for helpful hints, as well as cameraderie with fellow shooters.
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Old Apr 19, 2004, 4:37 PM   #10
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Default IMHO

To help saturation, a polorizer would have helped.
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