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Old Jun 19, 2006, 11:40 AM   #1
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Hey all,
I've noticed lately that my pictures are turning out to look very white and I wouldn't mind having a few darker/richer shades in my photos. (example below). I prefer most of my pictures to be right out of the camera (with little digital editing) so is there a setting on the camera that would affect this? I've tried speeding up the shutter speed but that generally just makes them harder to see.
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Old Jun 19, 2006, 11:40 AM   #2
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Oops, here is the example photo. You'll notice the blues and purples are pretty light, washed out even.
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Old Jun 19, 2006, 12:54 PM   #3
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There are multiple ways you can get the clouds darker with your camera since it has all the modes. The problem is that without post processing or a graduated neutral density filter the ground will be very dark. You are dealing with dynamic range and can't get both the ground and a darker upper sky. I think you discovered that by switching to manual and increasing the shutter speed.

If you just want the sky and don't care about the rest your easiest method would be to switch to spot metering and pre-meter by half pressing the shutter while aimed at a bright cloud. Then recompose and push the shutter the rest of the way. You can also use your EV shift and go to a negative number. You could also switch to full manual and just move the settings to a faster shutter or smaller aperture (larger number).

This is about what it would look like using any of those methods. If you darken the sky you have to darken the entire image. Both images are starting to pick up compression artifacts from multiple recompression at low quality, but you wouldn't get that working with the original.


This is a quick and dirty with post processing. You would get something similar with the right graduated neutral density filter.


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Old Jun 19, 2006, 2:33 PM   #4
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Okay, thank you. I will tinker with the settings a bit like you suggested and maybe buy one of those filters you mentioned.
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Old Jun 19, 2006, 3:36 PM   #5
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When you sent your film off to be processed there were often adjustments made by the processing equipment to your images. You don't have that advantage when you view the images that come from your digital camera.

I don't disagree with your approach of trying to get the best images from your camera you can. I think post processing makes some people a little lazy and it is best to learn to use the camera better IMO. One of your best tools is the spot meter. You can pre-meter on different parts of an image and get different exposures and white balance. The photos are free, so you might as well take a few if you like a scene.

But ultimately you will want to learn to use an image editor. There is a lot you can do to an image to make it look exactly the way you want it to. You might start with a free editor like this older version of PhotoPlus. It is a real image editor with basics like layers and fairly easy to learn. http://www.freeserifsoftware.com/


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Old Jun 20, 2006, 6:40 PM   #6
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I'm going to install Photoplus momentarily, hopefully I can use it alright. It took me like a month to learn how to use Macromedia Fireworks (which I can't use outside of school, because I can't afford it)
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Old Jun 21, 2006, 2:27 AM   #7
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This is just a bit of hue/saturation/luminance adjustment.
I wouldn't spend money yet on a ND filter--the software is more important for you first, IMHO.



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