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Old Mar 6, 2007, 8:57 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2007
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Newbie here - this site has been incredibly helpful for a guy who knew next-to-nothing about photography. Thanks for all the great tips.

Attached is my first evening photo with my new Nikon 50mm 1.4 lens. I got my D80 last month and am totally hooked. I'm finally grasping the whole ISO/Aperature/Speed balance, but am open to C&Cs to make my shots better.

Thanks again.

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Old Mar 7, 2007, 2:51 AM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 693

Welcome to the forum Tim!

Right, the key problem with this shot is that the sky is way too over exposed, resulting in it appearing very bright and blown out. In addition it may be worth checking what white balance setting you were using as the there seems to be a blue cast over the image, particularly noticeable over the water.

It's always difficult shooting into the sun (i'm assuming this should be a sunset diff to tell) due to the extremes of light and dark. In this shot it would appear you have exposed for the foreground - water/trees to make them visible, as a result the to much light has entered the camera and the result is the sky completely blown.

The way to get round this is to use a graduated filter, this is basically a filter for the end of your camera which has a darker top half. This enables you to expose for the foreground, and due to the top half of the filter being dark, lets you capture the bright sky without it over exposing.

As a cheaper alternative, a technique that i often use is to shoot in RAW format, exposing for the foreground and the sky, then merging these images in PS, resulting in a HDR image (high Dynamic Range).

If all this sound to much for starters, have another go, this time make sure your white balance is not set to tungsten of incandesant, and use a smaller apperture to reduce the amount of light hitting the sensor. Also try shooting just after sunset as the hot sun will have gone and more often than not the colours in the sky are most vibrant. One final tip, if your struggling to get the correct exposure always underexpose, as data is more likely to be rescued and enabling more options with post editing, and always check your histogram!

Keep shooting and have fun!

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