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Old Sep 24, 2005, 7:45 PM   #1
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I am new to photography and i see lots of pictures of birds and planes in flight and i was just wondering how to get shots like that. I've tried myself and my shots dont come out as good. the pictures i take show the subject (bird/plane) as just a black or realy dark object andyou really cant see the detail on the bird. and i was just wondering what im doing wrong. I have a canon s2 and maybe i need to zoom in more or shoot from a different angle or i dont really know if someone could help me out that would be great. Thanks

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Old Sep 25, 2005, 2:10 PM   #2
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The dark subject comes from the camera metering the entire scene. You have a light background and a darker subject and there is normally more background than subject so the camera tries to expose what is making up most of the scene. This gives a fast shutter speed, which underexposes the subject. You named two things you can do. Zooming in more will let the camera meter more for the subject but its not going to help much unless you use spot metering and the subject fills most of the spot your camera meters. Try to get on the lighted side of the subject as well.

You can also use manual mode. Find something on the horizon that is dark and set the camera manaully to expose that object correctly and then use those settings to shoot at a bird or airplane in flight.

Keep in mind though that with scenes containing both extremes (dark and light) one of them is most likely going to be exposed incorrectly unless a flash is used. If you meter correctly for the subject the background is going to be blown out. The trick is finding an acceptable balance between the two.

What you can do is meter completely for the bird then shoot another picture but meter for the sky and then combine the two images.

This shot was metered for the bird. It came out fine for a couple of reasons. The bird is a light color to begin with and the sky was blue and not overcast. The sky was actually a bit darker than shown here but since the shutter speed was slowed down to expose the bird correctly, the sky came out a bit brighter.

Hope you find some of this info helpful.

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