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Old Mar 27, 2008, 10:41 AM   #1
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I just upgraded from a D70 to a D80. My first day out with the D80 I took the picture below. It is obviously way over exposed. Sun was behind me and most of the pics came out looking a lot like it. Settings where on auto and I haven't touched the white balance.

What did I do wrong? How do I fix it?


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Old Mar 27, 2008, 10:55 AM   #2
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Can you post a downsized image here using the "Browse" button you'll see under the text entry screen when adding a post that includes the EXIF (the header in the image file that contains a lot of extra info).

Either your web host is stripping it out, or the tool you used to downsize the image is stripping it out. So, we can't see the settings.

It's likely a settings issue (for example, Exposure Compensation set to a +EV value, ISO speed set too high for the fastest available shutter speed, metering set to spot versus center weighted or matrix and metering on something dark, etc.).

I'd downsize it to around 640 on it's longer side using something like the free Irfanview

After you open an image using File>Open, go to Image>Resize/Resample. Leave the box checked to retain the original aspect ratio (dimensions of width to height), and make the longest side 640 pixels. That will be fine for checking settings. Then, Save it to a new filename (so you don't overwrite your original) using File>Save As (picking a folder that you want to keep it in).

Leave the jpeg quality at around 80% and leave the boxes checked to retain EXIF (you'll see a box pop up with a jpeg quality slider when you use the Save As choice and select jpeg as the file type).


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Old Mar 27, 2008, 11:04 AM   #3
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Lets try this again
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Old Mar 27, 2008, 11:49 AM   #4
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I don't see anything obviously wrong with anything settings related from that. But, I can't see all of the camera settings, because the Pixelmater 1.1.3 software you used to edit or downsize it apparently stripped out the Makernotes section of the metadata in the header. Some editors do that kind of thing.

So, all I can see is the basic EXIF (aperture, metering mode, shutter speed, etc.), not the manufacturer's added settings in addition to standard EXIF info.

Sometimes the other sections can give you a clue (for example, was focus locked using a center focus point).

You may have locked focused on something just behind the subject and the metering gave more weight to exposing it properly. When you look at a full size image, is the subject the sharpest portion, or does it look like you may have locked focus on something else?


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Old Mar 27, 2008, 12:02 PM   #5
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Or, if you can post a downsized sample using an editor that's not going to strip out information, I can look at things like focus point, tone curve settings, and more that might be impacting it.

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Old Mar 27, 2008, 12:04 PM   #6
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Thanks for all your help. Here is the original file downloadable

http://jakebarnes513.googlepages.com/DSC_0016.JPG
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Old Mar 27, 2008, 12:28 PM   #7
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I'm taking a look at it now. The only odd thing I see so far is that it's saying "Closest Subject" for Autofocus.

Most images I look at show Center Point used instead with Auto type modes. The closest part to a focus point would likely be the center. But, depending on the size of the AF point, which is sometimes larger than you think, it could have locked on something darker (like the section of hair just above the face, which looks properly exposed), or it may have locked on something like the properly exposed hand at the bottom.

I like to keep my camera set so that I'm selecting a focus point, versus letting the camera decide where to focus.

One issue with the image is that you have a big difference between bright and dark in the scene. So, the metering has to make choices on what to expose properly (since you've got to wide of a range of dark and bright in this image), in order to retain detail in more of it.

If you expose the background properly, you'd have an overexposed (too bright) foreground. If you expose the girl's face properly, you'd have a background that's too dark. You're limited as to what a given camera's sensor or film is capable of capturing from bright to dark. That's known as Dynamic Range.

In this case, it may have decided that since more of the image was in shadows, it needed to expose that part a little brighter, causing overexposure of the young woman's face.

Usually, a matrix type metering system will weight the focus point a bit more. But, the algorithms are sometimes unpredictable in difficult lighting.

You'd probably find Center Weighted Metering to be more predictable in lighting like this (which places more emphasis on properly exposing the center of the image, while still taking the rest into consideration). That would have likely exposed the brighter face properly, with a background that's a bit darker.

Here's the EXIF info:

File name: DSC_0016.JPG (Standard EXIF Tags)

>>> Photograph Information <<<

Color Filter Array Pattern : 0 2 0 2 1 2 0 1
Color Space : sRGB
Components Configuration : YCbCr
Compressed Bits per Pixel : 4
Contrast : Normal
Custom Rendered : Normal process
Date and Time (digitized) : 2008:03:26 17:24:42
Date and Time (original) : 2008:03:26 17:24:42
Digital Zoom Ratio : 1.0
Exif Version : 48 50 50 49
Exposure Bias : 0
Exposure Mode : Auto
Exposure Program : Not defined
Exposure Time : 1/125 s
FNumber : F5.6
File Source : Digital still camera
Flash : No flash
FlashPix Version : 48 49 48 48
Focal Length : 36.0 mm
Focal Length In 35mm Film : 54.0 mm
Gain Control : None
ISO Speed Ratings : 100
Interoperability IFD Pointer : 28514
Light Source : Unknown
Max Aperture Value : F4.6
Metering Mode : Multi-segment
Pixel X Dimension : 3872
Pixel Y Dimension : 2592
Saturation : Normal
Scene Capture Type : Standard
Scene Type : Directly photographed
Sensing Method : One-chip color area
Sharpness : Normal
Sub-seconds Time : 50
Sub-seconds Time Digitized : 50
Sub-seconds Time Original : 50
Subject Distance Range : Unknown
User Comment :
White Balance : Auto


>>> Image Information <<<

Date and Time : 2008:03:26 17:24:42
Exif IFD Pointer : 216
Manufacturer : NIKON CORPORATION
Model : NIKON D80
Orientation : top, left
Resolution Unit : inch
Software : Ver.1.01
X-Resolution : 300
YCbCr Positioning : Co-sited
Y-Resolution : 300


>>> Embedded Thumbnail <<<

Compression : JPEG (old-style)
JPEG Interchange Format : 0
JPEG Interchange Format Length : 9085
Resolution Unit : inch
X-Resolution : 300
YCbCr Positioning : Co-sited
Y-Resolution : 300


>>> Interoperability <<<

Interoperability Index : R98
Interoperability Version : 48 49 48 48

Here's the Makernotes section:

File name: DSC_0016.JPG (MakerNote EXIF Tags)

>>> Nikon3 <<<

AF Focus Position : Closest subject used
Auto Bracket Release : Manual release
Color Balance 1 : 429/256 395/256 256/256 256/256
Color Balance 2 : 48 50 48 56 0 4 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 64 8 0...
Color Mode : MODE1a
Color Space : sRGB
Crop High Speed : 0 3904 2616 3904 2616 0 0
Exposure Bracket Comp : 0/6
Exposure Difference : 0 1 12 0
Flash Bracket Comp : 0.0 EV
Flash Comp : 0.0 EV
Flash Device :
Flash Mode : Fire, commander mode
Flash Setting : NORMAL
Focus : (AF-A )
High ISO Noise Reduction : Off
Hue Adjustment : 0
Image Boundary : 0 0 3872 2592
Image Data Size : 3313883
Image Optimization :
ISO Settings : 100
ISO Speed : 100
Lens : 20-36mm F3.5-4.5
Lens Data : 48 50 48 50 74 234 197 54 19 119 158 239 32 115 212 103 91 254 194 71 113 70 82 30 154 129 211 144 184 75 73 135
Lens FStops : 5.33333
Lens Type : D
Light Source : NATURAL
Noise Reduction : OFF
Pointer to a preview image : 2738
Program Shift : 0 1 6 0
Program Variation : AUTO
Quality : FINE
Saturation : AUTO
Sensor Pixel Size : 605/100 605/100
Serial Number : 3248119
Sharpening : AUTO
Shooting Mode : (0)
Shutter Count : 2836
Tone Compensation : AUTO
Version : 48 50 49 48
White Balance : AUTO
White Balance Bias : 0

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