Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > Newbie Help

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Nov 18, 2003, 5:04 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 7
Default Problem with taking pictures in the shadows...

HI,
I have Pentax Optio 330GS camera.
The problem is and if someone could advice me on this:
when pictures are taken in the shadows with strong light behind the object, the image come out too dark, i guess because it censers a lot of light from behind objects and makes the pic too dark. I was trying to solve this problem by using fulltime flash but that really doesn't solve the problem. Can someone help me on how to solve this problem.
Thank you
Micahel
badnews is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Nov 18, 2003, 8:27 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,910
Default

You should learn spot (light) metering, if your camera has it...with that rather than taking a light metering from the entire scene it only takes it from the centre. If your camera is just a point&shoot, then you're out of luck.
Mike_PEAT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 18, 2003, 9:01 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Indian Rocks Beach, FL
Posts: 4,036
Default

The Optio 330 is a very competent little camera. Switching to spot metering is the simple answer to the problem and the one I use most often. But it can throw off the white balance and make the bright parts ugly and blown.

You also have the ability to modify your EV on the fly in program mode. I havenít used the 330 but with many cameras you can use either the up-down or left-right buttons to modify EV directly if you donít push the center button first. If you donít want the background completely blown you can increase the EV and get a picture where the subject is obviously in the shadows but you can see it OK. You also get most of the information if you want to use something like contrast masking in post processing to even the scene out.

If you take pictures on a beach or in the snow they will often come out too dark believe it or not. So it isnít a bad idea to learn how to increase or decrease the EV even if the spot works for you. The nice thing about digitals is that you can experiment. Try it both ways in various situations.
slipe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 18, 2003, 9:23 AM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 7
Default

Thanks to all people that replied, but I will probably sound like a complete idiot now.
What does that spot metering do?
And what is thet EV thing you are talking about?
I'm sorry I'm just learning! ops: :shock:
Thanks
badnews is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 18, 2003, 9:59 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 3,585
Default

Spot metering allows you to meter the light from the subject of your photo. It ignores the light from the surrounding area. I found this link to be very helpful

www.shortcourses.com

It provides you with the basics for digital camera techniques.
gibsonpd3620 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 18, 2003, 11:43 AM   #6
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

The others are correct. Spot Metering is often required for backlit subjects. The problem with other metering types, is that they are being fooled by the strong backlight.

With Spot Metering, you insure the "Spot" in the Center of the viewfinder is correctly exposed.

Another tip: Use Fill Flash.

Your camera should also have a Fill Flash mode (or a forced flash mode). This can come in handy to illuminate closer subjects (even in bright daylight), without the problems you sometimes get using Spot Metering (which can result in overexposed backgrounds in some conditions).

Here is a good article on metering, and how it impacts a camera's exposure choices:

http://www.megapixel.net/html/articl...-metering.html

With my camera, I usually use Center Weighted Metering. This offers a good balance between Multi-Segment and Spot Metering.

With this choice, the camera places more emphasis on correctly exposing the center of the frame, while still taking the background into consideration (to prevent overexposure/blown highlights in many lighting conditions).

I also use fill flash often with backlit subjects.

This combination (center weighted metering + fill flash), usually gives me the best "exposure balance", in a wider variety of backlit conditions.

I'd experiment with your camera settings in backlit conditions, to see what combination works best, in different shooting conditions.

Edit/Update -- I see that you mentioned you are already using forced flash (I missed that part). ops:

Experiment with the metering choices (and also EV compensation, as previously mentined by others), and you'll find that you have a very versatile tool. With a little practice, you'll be getting better photos in no time.
JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 18, 2003, 2:09 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Indian Rocks Beach, FL
Posts: 4,036
Default

EV is the exposure value. When you move the EV from zero to plus or minus you are letting in more or less light than the camera metered for. In your case you might want to put the EV to a + value and see if you can get a balance between burning out the background and having the subject too dark.

If the background is of no importance just use the spot metering. When you look through the viewfinder there is usually a circle or cross with a blank space in the middle. When you have spot metering selected it only meters within that circle. Since digital shots are free I often spot meter on several aspects of the frame. Since it is seeing only a small portion of the frame the white balance can be off.

I took several spot metered shots of this beach cottage down the waterway from me. I havenít done anything to the camera output except resize and the shots were taken within a minue of each other. The exposures were OK for both shots, but the white balance is dramatically different from pre metering on different parts of the scene. I should have grabbed a normal metering shot for comparison but I was just trying to get a shot of the house.



I see from your first post you tried the flash. My guess is that you were too far away. Built-in flashes arenít usually very strong. Donít give up on it though. It is often the only way to get a decent exposure of both the subject and background if the subject is close enough.
slipe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 19, 2003, 4:12 AM   #8
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 7
Default

Thanx to all of you guys who replyed!
badnews is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 9:14 AM.