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Old Jan 31, 2007, 2:22 PM   #1
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hi everyone,

been browsing here for a long time but not posted at all I don't think. I am havign a lot of trouble getting the right balance between a well lit foreground and a moody background.

I will post a couple of pics to show you what I mean:

The first one is the fields looking exactly how I saw them today.


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Old Jan 31, 2007, 2:26 PM   #2
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the next shot has the right colour of the clouds but the fields look massively under exposed. I really like seeing dark moody skies but I can never get them over the landscape shots I do where I live cos the skies just become over exposed.

Is there any way I can sort this or do something different?

I'm aware the FZ5 isn't that great anymore but when I got it overa year ago it was highly recommended.


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Old Jan 31, 2007, 2:29 PM   #3
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Here is another shot of a great scene but just look at the sky! It's horrendous. The fields were that bright but the sky was a lot gloomier.

Can you see my frustration?
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Old Jan 31, 2007, 3:56 PM   #4
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Have you tried to process your photos? Picasa2 is a free program that has shadows and highlight adjustments that can do wonders. Picasa2 also has effects with gradient tint to color the sky. Here is a link for downloading

http://www.easy-photo-software.com/
I used shadows and highlights, you could do better than this in just a minute or two.
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Old Jan 31, 2007, 4:26 PM   #5
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Difficult shots, to be sure. You could try bracketing and see if any of the results are better than this. You might also consider using the bracketed shots in a HDR app, though things tend to get a little surrealistic looking sometimes.

PP is probably going to be your best bet. I gave the last one a try in Photoshop. Did a freehand selection of the ground and lightened it up. Added a little saturation and a tad of sharpening. I think it looks better (though maybe I over did it a bit)but I'm doing this at work and my monitor is total junk. Here it is anyway.


I find it easier to fix an under exposed shot than one that is over exposed.


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Old Jan 31, 2007, 6:39 PM   #6
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You have hit the major issue with digital and small sensor digital cameras in particular. The 'dynamic range' just isn't as good as we would hope. It isn't only the FZ5 that has this problem. All cameras even if you go to a digital SLR will potentially disappoint in that sort of high contrast shot. You then have to choose between under/over exposure of elements as you have found or you try to compensate by PP as the previous posters have demonstrated. Or you take multiple exposures and blend them as shown here
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tu...blending.shtml

Heres some more reading you may find interesting.
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tu...stograms.shtml
http://www.dpreview.com/learn/?/key=dynamic+range


The only two thing I can add further are:
- to use you exposure compensation, so expose for the clouds and then set your compensation up 1/3 or 2/3EV. Alternately expose for the darker foreground and compensate with a -1/3 or -2/3EV and see if you get a better look
- and that sometimes it helps if the sun (even when behind clouds) is behind you or to the side. I have managed to get that kind of shot in the past. A recent shot with the sun to the side


There is some detail in the sky.

Whereas with the sun in front.


Good luck and keep trying.
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Old Jan 31, 2007, 6:46 PM   #7
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The conditions are difficult to say the least.Try a graduated nd filter to darken the sky in #1. #3 is a very nice shot without the sliver of sky at the top. Crop it away.
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Old Jan 31, 2007, 7:11 PM   #8
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Yikes... got home and looked at the picture I posted above.
I may have made it worse!
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