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Old Sep 20, 2011, 5:45 PM   #1
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Default I give up on night shots

This one was taken while it was still semi dark out, but dark enough. Not sure why my FZ35 is overexposing?

Here's what it should have sort of looked like even this one should've been a tad darker:


Here's what it ended up being.. I'm about ready to throw this camera out the window right now...


My flash is off... my AF assist lamp is off.. I'm not sure what else to try? Exposure is set for the Iso/Apature/Shutter etc, shot in manual mode etc.

Last edited by beli; Sep 20, 2011 at 5:52 PM.
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Old Sep 20, 2011, 7:03 PM   #2
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Adjust your exposure compesation, but leave your flash on to light up the foreground, it cannot reach far enough to affect the rest of your shot. hope this is your problem.
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Old Sep 20, 2011, 7:24 PM   #3
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What do you mean adjust exposure compensation? I shoot 99% of my shots in manual mode so everything is set according to what Iso I have it set at the moment. What I mean is the Apature/Shutter settings are set according to when the yellow tick thing moves to the middle of the white line when it shows up on the bottom above apature/shutter speed.
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Old Sep 21, 2011, 10:52 AM   #4
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What were the settings used for this picture? In the viewfinder or LCD, could you see the overexposure before the shot?
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Old Sep 21, 2011, 2:43 PM   #5
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I think the exposure meter in the camera tries to make every picture an average grey colour. So as it gets darker it tells you to widen the aperture and use a slower shutter speed.

Try some experiments using a fixed aperture and changing the speed and then assess the results. No film costs involved with experimentation any more!

If you ever try to photograph the moon it will probably look overexposed unles you have spotmetered on the moon itself. an exposure the same as a subject on a very bright sunny day is needed as the moon is in full sunlight, however the camera sees all the black sky around it and averages the lot.
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Old Sep 21, 2011, 4:26 PM   #6
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G'day beli - nice to talk with you again

May I make several suggestions ~ to 'confuse' you of course...

The basics of every camera exposure meter is to "balance the dark bits with the light bits" ~ and most of the time the end result is okay as the dark bits merge okay with the light bits. However, sometimes 'you' want to see the light bits more than the dark bits and vice-versa

So with after-dark images the camera will mis-read the dark bits and over-expose a lot, and with twilight pix [your samples are great] this overexposure causes the colour to become 'washed-out'

Would you please indulge me with a small experiment
Set the camera to ISO-200 + WB=sunny + exposure to "P"rogram
Then set AEB bracketing to +/- 1EV

and shoot off 3 images of a typical after-dark scene

ie- leave all the actual shutter & aperture settings to the camera, just get it to shoot 3 images and you decide which of the 3 you prefer

My guess is that it will be the -1EV shot - ie where the camera has underexposed the image by -1EV to compensate for the camera's preference to lighten the dark bits

Presuming the above to be the case, change your camera back to the way you like to use it -but- in future with your after dark pix, pre-set the EV+/- setting to -1EV and shoot away and enjoy yourself

Here is a sample of one of my twilight pix at -1EV

Hope this helps a bit
Regards, Phil
Has Lumix mirrorless & superzoom cameras and loves their amazing capabilities
Spends 8-9 months each year travelling Australia
Recent images at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/

Last edited by Ozzie_Traveller; Sep 21, 2011 at 4:31 PM.
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Old Sep 22, 2011, 8:13 AM   #7
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I've tried some sunsets. Yes, I've used EV compensation. But, usually I find it simpler to move the camera around to get the exposure I want. Get the exposure that looks good, then lock it in, reframe and shoot.

This is one shot in P mode, EV=0. I think f=7, and shutter speed = 1/500.
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Old Sep 23, 2011, 12:58 AM   #8
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beli, you say you're taking it in manual mode - then you are setting the exposure.

The camera's meter will recommend settings that give a "correct" exposure which may differ from a "desired" exposure - in which case just use a faster shutter speed to achieve your desired result. Your second shot looks great to me though

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Old Sep 23, 2011, 3:45 PM   #9
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Please dont throw the camera out of the window !!! Well when it is a night shot and as you said you are shooting manual exposure you will have to test and learn what fits your needs, its all up to you. For the one that you posted here you kept the shutter open for a long time, try different shutter speeds maybe like 1 second ? it just depends the time of the day and the sources of light around.

For example this one is long exposure of 8s and you can see there is a lot of light in the picture and when i shot it there was only darkness http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pa...idge-riga.html

So play with the settings and do some tests you will find the result you want dont depend of the meter for long exposures
Picasa album for closer look https://picasaweb.google.com/geoper2...6r8Pnh5qjyiwE#
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Old Sep 24, 2011, 6:22 AM   #10
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Thanks all for the suggestions. I tried the camera in sunset mode yesterday morning, and ev of 2/3rds I think and have some pretty good shots, granted not totally dark because by the time I got there, it was already light out (well where I went because my usual spot was closed yet) I'm pretty happy with the results. I'll post later. I'm off to the park in a few to get some fall color shots this morning. I wanted sunrise pics but weather didn't allow it this morning (cloudy, and showers coming in but by the time I get to the park it's suppose to be partly sunny so we'll see.) however next weekend mom's out of town again and I plan on taking Friday off (hopefully) and getting up early it's suppose to be sunny but I've learned that even tho it seems partly cloudy means here, it still may be cloudy down by the lake lol I will post pics when I get back this afternoon 95% of my homework is done for the week so I have some free time finally.
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