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Old Oct 14, 2010, 4:12 AM   #1
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Default A few questions, exposure/flash

Well we had no power today so my daughter was at my moms and I had some time to go through some pictures and try to organize some questions. I'll try to be short and concise but if I need to break this up into more than 1 thread, let me know and I'll edit

So getting the exposure right I think is what I'm struggling with the most. I'm still not completely use to how changes to settings aren't automatically reflected on the LCD like they are on a P&S. So I've been trying it in P, changing the +/- compensation, and trying to read the histogram. I'm also not entirely sure when or if I should change from the different metering modes. I believe that I have it on pattern as a default.

For this first set in the pink dress (which had a lot of tulle and some sparkly elements, so maybe it was also reflective?) I was shooting outdoors in bright sunlight. And to complicate matters probably, I tried to use fill flash because without it I was getting a lot of shadows on her face.

1 and 2 are both pattern metering -.7 EV, I started with -.3 but it didn't seem to be enough, and both with forced flash

1. (if only she had looked up...)


3 was taken with center weighted metering but no flash (I couldn't find one with the flash which probably would have been a better comparison).


So with these first 3, what would you suggest I should do next time? Maybe I should avoid bright sunlight, lol....

Okay, the next issue. Dark clothing, bright-ish background, and then skin tones doesn't seem to be the best mix. She got a new haircut and so for halloween we were trying for a 1920s-ish look. She was impatient so I have to try again another day...she would only stand next to her pirate slide..which so didn't go with the look I was going for. But anyway, when I looked at the histogram it seems (and I could be wrong) like I have (pardon me if I get the terms wrong) clipped shadows/blown highlights. I used pattern metering for this one.


Oh, all the previous images were shot with either the 18-55 or the 75-300. Which brings me to the Minolta 50 1.7. This image has the same issue as #4 I guess. Dark clothes, backlighting. My other issue was the only light was coming from the window. It's a big window and it was very bright out so the room was not that dark. Though it did throw off my WB. I'm still figuring out how to use this lens. I think I managed to fix it to the good enough level in PP.


6. same image, but I adjusted the WB and tone in LR. So I think it's fixed, it at least looks better, lol.

So with 5 and 6, at least with the WB issue, is this a case where those warnings of more PP was going to be necessary? Or did I just do it wrong in the first place? lol.

Okay, last 2. I apologize for the subject, but my daughter was done for the day and had been playing with these while I taking pictures of her and she told me that she was done and it was their turn... 3 yr olds are funny.

Anyway, I was fiddling with the 50 1.7. So I've read smaller f number, i.e. 1.7, 2... then less will be in focus compared to a larger f number, like 5.6, etc. I tried with the 50mm to get all 4 princesses in focus but I couldn't do it. When I went to a higher f number (in A mode) then I'd get increasing bright images like #7. So I must be missing something, maybe it had to do with how the camera changed the shutter speed and ISO?? Because I thought the larger the f number then the less light the sensor got...so then why did I get brighter images? I'm confused again.

7. Shot with the 50mm 1.7, f/5.6, 1/60, iso 1600, no flash.

For comparison, I used the 18-55 at the same settings

8. 18-55 f/5.6, 1/60, iso 1600 no flash.

So what am I missing/doing wrong?

Also, and this is probably a silly question so feel free to laugh, how do I use the flash when I'm using the 50 1.7. I tried different settings (I think all in A mode), like f/6.3, 1/80, iso 800; f/5, 1/80, iso 1000, and just got varying degrees of something like #7. So obviously, I'm doing something wrong.

Okay, I think that's it...more than enough...

Got home from school tonight to find my 42AM flash waiting for me

Off to read the manual...

Thanks in advance for any help!

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Old Oct 14, 2010, 5:40 AM   #2
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I think in #1 the fill flash worked perfectly and would have done in #3 as well if you'd used it.

In #2 you're round the sunny side of your daughter so I think you'd need a remote flash to light up the shadow side and not the side you're looking at.
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Old Oct 14, 2010, 8:04 PM   #3
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I agree with Martin-

In the first set, the material in the dress was somewhat reflective. Therefore, I would have exposed for her dress and selected and adjusted in P/P to get the facial tones back

In the second set, I did not thing that it was very sharply focused, plus you had to either use a remote flash to light your daughter's face. Another option would have been to use a reflector to light your daughter's, as all the lighting was backlighting.

Just a "heads-up:" I will be on the Forum much less from now until around 12/07, as we have to wind up the two classes we are doing, and then head off and complete two lecture contracts. So I am not ignoring anyone, I'll just be out of town.

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Old Oct 14, 2010, 11:16 PM   #4
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So to expose just for the dress, would I change the metering mode to something like center weighted or spot?

I just got my external flash, so any tips on how to use that with the 50mm and not get an overexposed image like #7?

My sprained wrist is feeling a bit better so if she's in a good mood tomorrow, we'll try again.


And Sarah, good luck with your class. I'm going to start one next Thursday for Photoshop.

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Old Oct 15, 2010, 6:52 AM   #5
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It sounds like the aperture blades in your 50mm lens may be stuck open. You see that from time to time.

It's usually caused by oil on the aperture blades (and you can clean them if you take the lens apart).

Do this to check it:

Set your ISO speed to the lowest setting, shoot in Av Mode (Aperture Value, a.k.a., Aperture Priority) starting with the widest aperture setting (smallest f/stop number). Then, shoot at f/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6 and f/8.

If the photos get brighter each time you make an aperture change from wide open, then your aperture blades are stuck open (not closing down when you take the shot as they're supposed to do). IOW, the camera is using shutter speeds twice as long for each one stop aperture change from wide open (f/2 to f/2.8, f/2.8 to f/4, f.4 to f/5.6, etc.). So, if the blades are stuck open, then you'll get brighter and brighter exposures.

If they are stuck, and you want to try and fix it yourself, you'll need to take it apart and clean the aperture blades. See this album from Pete Ganzel on how to do that.


When you click on one of the thumbnails in the album, you'll go to a larger image that has text under it explaining that step. Under the album, you'll also see comments in the album's forum from people that have did it themselves and how they may have approached it for cleaning the aperture blades, thanking Pete for the step by step instructions.
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Old Oct 15, 2010, 2:16 PM   #6
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Thanks, Jim.

I did as you suggested and you're guess was right. As I increased each f/stop, the shutter speed doubled and I got brighter and brighter images.

I looked at the link you sent me. It looks very complicated. I'm not sure I can do it. I will have to read it again a few times before I am brave enough to even try.


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