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Old Jun 5, 2009, 4:12 PM   #1
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Default Shooting in BRIGHT light


Last weekend I did a shoot at the tennis. The shoot was a great success and everyone who was playing was really hyped that a photographer (or at least an amateur) for a sports magazine was there.

Now my problem comes down to this...

It was SO BRIGHT I tried to compensate for it by adjusting light levels on the camera. It appears to have made it worse. It also appears the only way of fixing them is with photoshop. To stop this from having to happen in the future what do you suggest I do?

Currently Im using a 75-300mm Canon Lense with a 20D. There is no hood on the lense as someone stole it. I had the light behind my back but it was in their face for most of the shots.

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Old Jun 5, 2009, 6:02 PM   #2
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It sounds like potentially a dark background was confusing the cameras exposure so it was compensating and then blowing out the faces. In this sort of situation you need to either use exposure compensation to reduce the exposure time but better you should be shooting with manual exposure as it takes out the possibility of the camera doing something strange.

I would get a hood for the lens as this will help with contrast if you have any reflections or shooting with the sun to the side/in front. Unfortunately you have probably the weakest of all the 70/75-300mm lenses available so you need to do all you can to help it out. Personally I wouldn't feel happy charging for shots from the lens so I would encourage you to look at investing in some better glass as it will make a phenomenal difference to what you are capturing.
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Old Jun 5, 2009, 7:57 PM   #3
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Are you saying that it was so bright that the camera couldn't cope? (A: use lower ISO or use Neutral-Density filters; or even a polarizing filter might bring the light down)

On the other hand, if your camera was getting confused due to the variation in subject luminance, you might consider this:

If the light is pretty consistent, and is unchanging throughout the time you're taking pics, you could try metering from a gray-card, and using those settings on the camera set to manual mode for most of the shots, with just the occasional tweak of the exposure here and there when needed.

If left to its own devices, even the smartest camera really has no idea of exactly what the subject is, and so will bring the darkest shadows and lightest tennis shirt all to gray, resulting in errors of exposure, and much frustration for the photographer.

- Wil

BTW - Hood on the lens is useful (1) for protection, and (2) to stop direct sunlight hitting the front element and causing poor contrast, internal reflections etc.

(Edit: sorry Mark, I was looking at the OP and didn't read your post; sorry if I repeated what you said…)

Last edited by Wil Davis; Jun 5, 2009 at 8:02 PM. Reason: clearing up a point…
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Old Jun 7, 2009, 11:36 PM   #4
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I run into this same situation when shooting at the track on sunny, contrasty days like today was. I typically will take an alternate reading and lock the exposure just before shooting a burst and open the shadows to taste in, as you said, Photoshop CS4/ACR. The newer version of Adobe Camera RAW is remarkable compared to the last available version I was using in CS2.

Between the fill light and black sliders on the basic page and the dark and shadow sliders in the parametric curves window of ACR, it's amazing the detail you can pull from the shadows. It's much more accurate than trying to nail it in-camera as you've seen. I don't think there's any way I could have gotten these right in-camera. I just try to get the exposure as close to right as possible and deal with the shadows later.

Last edited by Greg Chappell; Jun 8, 2009 at 12:02 AM.
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Old Jun 16, 2009, 7:02 AM   #5
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Thanks for the help guys... I actually found that I had left a preset there from the night before when doing night photography at hockey. At the same time I also was able to use Lightroom to adjust the photos and make them easy on the eye even though some are still annoying in some areas.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/3007259...7619426784008/ - Sorry cant work out how to post from flickr
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