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sumx4182 May 17, 2013 12:14 PM

Direct sun exposure
Can some one help explain how this photo is possible? Any time I have direct sunlight like that, the sky is blown out. Seems crazy to have such a perfect sunburst and a well exposed ground area as well. Filter? Exposure bracketing?

TCav May 17, 2013 7:05 PM

Metering systems do pretty well with reflected light, but direct light confuses them. Shots like this are difficult to meter correctly.

One way to do it is to put your finger in front of the lens, blocking the Sun, lock the exposure, remove your finger and take the shot.

Another is to use spot or center-weighted metering, and keep the Sun out of the metering area. This should do ok, unless there's a lot of flare that will get metered too.

sumx4182 May 17, 2013 9:26 PM

Correct me if I'm wrong, but blocking out the sun would expose well for the landscape area but shouldn't it blow out the sky when you remove your hand? Somehow there's such a nice blue sky, sunburst, and a good landscape exposure all at the same time.

TCav May 18, 2013 6:36 AM

The white sidewalk, green lawn and blue sky dominate the exposure of the image, to the point that all the distant buildings are underexposed. When you lock the exposure, removing your finger won't change the exposure settings, so the Sun will be greatly overexposed, but nothing else will change.

If you have an AE-L button or the like, the exposure settings will lock, so you can make changes to the composition while still using the settings you locked.

Another possibility that just occurred to me is that the exposure could be locked when the lens was zoomed in, excluding the Sun from the composition, and then zoomed out to include the Sun when the shutter button was pressed.

VTphotog May 18, 2013 10:04 AM

I believe your guess about exposure bracketing was pretty close. This was likely done with multiple exposures, combined to HDR, or using in-camera tone mapping. Note the 'halos' around the trees in the b/g, typical of a tone - mapped photo. The darkness of the blue in the left side of the shot also makes it appear that a polarizing filter was used.


TCav May 18, 2013 12:56 PM

I think that tone mapping or HDR would have brightened the buildings in the distance. That is not to say that they wouldn't do a good job, possibly better than the example provided.

Ozzie_Traveller May 19, 2013 4:40 PM

G'day all

Sorry fellas - I don't think that any 'magic' was used at all
From the severe curvature of the LHS post, it's obvious to me that an extreme wide-angle lens was used

With the camera preset to centre-weighted metering / focussing the 'pack-of-cards' building & pathway & grass would get the most metering - leaving the sun out of the equation. This style of sun / starburst is very common with ultra w/a lenses once f11 - f22 are selected

Hope this helps a bit

sumx4182 May 19, 2013 8:21 PM

I know which lens was used. It was a Samyang/Bower 8mm fish-eye...I was just curious because with the same lens, my sky always blows out if the sun is directly into it.

VTphotog May 20, 2013 6:12 AM

As Phil mentions, the starburst effect indicates a very small aperture. Looking at the very dark sky in the upper right corner, and the way it grades, with pixelization to lighter colors, combined with the halo effect around the bare trees, indicates tone mapping and/or local contrast enhancement. I have produced the same effect myself when trying to recover details in severely underexposed parts of a shot. It can also happen with HDR when your exposure intervals are too wide.


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