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  • Exposure problems (camera, not ....)

    I have booked another trip to the Farne Islands, last time hubby and I went we had very new Cannon 350D's his lense 170-500 mine 75-300. A couple of years later we still have trouble with exposures in extreme conditions..white birds, guano covered rocks and bright sunlight ..... we usually shoot in AV mode. This July I would like to have a better idea of setting to use. Our mid range pics were great..puffins on grass spot on! But I love gulls and kittiwakes........
    We are not anywhere near expert with SLR cameras so please not too much jargon,
    Thanks
    Sheila
    Sheila :bhttp://surfbirds.com/forum/vbgooglemapme.php?lat=54.97761367069625&lng=-2.8125&zoom=1eer:

  • #2
    Without seeing some of your shots Sheila it is not easy to say where you might be going wrong.

    Shooting in AV mode is correct, but not with the lens "wide open" (maximum aperture) - reducing the aperture (f-number) will give you more depth of field and greater possibility of sharp, in-focus images.

    You should also shoot in RAW format as this will enable you to correct white balance and over-exposure to some extent in post-processing; especially important for white birds against a darker background. Also, always better to slightly under-expose for white birds, or at least use "single spot metering" and meter off the bird rather than the background.

    BIG subject!!

    Colin

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    • #3
      Hi sheila, go with what colin says, shoot raw- a lot more scope of rescuing images, being a 350d user also, it is awkward as it does not offer spot metering, closest being the partial setting which meters 9% at the centre,
      If you post some images of the ones you are referring to, then we could probably see what went wrong.
      sigpic

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      • #4
        Thanks Gents, A few pointers there. I have read lots but am overwhelmed by the technicalities I take much better to the 'composition' advice. LOL! The instruction manuals with the cameras were hopelessly tiny print and pressuposed SLR expertise but I will look up the spot metering thing, Hubby thinks 350D do have spot metering ..but there again the little icons on metering mode do not convey much so I will dive into the instruction manual on that one. I also read once that every manufacturer has its own icons for metering modes so the mag. did not illustrate any as they were not universal.
        I tend to use a wide appature to get a fast shot also I like shallow depth of field for out of focus backgrounds but I see the point of a wider depth of field to make the subject more likely to be in focus. All the Farne pics are relegated to disc so I will sort some out and post them for your further advice.
        May I say what a great forum this is... I have been very entertained by some of the threads in the bird identification ..and heartened that I could identify some of the mystery birds!
        Sheila :bhttp://surfbirds.com/forum/vbgooglemapme.php?lat=54.97761367069625&lng=-2.8125&zoom=1eer:

        Comment


        • #5
          IMG]http://i737.photobucket.com/albums/xx17/Wyliesheilaandmike/Duff%20exposures/IMG_5606.jpg[/IMG]


          Washed out altogether or in the white areas... but if you expose for the whites the blacks will be underexposed...
          Sheila :bhttp://surfbirds.com/forum/vbgooglemapme.php?lat=54.97761367069625&lng=-2.8125&zoom=1eer:

          Comment


          • #6


            What I like in style and exposure..
            Sheila :bhttp://surfbirds.com/forum/vbgooglemapme.php?lat=54.97761367069625&lng=-2.8125&zoom=1eer:

            Comment


            • #7
              Shelia a tip i was offered was to use the * button on the back of the camera.

              Aim your lens at either a uniform gray or green area, press the button to lock focus and then quickly recompose on your subject, half press and take the shot.

              Worth a practice before you go.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks, Mosstrooper, I will try that outside When the weather brightens)..just used your * method on the computer screen with my macro and got a much more even exposure across the bright bits and dark bits. Again I have been prompted to see what the awful user manual says but at least with a bit of experience and background reading it is a little more understandable. There is an awful lot the camera will do that I have never explored!
                Sheila :bhttp://surfbirds.com/forum/vbgooglemapme.php?lat=54.97761367069625&lng=-2.8125&zoom=1eer:

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Pottysheila View Post

                  Washed out altogether or in the white areas... but if you expose for the whites the blacks will be underexposed...
                  A fact of life i'm afraid. Google "sunny f16" and have a play in manual mode. A 350D doesn't have spot metering by the way.
                  www.extremaduraphotos.webs.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi, Steve I checked out the manual and proved hubby wrong (as often is the case LOL!).Center weighted is nearest to spot metering I suppose if you are focusing on the centre of the view ( which often I don't do I like to have focus point to one side to get a bird's eye sharp... life seems to be a series of compromises..) I tried Mosstrooper's * method last night and instead of a black shillouette of a tree againsed a bright sun setting sky I got detail in the tree ..but the sunspot was then far too bright. I suppose I want unobtainable perfection in extreme lighting conditions.
                    Sheila :bhttp://surfbirds.com/forum/vbgooglemapme.php?lat=54.97761367069625&lng=-2.8125&zoom=1eer:

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hello Sheila,

                      The examples you have posted above are far too small, both in image dimensions and file size, to make much of a comment on. I suspect that you are shooting in JPEG mode and after whatever processing you do you are using the "save for web" function - total disaster.

                      It is possible to get acceptable images of white birds against dark backgrounds in bright sunshine if you expose for the whites (centre-weighted, if not spot metering) but you must shoot in RAW format and use good post-processing software (Photoshop Elements 8 is excellent, and cheap).



                      Colin

                      P.S. This Cattle Egret shot was taken in much harsher lighting conditions than you will ever experience in the U.K.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Pottysheila View Post
                        I have booked another trip to the Farne Islands, last time hubby and I went we had very new Cannon 350D's his lense 170-500 mine 75-300. A couple of years later we still have trouble with exposures in extreme conditions..white birds, guano covered rocks and bright sunlight ..... we usually shoot in AV mode. This July I would like to have a better idea of setting to use. Our mid range pics were great..puffins on grass spot on! But I love gulls and kittiwakes........
                        We are not anywhere near expert with SLR cameras so please not too much jargon,
                        Thanks
                        Sheila
                        was told how to do this but my brain stopped right now, will write down and get back to you. Advise froma BBC camera man when working with them couple of years ago, and it works. penguins on ice in bright sun light- it dont get any worse.
                        http://www.surfbirds.com/blog/wildfalklands/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Exposure problems

                          Hello Sheila,

                          Just joined this merry band this morning and cottoned on to your problems. Can I add my tuppenceworth to the debate/advice?

                          RAW is for the big boys. I will get there one day myself. Meantime I can get perfectly viewable results in Jpeg using no more than microsoft's picture manager to tweak exposures after the event. If you are not going to print your pics, smaller file sizes are perfectly adequate.
                          I found that it took me a lot of practice to become even semi-proficient with Photoshop in any version. It is worth the effort though.
                          I have posted a pic from the garden, taken through the window with a simple Konica camera, pointed through a telescope, file size no more than 340kb. Judge for yourself! Canada Geese and Butterfly taken with Panasonic 'bridge' camera, again Jpegs and files less than 3Mb.

                          I hope this balances things up a bit for you.
                          Cheers, Alan
                          Attached Files

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by alanjbirds View Post

                            RAW is for the big boys.

                            Cheers, Alan
                            Not true Alan. RAW is the format of choice for nature photographers. The only people who shoot in JPEG are photo-journalists (who have to get images to their newseditor as quickly as possible - often by wireless transmission within minutes of taking the shot, irrespective of quality) or people who have little or no idea about photographic principles in general (they are often one and the same ).

                            JPEGS involve in-camera processing which is irreversible whereas RAW images are the equivalent of a "digital negative" and allow much more scope for post-processing. Converting from RAW to TIFF (on which you actually perform the processing) and then saving as JPEG for publication is very easy. If you have spent the money on camera and lens it does not make sense to not invest a bit of time getting to grips with RAW processing using Photoshop Elements and one of the many good user-guides available. With a RAW image you can always go back to the original and reprocess it as your skills improve and as better software becomes available - with a JPEG you are stuck with what the camera decided to do with the captured image.

                            Colin

                            P.S. I have responded to your PM.

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