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01-05-2014, 12:24 AM   #1
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Shooting Skies with K5 IIS

Hi Guys,

Im new at photography and still learning the K5 IIS. Im having a problem shooting the skies (During Daylight) with objects on the ground, I need to make it soo dark (F8.0 Shutter Speed 200 ISO 400 - 800) so i can take the whole sky however, the subjects on the ground is too dark for me to edit in Lightroom.

If i make it bright i'll only get a portion of details from the sky because of overexposure.

They say it's due to the EV but nothing much have changed when i played around the EV (Seems like im doing something wrong).

01-05-2014, 01:24 AM   #2
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The problem is the tonal range of the image exceeds the ability of the camera. It is always a challenge.

May I suggest a book by Brian Peterson called "Understanding Exposure" i think the 4th edition is now available.

In your situation there are a few things that can be done. One is to deliberately expose for the best compromise you can and then pull up shadows and pull down highlights in Lightroom.
Another is to use graduated neutral density filters to darken the sky enough that the camera can record the entire tonal range.
Another is the use of some form of HDR where multiple exposures are taken some exposed for the dark areas and some for the bright areas and then merged in software to produce an image that shows detail in all areas.
01-05-2014, 01:46 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
The problem is the tonal range of the image exceeds the ability of the camera. It is always a challenge.

May I suggest a book by Brian Peterson called "Understanding Exposure" i think the 4th edition is now available.

In your situation there are a few things that can be done. One is to deliberately expose for the best compromise you can and then pull up shadows and pull down highlights in Lightroom.
Another is to use graduated neutral density filters to darken the sky enough that the camera can record the entire tonal range.
Another is the use of some form of HDR where multiple exposures are taken some exposed for the dark areas and some for the bright areas and then merged in software to produce an image that shows detail in all areas.
Haven't tried any filters yet maybe that'll solve the problem. I'll try to look for that book and see if i can dig it.

As of now, I'm layering things out on lightroom to brighten up the ground but takes too long to edit specially if i had many shots to edit.

Thanks for the suggestion jatrax.
01-05-2014, 02:46 AM   #4
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Hi CJ. Either try gradient filter (Lee, Cokin) or, with a tripod, HDR functionality, that is built in your camera body. Both options deliver satisfying results, skipping desktop post processing

01-05-2014, 09:55 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by cj_bio Quote
As of now, I'm layering things out on lightroom to brighten up the ground
Umm, Lightroom does not do layers. Unless you mean you are exporting to PS for the layers? In Lightroom the easiest way is to just increase the shadows, if you are using v4 or v5, I think it was called 'fill light' in v3. That will brighten up those dark areas but will usually add more noticeable noise which then needs corrected.

QuoteOriginally posted by cj_bio Quote
If i make it bright i'll only get a portion of details from the sky because of overexposure.
I generally expose so that I have a few spots of over-exposure in areas that should be close to pure white. Like in a white puffy cloud. But only a couple of small 'blinkies'. You can recover a lot of information in dark shadows, but once an area is 'clipped' due to over-exposure there is not much that can be done to recover it. This gives me the best shot I can get and best chance of recovering information on the computer.

QuoteQuote:
They say it's due to the EV but nothing much have changed when i played around the EV (Seems like im doing something wrong).
Well, it is due to 'EV' but not like you are thinking. The amount of light in an area of an image is described using "stops", "EV's", "Exposure Values", "Tonal Range", or "dynamic range". All mean about the same depending on who is talking. What they mean is that the tonal range from pure black to pure white can be divided into zones. The problem is that our eyes can see a much wider range than the camera can capture. So if a scene has say 16 'stops' of tonal range but the camera can only record 11 stops, something is either going to get too bright or too dark.

The EV button on the camera allows you to adjust the meter reading of the camera up or down, but it cannot actually expand the range that the camera can record.

If you are doing a lot of landscapes with bright skies and dark foregrounds the best answer is a good set of graduated filters. Lee is often considered the best, but they are expensive (surprise ) I use an old set of Cokin 'A' size which I picked up over time for not much money. They are small so only good for 49mm or 58mm lenses. Cokin has a larger size ('P' I think) and the Lee is also much larger.

Here is a tutorial that covers ND grads: Understanding Graduated Neutral Density Filters
01-05-2014, 07:24 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dariusz Quote
Hi CJ. Either try gradient filter (Lee, Cokin) or, with a tripod, HDR functionality, that is built in your camera body. Both options deliver satisfying results, skipping desktop post processing
Already tried with a tripod, it did work on some cases but it can't handle sunlight exposure. Will try your filter suggestion and play around those things.

Thanks Dariusz!


QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Umm, Lightroom does not do layers. Unless you mean you are exporting to PS for the layers? In Lightroom the easiest way is to just increase the shadows, if you are using v4 or v5, I think it was called 'fill light' in v3. That will brighten up those dark areas but will usually add more noticeable noise which then needs corrected.[/URL]
Sorry I meant using the adjustment brush on lightroom to brighten up a portion of the picture. I also use shadows but when you don't want the whole picture to be affected by the shadow it becomes too hard to edit.


QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
I generally expose so that I have a few spots of over-exposure in areas that should be close to pure white. Like in a white puffy cloud. But only a couple of small 'blinkies'. You can recover a lot of information in dark shadows, but once an area is 'clipped' due to over-exposure there is not much that can be done to recover it. This gives me the best shot I can get and best chance of recovering information on the computer.

Well, it is due to 'EV' but not like you are thinking. The amount of light in an area of an image is described using "stops", "EV's", "Exposure Values", "Tonal Range", or "dynamic range". All mean about the same depending on who is talking. What they mean is that the tonal range from pure black to pure white can be divided into zones. The problem is that our eyes can see a much wider range than the camera can capture. So if a scene has say 16 'stops' of tonal range but the camera can only record 11 stops, something is either going to get too bright or too dark.

The EV button on the camera allows you to adjust the meter reading of the camera up or down, but it cannot actually expand the range that the camera can record.

If you are doing a lot of landscapes with bright skies and dark foregrounds the best answer is a good set of graduated filters. Lee is often considered the best, but they are expensive (surprise ) I use an old set of Cokin 'A' size which I picked up over time for not much money. They are small so only good for 49mm or 58mm lenses. Cokin has a larger size ('P' I think) and the Lee is also much larger.

Here is a tutorial that covers ND grads: Understanding Graduated Neutral Density Filters
I was reading about EV the whole time (You quite summarize what i researched in a day) and played it around in HD mode and notice a tiny bit of change. It's quite interesting to experiment it on overexposed subjects especially in the sun because it's noticeable in a tiny margin.

I'll look for these brands of filters and see which fits my need since Im a landscape.

Thanks for the tutorial and the suggestion jatrax!
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