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09-28-2010, 06:57 PM   #1
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Light Question

I've had my K200D for about a year and I'm using an 18-250mm Pentax lens. I still consider myself an amateur, and usually try to focus on the framing and clearness of the shot instead of the exposure. I shoot in RAW and fix things later with Photoshop.

One of my favorite things to do where I live (North Dakota) is to go out to abandoned farms and explore the buildings. One thing I have not been able to figure out is how to take a photograph from inside a building of something outside, and have both the inside and outside show up in a photo. For example, I am inside the building and take a photo of what is outside the window, and everything inside is black. If I focus on the inside everything with a view of outside is overexposed and pure white. I tried upping the ISO and using a faster shutter speed and it worked to an extent, but not very well. Is there a special technique to this kind of photo? Are the camera/lens not good for this situation? The K200D has a low max ISO of 1600 and the lens isn't good for low light situations, but it seems it's more a problem of contrasting light between the inside and outside. Now it's not pitch black inside these houses, just a tad dim. How would I go about fixing this?

09-28-2010, 07:07 PM   #2
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Have you tried to manually set the exposure for outside and with that setting locked in, have the flash defused for the window or doorway? By varying the settings for the outside, you can tweak the balance for inside to out and without using high iso.
09-28-2010, 07:18 PM   #3
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Spot meter a lit area inside the building, not the window or door. Set your camera for that reading (M mode), then Bracket a stop or so on each side. Then use post processing to merge the photos.

Try that..

09-28-2010, 07:30 PM   #4
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Phil Flash

Another option, meter and set the exposure for outside, but adjust your shutter speed to find an f stop that works to give you the look you want INSIDE with the flash. Remember, flash exposure will be controlled only by the f stop / ISO combination while the outside can be controlled by all three!

Experiment and perfect!

Regards,

BD

09-28-2010, 08:47 PM   #5
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This is pretty normal. The exposure range is longer than what the sensor can comfortably capture.

Fill flash will work, but it will always look like what it is.
It was about the only option we had when shooting film.

With digital, I take several pictures at different exposures and blend them in post processing (HDR processing).
In the shot below, the mushroom was very dark compared to the background so I blended an exposure of the mushroom and its immediate surroundings that had been exposed more into one that was the correct exposure for the background.

09-28-2010, 11:30 PM   #6
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In addition to Wheatfield's post, read up on dynamic range:

Dynamic range - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
09-29-2010, 06:08 AM   #7
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Fill Flash

Fill flash can be used very effectively and not look artificial as long as you do not get too aggressive with the flash exposure. We expect the outside to look brighter and the inside to look dark, so do just that. Use only enough fill flash to open up the darkness. If you can use a diffuser on the flash, this will also help to keep things soft and avoid an artificial look. Use a white balance for about 5500K and you will be real close to the flash and outside. Yes, you can do the touch up in post processing but if you use your shooting tools right, you can save yourself a bunch of time on the computer!

Of course if you like working on the computer more than shooting, have at it. I like shooting more (it helps keep me active).
09-29-2010, 12:23 PM   #8
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I tried some fill flash the other day w/ the flashes off camera. I found using an umbrella and diffusers helped soften the light of the flash a lot so the shadows indoors weren't too hard.

09-29-2010, 12:40 PM   #9
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HDR as weatfield advised, or fill flash.

otherwise, when you have a dynamic range more than 7 stops pick one side or the other as to what is important, ald either blow out the highlights or let the other side fade to black.

your camera only has about 1/3 the dynamic range of your eye - brain combination, and cannot change in a single frame the exposure to compensate for both parts of an image with high dynamic range.

the closest is HDR. Some newer bodies like the K7 have HDR function built in, but it requires a tripod and stationary subjects. i am not sure how people in front of a window would work out.
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