Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
03-01-2011, 04:33 PM   #1
Veteran Member
NicoleAu's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Central Coast, NSW, Australia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 539
Shooting people but backgrounds blown out

Hi, I shot a small wedding on the weekend, but I've found in exposing for the faces, the background is blown out, what can I do to rectify this in the future? I have also noticed with editing them, I seem to have some sort of bands in the top of the photo, does anyone know how to rectify this also? I'll attach a photo or two for reference. Cheers


Last edited by NicoleAu; 03-07-2011 at 10:41 PM.
03-01-2011, 04:46 PM   #2
Veteran Member
KxBlaze's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: California
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,594
I do not notice any bands on those photos so I cannot comment on that particular problem but as for the background and subject I would try fill flash. This will allow you to expose correctly for the background while the fill flash fixes the subjects.
03-01-2011, 04:49 PM   #3
Veteran Member
NicoleAu's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Central Coast, NSW, Australia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 539
Original Poster
I did use fill on some of them at least, but I had to shoot into the sun.

If I tilt my monitor (on my laptop) I can see pale bands of colour around the B&G :/
03-01-2011, 05:05 PM - 1 Like   #4
Pentaxian
twitch's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 4,571
Nicole, we're left to guess a bit because there's no EXIF.

I'll guessing you were shooting in Av mode and used a popup flash for fill. This is a common cause of overexposure as using the popup for fill will force your shutter speed to no faster than 1/180. As you were in Av mode the camera could not stop down to mitigate over exposure, the only tool left for the camera was ISO, and you were probably already at 200. So the resulting exposure will be massively blown out as the shutter speed needed was probably 3 or 4 stops faster than 1/180.

To avoid this you need a flash capable of High Speed Sync and use it for fill, never use your popup for fill outdoors on a bright day (especially in Av mode). HSS will allow for fill whilst not limiting your shutter speed to 1/180, in fact it will let it go all the way to 1/6000. Of couse though the flash power decreases greatly as soon as you are above 1/180, and gets progresively weaker the faster the shutter speed. As a result a powerful flash is needed, but even then you probably need to be within ~4 meters to be within your effective flash range. The nice thing about the Metz 48 which I noticed you've ordered is that your flash range is always displayed on the flash LCD as the flash knows your camera exposure settings and does the appropriate calculation (this assumes you are pointing your flash straight ahead as is appropriate with fill, soon as you tilt it the flash has no idea how far light has to travel to reach your subject so doesn't display a range).

Hope that helps, if my guess on your shooting mode is wrong please let us know.

cheers.


Last edited by twitch; 03-01-2011 at 05:17 PM.
03-01-2011, 05:05 PM   #5
Veteran Member
KxBlaze's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: California
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,594
Sorry, I still do not see any bands even when tilting my laptop monitor.

If you have already used fill flash then that might be the best you can get. When the contrast is that different it is pretty much impossible to correctly expose a very bright sky with much darker subjects. Some people say using a polarizing filter or ND filter will help but I don't think they will because they filter the entire photography. Even the graduated ND filters will not be exact. Actually now that I think about it, when I use my polarizing filter it helps with reflecting light so it may help. I would start there and continue to use the fill flash.

**The bride and groom themselves are a bit over exposed. If they were correctly exposed the sky would not be as blown. So with those conditions I would stop down a bit.
03-01-2011, 05:15 PM   #6
Veteran Member




Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Ontario
Posts: 550
I see the bands you are referring to Nicole. They are faint but there. If you are referring to the different shade of white. It might be easier to see with the Laptop on a matte screen. However, the pictures are overexposed. Essentially a gradient ND filter would work but the problem would be you will still have a portion that is overexposed. You would need what Twitch suggested a flash that will let you take a faster shutter speed. Otherwise your going to have to avoid having the sun in the back.

The only other thing I can think of is possibly bracketing the picture and recombining it afterwards. Ie HDR or something like that. It would be hard to do on the spot though. Even with bracketing +/- 3EV still probably won't be enough I think. But it could work. However not the best way.
03-01-2011, 05:15 PM   #7
Veteran Member
NicoleAu's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Central Coast, NSW, Australia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 539
Original Poster
I didn't have much of a choice of using any other flash, my metz should arrive this week. Sorry about the exif data, I exported from lightroom and I didn't realise it doesn't keep the exif data. The 2nd photo was f5.6 100iso 1/180 @ 50mm if that helps.

Here's the unedited versions



Might have to shop around for a polarising filter in that case.

The B&G seem pretty happy with the photos, they knew they weren't getting a professional and overall for a first wedding I think I did ok. I just want to know what to do when faced with those conditions again

Last edited by NicoleAu; 03-07-2011 at 10:41 PM.
03-01-2011, 05:26 PM - 1 Like   #8
Pentaxian
Wheatfield's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: The wheatfields of Canada
Posts: 10,042
Nicole, the bands are what are called quantization artifacts.
Here is an explanation I found on the PDML archives to another photo with some gradient in the sky.

QuoteQuote:
The weird things you are seeing are just quantization artifacts. I'd
guess that the photo is slightly underexposed: These artifacts get more
pronounced at lower levels, where each bit has to represent a larger
portion of each f-stop. By "underexposed" I mean that the original shot
was probably exposed properly as far as the "look" of the scene goes and
didn't have any clipping, it just didn't have the histogram pushed all
the way to the right. With bright photos like this, pushing the
histogram to the right yields an overly-bright, washed-out-looking
image, but one that can be brought into line in Raw conversion. Without
those artifacts (usually).

You've really got a "worst case" situation with this shot because you
have a really gradual transition of a fairly narrow range of tones over
a very wide area.


03-01-2011, 05:30 PM   #9
Inactive Account




Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Michigan, USA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 7,485
I definitely see bands, especially at an angle on the laptop screen. Nice big semi-circles on the top photo, almost like the bride and groom are standing in front of a rainbow (only a couple colors though). They are a result, I believe, of the photo being blown out in those areas.

The way I would handle a shot like this is to expose more for the background, not necessarily the sky but something bright in the BG. Then use a fill flash to light up the people. This is why I'm such a big proponent of manual mode shooting. Remember you can always bring detail out of moderate shadows but you'll never completely get it back in the blown out areas.

03-01-2011, 05:32 PM   #10
Pentaxian
twitch's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 4,571
Nicole, hope you didn't think I was giving you a hard time, I just answerede the question you asked, and indeed that exif suggests to me that your use of popup for fill caused the 1/180 shuter speed that was simply too slow for correct exposure. Your metz will go a long way towards solving this problem for you.

Just be aware that using a flash in HSS in Av mode will make the camera expose for ambient, so you'll probably need to dial down the FEC on the flash. My default settings on that flash are usually -2.0EV for fill, and -0.3EV for indoor bounce. That's a starting point, then chimp and adjust as needed. I find it useful to turn on blinkies on image review so I can check for flash hot spots.

good luck
03-01-2011, 05:46 PM   #11
Veteran Member
NicoleAu's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Central Coast, NSW, Australia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 539
Original Poster
Thanks for the tips guys it all helps for the future.

Twitch it's all good, I'm just sensitive cos I know how much of a no-no it is to use the pop-up lol. FEC = Flash Exp Comp?

Blinkies? Are they the red or blue bits that show every now and then by accident on my camera? How do I turn those on properly?
03-01-2011, 06:25 PM   #12
Pentaxian
aleonx3's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Brampton, Ontario
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,873
Very good suggestions from those who responded. It is very difficult to expose the bride and groom properly without overblowing the sky. CPL or ND filter may help a little bit as KxBlaze suggested. Exposure bracketing will not work so well as the subjects may move. In this case, I would try using a reflector (without flash) and get some of the lights directed on the bride and groom. I would use multi-segment metering and Expose to the left a bit to avoid highlight clipping. I would not recommend the built-in flash as it does not support HSS. Also, use FEC as suggested by twitch would be a good way to do; and I also chimped a lot in this case until I get it right. To turn on the blinkys, you need to go the menu and then on the display menu, go to display preview, then check bright/dark area.

The best way to avoid the overblown sky is to take the picture away from the sun. Also, on the second photo, I would suggest cropping out the sky a bit. Just my 2 cents.. Good work though.
03-02-2011, 01:01 AM   #13
Veteran Member




Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Fife, Scotland
Posts: 834
For my money the unedited versions are better, especially the second one! Some basic questions: Have you calibrated your monitor? If you have, how? What software are you processing with? Are you taking RAW, JPG or both? And what compression level are you selecting when you save a JPG?

Yes the basic problem is uneven light, but looking at the difference between the original and processed images something is going on there as well.
03-02-2011, 10:34 AM   #14
Pentaxian
Lowell Goudge's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 15,312
I trhink the suggestions are pretty sound, in terms of exposing more for background and then using a fill flash, but considering the shooting situation, and lack of flash, the shots are actually pretty good.

One thing to consider, and this goes against the grain a little, but will help with the bands, and although faint, (I can see them too, but to really see them go into any editor and raise the black level and it really shows them off.) would be to over expose just a little more, and then pull back the bride and groom in PP.

This would blow the highlights totally out, and avoid the problem.

ALso, the bands are circular and oriented in the center of the frame, implying that the lens is vignetting just a little. (perhaps down 1/2 to 1 stop in the corners compared to center frame). Not sure if this is the lens, the hood, or too deep a filter.

If you shot this in Jpeg, to burn the highlights out quicker, increase the contrast to maximum. This will narrow the dynamic range by about 1 stop over the entire range, but since thebands are in the order (probably of 1/2 to 1 stop), that could just do it.

To identify the vignetting of the lens, you may wish to do a set of exposures shooting a uniformly lit block wall or other similar surface, and then using an editor measure the greyscale value in the middle and edge of the frame (and corners exspecially)

Try this with and without hood and with and without filters to find the cause.
03-02-2011, 12:42 PM   #15
Veteran Member
TOUGEFC's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Brisbane
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 3,561
I can see alot of heavy banding going on my screen.
The original un-edited pics looks better IMO, also you may want to clone that stray branch near the top of the first pic, its looks out of place

If you had your external flash at the time of the shoot, this would ne prttey easy to over come with HSS.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, pentax help, photo, photography
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
which pentax is best for shooting people? LosHollyBeach Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 13 01-29-2010 04:28 PM
Sigma 30mm f1.4 - how do you like it for shooting people? ll_coffee_lP Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 41 11-02-2009 01:40 AM
Winners Weekly Challenge #46 B&W Street Shooting, people/buildings Peter Zack Weekly Photo Challenges 27 02-28-2008 06:38 AM
Weekly Challenge #46 - B&W Street Shooting, people/buildings Peter Zack Weekly Photo Challenges 73 02-17-2008 03:15 PM
How to series: Muslin Backgrounds codiac2600 Post Your Photos! 8 10-26-2007 02:34 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:15 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top