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06-13-2010, 03:34 PM   #16
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Definitely better. Try turning it to Natural for more, y'know, Natural-looking colors.

And you've got some dust on the sensor there -- do you have dust-removal-on-startup turned on?

06-13-2010, 05:38 PM   #17
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Might want to try GIMP...took about 3 mins for the above pic. From what i see, everything other then the plane has colors and is pretty bright but the plane body itself is dark although the blue of the plane is quite visible. brightening up the plane will likely wash out the bright areas as you can see by the loss of details on the wings.

Last edited by Reportage; 06-13-2010 at 05:47 PM.
06-13-2010, 05:48 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Reportage Quote

Might want to try GIMP...took about 3 mins for the above pic. From what i see, everything other then the plane has colors and is pretty bright but the plane body itself is dark although the blue of the plane is quite visible. brightening up the plane will likely wash out the bright areas as you can see by the loss of details on the wings.
Use this: Shadows and Highlights | GIMP Plugin Registry
06-13-2010, 07:19 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frank-x Quote
I'm now thinking that my problem is under-exposure.

Tomorrow I will try taking some shots with +exposure compensation and see how they turn out.

Frank
You don't want to add +ve compensation to all your photos. A bright background and dark subject is a very common scenario. An experienced photographer knows that a plane in a bright sky will underexpose on Auto, so +Ev is needed, or spot metering. Another solution for a backlit scene is fill flash, but it doesn't work with a distant subject like the plane.

06-13-2010, 07:51 PM   #20
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If you are going to shoot something against the sky, you will definitely need to apply some +EV... I would start with +.7ev. Otherwise, the camera will want to expose the dominant sky more toward the 18% gray color (you may not need as much exposure comp. if you are using spot metering). Also, if you want your photos to have more "pop" I would NOT use the Natural setting for JPG; the default settings for that are quite drab compared to some of the other settings. Natural is what I would use if I were shooting RAW. Try Landscape or Portrait and see if you like the result. Obviously, you can also tweak saturation, contrast, etc on any of these settings to your personal taste.
06-13-2010, 07:54 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
You don't want to add +ve compensation to all your photos. A bright background and dark subject is a very common scenario. An experienced photographer knows that a plane in a bright sky will underexpose on Auto, so +Ev is needed, or spot metering.
Exactly. The sky, plane, trees and background hills can't all be "correct". My habit would be to sacrifice anything else if I wanted the plane to be nicely exposed and let them be blown out.
06-13-2010, 11:12 PM   #22
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If you are mainly a JPG shooter, you may also obtain some benefit from turning on the Shadow correction feature on the K-x (p-190 of the K-x manual), as well as perhaps turning on the Highlight correction option too (p-189 of the manual).

This will get the camera to do some of the work in helping to avoid dark areas occuring under difficult lighting scenarios, like when shooting an aeroplane against a bright sky, and effectively expand the dynamic range of your photos a tad.

I've used it with some success in similar situations - eg shooting birds in overcast weather against a bright sky background. It helps 'open up' and reveal the areas in shadow.

You can also use the same feature in the Pentax software after the event if you shoot in RAW.
06-14-2010, 02:07 AM   #23
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Frank-x,

Your picture is severely underexposed. You, you metered off the sky, however the peak in histogram is ~80 instead of 128... In your place I would try to check camera's exposure system...

06-14-2010, 03:30 AM   #24
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Here's what I got with about 5 minutes work in Photoshop elements. I duplicated the background layer, and changed the layer mode from normal to screen at 100% opacity. I then duplicated that layer, and set opacity to 80%. I again duplicated the layer, and extracted the fuselage of the plane. I duplicated the fuselage layer two more times, screen mode at 100%. I'm sure I could have improved the image even more by spending another 5 minutes.

Last edited by MPrince; 03-17-2016 at 02:41 PM.
06-14-2010, 07:01 AM   #25
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After about 15,000 images through my K-x I have also found that it tends to overexpose just a bit in certain kinds of bright light conditions. This also leads to a certain dullness, as well as burned out highlights. Judicious use of the AE lock helps, as does some compensation at times. Still, this is one great little camera.
06-14-2010, 07:39 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edvinas Quote
Frank-x,

Your picture is severely underexposed. You, you metered off the sky, however the peak in histogram is ~80 instead of 128... In your place I would try to check camera's exposure system...
There's nothing wrong with the camera, that's just how Pentax meters. I've had three Pentax digital cameras, K100DS, K20D and K-x. All of them would severely underexpose this scene if used in Auto mode with matrix metering. You need to know how that this is how the camera exposes and compensate with Ev, spot metering, etc.

The good thing about the way Pentax exposes is that it's consistent. The camera doesn't make the decision on what's important in the scene, the photographer has to decide.
06-14-2010, 07:47 AM   #27
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as stated, your problem is exposure (at least on the posted photo), don't worry about it, just take a lot of pictures and you'll be fine.

one photograph is worth a thousand forum posts
06-14-2010, 09:53 AM   #28
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Airshow photography is difficult for just this reason - you usually have a bright background, and sometimes the subject is not lit well.

It gets worse with light clouds, since they tend to be VERY bright compared to everything that is now shaded from the sun.

You may want to try bringing a grey card next time and setting manual exposure. Another trick I've seen is to spot meter off your hand - for caucasians it's reasonably close to a grey card. You'll definately blow out the sky though in this case if you want the aircraft exposed well.
06-14-2010, 10:35 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edvinas Quote
You, you metered off the sky, however the peak in histogram is ~80 instead of 128... In your place I would try to check camera's exposure system...
That's actually correct. ISO metering standards call for a subject to be rendered about half a stop left of center on a histogram (that's not how the standard is worded, but that's how the math works out).
06-14-2010, 10:55 AM   #30
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Aircraft in flight are difficult but worth it

You've shown why the airshows I love drive me nuts.

The camera likes 18% gray (or, in your case, grey). So you got 18% grey. But it isn't what we want and we have to adjust.

The problem is especially delicate when you're following the aircraft during take-off or landing. The ratio of sky (blue, light grey, dark grey) vs. the ground (often green grass) in the image keeps changing as the aircraft climbs or descends. So the amount of EV compensation changes with each shot in the series. Ouch! I wish I had a bob for every AiF (Aircraft in Flight) shot I've mucked up owing to inappropriate EV compensation.

Never mind attempting to pan carefully enough - and keep focus tight.

Don't worry.

Find what works best for you.

Think about using raw+ so you've a bit more leeway on exposure for those images that you want to spend a couple of minutes on.

And keep shooting!
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