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08-09-2010, 11:40 AM   #1
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Correcting for accidentally high ISO

While out on a nice, sunny, bright day, I made the fatal mistake of not checking the ISO while shooting. Turned out to be on 800 all day. and would have liked it much lower. So all my photos turned out dark.

I shoot in RAW, and use Aperture. The Brightness slider seemed to work the best to restore the image to a near-natural look. Anyone have any other suggestions?

08-09-2010, 12:57 PM   #2
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High ISO by itself does not make a dark image. What caused that?
08-09-2010, 01:19 PM   #3
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check exposure compensation. that can darken the image.
08-09-2010, 01:24 PM   #4
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Raising ISO would make your pictures over exposed if anything, no program line or automated mode would be so adversely affected by ISO 800 while shooting outdoors. You might have bumped the exposure compensation dial by accident

When you read your EXIF check the section that says "Exposure Bias." I wouldn't be surprised if all your pictures that are under exposed read "-1" or "-2"

The exposure bias is what you had your exposure compensation set to

08-09-2010, 02:17 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pritch Quote
While out on a nice, sunny, bright day, I made the fatal mistake of not checking the ISO while shooting. Turned out to be on 800 all day. and would have liked it much lower. So all my photos turned out dark.

I shoot in RAW, and use Aperture. The Brightness slider seemed to work the best to restore the image to a near-natural look. Anyone have any other suggestions?
Brightness would be the preffered method to brighten things-up, and you may need to lift shadows a bit too. Though I think Aperture would handle all this in with auto wouldn't it?
08-09-2010, 06:42 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by future_retro Quote
Raising ISO would make your pictures over exposed if anything, no program line or automated mode would be so adversely affected by ISO 800 while shooting outdoors. You might have bumped the exposure compensation dial by accident

When you read your EXIF check the section that says "Exposure Bias." I wouldn't be surprised if all your pictures that are under exposed read "-1" or "-2"

The exposure bias is what you had your exposure compensation set to

Yeah, that's what I thought too. My exposure bias was zero, so I'm not sure what caused the darkening. The sunlight on the ground looks dim, and the shadows look darker than normal. Almost as if I had a filter on. Oh well. I will brighten them up, and really make sure I have the right ISO next time.
08-09-2010, 07:43 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pritch Quote
Yeah, that's what I thought too. My exposure bias was zero, so I'm not sure what caused the darkening. The sunlight on the ground looks dim, and the shadows look darker than normal. Almost as if I had a filter on. Oh well. I will brighten them up, and really make sure I have the right ISO next time.
What Mode were you using? Av, Tv, etc and what were your settings? Metering type? A photo with exif in tact (or exposure info) would help us figure it out.

08-09-2010, 10:47 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pritch Quote
Yeah, that's what I thought too. My exposure bias was zero, so I'm not sure what caused the darkening. The sunlight on the ground looks dim, and the shadows look darker than normal. Almost as if I had a filter on. Oh well. I will brighten them up, and really make sure I have the right ISO next time.
This isn't an ISO problem, lowering the ISO will either have no affect or darken your pictures more, something is off and the ISO probably has nothing to do with it

If you post a picture with some EXIF data and tell us what shooting mode you were using we can help you figure out what really happened

Just from the small amount of context what might be happening is that your camera internationally underexposed to preserve the bright parts of the frame, since there's so much contrast on a sunny day it has to make a choice between correctly exposing the brights or the darks, and it's easier to brighten up the darks in post processing than it is to darken the lights

08-10-2010, 03:52 AM   #9
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I definitely see a tendency towards underexposure on very bright days. Often there is something very bright in the frame -- a piece of metal reflecting, some water, the sun -- the only solution is to increase your EV compensation -- +0.7 usually works pretty well. The iso 800 shouldn't make much difference there, except that you should have really good shutter speeds.
08-10-2010, 04:50 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pritch Quote
Yeah, that's what I thought too. My exposure bias was zero, so I'm not sure what caused the darkening. The sunlight on the ground looks dim, and the shadows look darker than normal. Almost as if I had a filter on. Oh well. I will brighten them up, and really make sure I have the right ISO next time.
A tip for avoiding higher ISO then neccassary is to disable ISO in "memory" settings. Then camera will always be in auto-ISO when turning on the camera.

EV comp and WB are two other setting you might want to turn off memory on, as they are also easily forgotten.
08-10-2010, 01:17 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I definitely see a tendency towards underexposure on very bright days. Often there is something very bright in the frame -- a piece of metal reflecting, some water, the sun -- the only solution is to increase your EV compensation -- +0.7 usually works pretty well. The iso 800 shouldn't make much difference there, except that you should have really good shutter speeds.
I think this is the main reason. Another technique I use on sunny days is choosing spot metering, point at something relatively darker, hit the AE-lock button, then recompose and shoot.
08-12-2010, 03:14 AM   #12
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I did actually have a problem with several shots last week accidentally taken at ISO 12,800 on the K-x. I found I had repeatedly pressed the right arrow/ISO button with a joint of my thumb when gripping the camera, and my ISO 3200 had multiplied.

The exposure worked even though I was shooting manual--with the help of the brightness slider in ACR. I did need quite a bit of noise reduction, but the gritty shot was not all that bad.
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08-13-2010, 05:44 PM   #13
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Sorry for my late reply. The high ISO made me think that my pics would be too bright also, but it seems that the sunlight is dull. After experimenting in Aperture, the middle slider on the Levels feature, seemed to correct it to a natural image the best it could.

Here is one uncorrected pic I noticed in which I thought the sun would have lit everything up more. Of course, converting to JPEG also seems to brighten pics up, in my opinion!

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08-13-2010, 06:50 PM   #14
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Raising ISO should have no effect whatsoever on the brightness of a photo - just on the shutter speed or aperture required to reach that exposure. As I often do, I recommend a visit to the local library or bookstore to get a book on the fundamentals of photography, which should explain the basics of exposure - including why the picture above should *not* be exposed any brighter by default (the clouds are already starting to clip).
08-14-2010, 10:40 AM   #15
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I think what he might be noticing is limited dynamic range? I believe lower ISOs increase your dynamic range, which increase the difference between the brightest and lowest parts of a scene... leading to bright areas that look "dull"?

Just a thought. Even though the exposure is good on the above picture, I think that the ISO of 800 really flattens out the image because of the decreased dynamic range.
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