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11-24-2008, 09:47 PM   #1
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Photo question - Dark Night Scene

I have some pictures at my flickr site: Flickr: pm650x's Photostream

I have a question about the first night shot. It has a bright, white, church in it.

I had some significant issues with getting the exposure correct. The entire scene was too dark, while the church was too white. The final picture on the above site is a compromise after significant work in photoshop. (And one that I'm still not 100% satisfied with)

My question is, is there a way to expose bright spots [in dark scenes] less... OR expose dark spots more...

IE, exposure meter setting, high fstop... etc... I have a pentax k200d. I have a 24-60mm EX Sigma; Tamron 70-300 and Pentax 50mm 1.7 (I wouldn't think lenses would matter, but, well, there they are...)

Thanks for any advice... didn't know if there was a secret I was missing or if night exposures are at the mercy of the lighting.

11-24-2008, 10:40 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by jk333 Quote
I had some significant issues with getting the exposure correct. The entire scene was too dark, while the church was too white. The final picture on the above site is a compromise after significant work in photoshop.
That the best that can be expected when a scene has dynamic range (the difference between lightest and darkest areas) that exceeds what the camera can capture. You either expose to get the shadows to look good and live with overexposed highlights, or exposed to get the highlights to look good and live with underexposed shadows.

QuoteQuote:
My question is, is there a way to expose bright spots [in dark scenes] less... OR expose dark spots more...
Well, sure - you can always expose the highlights less, but you'll get underexposed shadows. And vice versa. That's just the way it is.
11-24-2008, 11:09 PM   #3
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you sounds like you need HDR
11-24-2008, 11:28 PM   #4
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I was just going to say the same thing when I was reading the first post. If you're one of those people afraid of HDR because you've seen so many crappy versions, don't be. One doesn't have to be that extreme. You can adjust the amount of HDRing you want and get a subtle photo.

11-25-2008, 02:57 AM   #5
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You can also put one photo exposed for the shadows over one exposed for the highlights, then erase the parts that are to dark on the shadow exposition to reveal whats underneath, then you flatten them. No real need for HDR.
11-25-2008, 09:15 AM   #6
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I think the correct term is Exposure blending. Here's a good link I found a couple of weeks ago if you have photoshop that is.

Exposure blending tutorial | Photodoto
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