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04-13-2010, 06:17 PM   #1
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catching sky detail with people detail

After an insane amount of research and comparing, just bought a white k-x and am very happy. However I love photos of the sky and would like to have that detail included in my regular shots of the family etc. I have not found a way to do both, can expose for one or the other. Is this the limits of the camera? would learning how to handle raw images help? Doing hdr is not really practical with the kids running around. its not like the d5000 or the t1i would do that much better is it? Thnk you for anyinput.

04-13-2010, 06:41 PM   #2
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If the people in the picture are close enough use flash fill. Otherwise, use a tripod and bracket your shots them merge them in PP.
04-13-2010, 09:04 PM   #3
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You have a flash setting for "slow sync" that can be used to capture close objects with the flash then the camera continues to expose with ambient light. Perfect for shooting people 10' away with a sunset in the background and get detail for both.
04-13-2010, 09:09 PM   #4
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If darker subjects are below the horizon line of a brighter sky, you can use a GND (graduated neutral density) filter to darken the sky. Otherwise you need fill-flash, or reflectors, or shooping. Read up a bit on photographic and cinema lighting.

A common PP trick is to deliberately wash-out the sky, then use masks and cloud pictures to insert a fake sky. Pros have been doing this for about 160 years. It's traditional.

QuoteOriginally posted by imtheguy Quote
You have a flash setting for "slow sync" that can be used to capture close objects with the flash then the camera continues to expose with ambient light. Perfect for shooting people 10' away with a sunset in the background and get detail for both.
That won't work with the OP's kids "running around" unless their blurry trails are desired in the picture.

04-14-2010, 11:38 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Genshu Quote
After an insane amount of research and comparing, just bought a white k-x and am very happy. However I love photos of the sky and would like to have that detail included in my regular shots of the family etc. I have not found a way to do both, can expose for one or the other. Is this the limits of the camera?
It's a limit of all cameras, and indeed all methods of recording images on a surface - that is, the problem is as old as drawing and painting. The problem is the difference in brightness between the sky and people silhouetted against the sky is greater than the difference between black and white in a photo. So any image that attempts to show detail in both areas has to lie about the scene. HDR (using multiple exposures combined in software) is one way to do it, but it's not the only way. As long as you haven't completely blown out the sky, you should be able to brighten the shadows using Curves or Fill Light or other tools in your favorite post processing program. This can be done in JPEG or RAW, although you'll generally get better results in RAW.
04-14-2010, 12:21 PM   #6
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All the advice given here is valid and Marc's explanation for post-processing may save a lot of shots for you. But generally it is best (and delivers the best image quality), to get everything right in the shot. So you should learn to apply fill-flash for these shots. And an external flash gun will be much more capable, have more output and may even be useable with very short shutter speeds, which a proper exposure of a bright sky may afford, via the High Speed Sync (HSS) feature.

I know, external flash guns seem to be very expensive, even compared to additional lenses. But you will soon find out, that they are worth every penny/cent or whatever and your photos will improve vastly, I you know how to use it properly.

If an external flash gun is no option for you currently, I would encourage you, to shoot these images in RAW format and use the Pentax supplied software to make the adjustments Marc suggested. YOu will get much better results, then JPGs can provide under these circumstances.

Ben
04-15-2010, 06:40 PM   #7
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Wow what a great forum! Thank you for the input. I will look into the neutral density filter, and shooting raw images. Would like to try not to use a flash to accomplish this.
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