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MindBender
09-17-2006, 12:47 AM
I've been shooting a lot of shots of clouds against landscapes lately and haven't been happy with how they're coming out of the camera. I get a lot of good exposure on the clouds but the landscape is too dark. If I meter against the ground, the clouds are completely blown out.

Example:
http://img89.imageshack.us/img89/8766/exposureproblemay6.th.jpg (http://img89.imageshack.us/img89/8766/exposureproblemay6.jpg)

I usually end up fixing them in Photoshop to make the ground brighter and keep the sky the same... but it seems like there should be a way to get these straight out of the camera with halfway decent exposure on both.

I'm shooting with a Fuji F30 in many different modes, landscape, automatic, appeture priority, shutter priority, and manual mode doesn't seem to make a difference.

Any advice would be appreciated, thanks. :)

AlexMonro
09-17-2006, 04:27 PM
You probably need graduated Neautral Density filters - clear at the bottom, grey at the top. Cokin is the brand I use, see http://www.cokin.com

Sintares
09-17-2006, 04:42 PM
Yep, graduated filter is good.

You could also meter for the sky, shoot, meter for the ground, shoot and then combine in photoshop.

Norm in Fujino
09-17-2006, 08:37 PM
I get a lot of good exposure on the clouds but the landscape is too dark. If I meter against the ground, the clouds are completely blown out. . . . but it seems like there should be a way to get these straight out of the camera with halfway decent exposure on both.

Unfortunately, what "seems" is not what is, at present. You're talking about "high-dynamic-range" photography, which no camera/film/sensor is able to handle out-of-camera. As you've found, it can be done in pp, and as others have noted, graduated ND filters may be another way, but the latter results often depend on the type of subject you're shooting. For best results, use a tripod and take multiple frames at different exposure settings and then use some kind of exposure blending. This can be done manually with PS, or with specific programs like Photomatix. A few links:

http://www.tonyhowell.co.uk/new/digitalblending.htm
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/digital-blending.shtml
http://www.tofahrn-foto.de/index.php?lg=en&pg=tipps.dri

toriaj
09-17-2006, 09:27 PM
Thanks for those links. They were just what I needed (although I am not the OP.)

MindBender
09-18-2006, 03:15 AM
Oh well. Was hoping there was some trick that might help. Anyone know any way to change the settings on the F30 to remeter without moving the camera so I don't have to realign much in Photoshop? (trying to avoid pointing it down at the ground then back up at the clouds to re-light meter). I can experiment, but I figure someone might know off the top of their head.

Also, anyone suggest where to look into buying products like the Conkin filters and magnetic lens adapters? I looked on their page but didn't see a shopping area, so I'm assuming they sell out of a reseller. Any particular one a good bet? Or should I just start hitting pricegrabber and the larger resellers?

Thanks for all the advice, I guess I'll just keep doing it the way I've been doing it so far.

AlexMonro
09-18-2006, 04:40 AM
The High Dynamic Range multiple shot technique is probably best done with the camera on a tripod, but you might find it helpful to take separate exposure readings of the sky / ground first (with photometry set to spot mode), and then use exposure compensation to get the required exposures, probably Aperture priority would be best. You might have to use average photometry to get a base point to allow the maximum compensation adjustment if the sky is very bright, but the 2 stops range should be enough.

I would have thought that any good camera shop should be able to order Cokin filters for you, though there is sometimes a long delay - I've been waiting over a month for an ND4 grad! :(

MindBender
09-18-2006, 05:24 AM
I would have thought that any good camera shop should be able to order Cokin filters for you, though there is sometimes a long delay

Probably can... for 2-3 times the price of ordering it online. The only camera shop near me sucks. Overpriced and the staff wouldn't know a camera from a lawn mower. (These are the guys that told me that scotch tape works better for LCD protectors on my F30 than the specially made ones and that the Nikon D70 didn't use F-mount lenses). Oh well... I saw a couple places online that do have them (B&H, Adorama, etc.). :)

ktixx
09-18-2006, 10:20 AM
http://www.tonyhowell.co.uk/new/digitalblending.htm
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/digital-blending.shtml
http://www.tofahrn-foto.de/index.php?lg=en&pg=tipps.dri

Another link with pretty much the same information
http://www.fredmiranda.com/article_2/

FLiPMaRC
09-19-2006, 03:22 PM
I've been experimenting with digital blending. Here's my crack at it. I took your original photo(left) and lightened it(right), then blended it with the original(bottom picture). It takes about 5 mins of PP ;)

http://i.pbase.com/g3/58/693558/3/67162389.m2UCye9b.jpghttp://i.pbase.com/g3/58/693558/3/67162391.YUQmswXH.jpg
http://i.pbase.com/o4/58/693558/1/67162392.rp2Umhey.exposureproblemay6b.jpg

John_Reed
09-19-2006, 04:31 PM
It's a very quick tool that lets you simulate HDR by amplifying the shadows and highlights, while leaving the midtones pretty much unchanged. Here's your original after S/H was applied:

version150
10-03-2006, 10:42 AM
What about a novice using a very basic (ie non SLR camera, re filter) camera?

Any tips? Should they aim at sky or ground? Or at neutral, non-related object?

John_Reed
10-03-2006, 12:26 PM
What about a novice using a very basic (ie non SLR camera, re filter) camera?

Any tips? Should they aim at sky or ground? Or at neutral, non-related object?
It depends on how much your "basic" camera will let you do. If it can preview through the viewfinder (or LCD) the scene, at least you can point the camera around, up and down, to see if the exposure changes to your liking. Sometimes this means you have to half-depress the shutter button to get the camera to respond. I've gotten some awesome sunsets that way in the past, by setting my camera in "spot metering" and pointing the spot at the point where I got just the colors I was looking for, locked in the exposure there by half-depressing the shutter button, re-framing, and shooting. Some of these things may help?

Peleg
10-03-2006, 02:53 PM
You can find it here: http://www.hdrsoft.com/

I've been trying it and like it a lot. The best way I've found to use it is to put your camera on a tripod and use the exposure bracketing option. The program will combine these pics and produce one very balanced picture. It's quite expensive though.