View Full Version : Help with outdoor pictures...

10-10-2004, 03:38 PM
Hi All,
I am what could best be described as a “point and shoot” photographer, but obtaining some skills and knowledge are some goals of mine. Now that I have a little more free time I have enrolled in a photography basics class to get me started.

The problem is that I am leaving for a motorcycle trip next weekend and I would love to get some quick tips and hints to help point me in the right direction when it comes to taking shots outside. I have the new Panasonic FZ-20 and it does a great job in “idiot mode” but there is one type of shot that I have no clue how to make it happen. Most of my shots on the trip will be outdoor shots of fall foliage.

The shot in question is shooting in the direction of the sun with trees and scenery in the foreground. I have no clue how to brighten the foreground without having the sky get to over powering bright. Any quick tips?

One novice question... I have found that even on sunny days that some of the pics turn out very dark in comparison to the actual daylight when the shot was taken. I have increased the exposure which has helped. Can someone explain why this happens when taking shots outside? From my inexperienced perspective, it doesn’t make sense to have to increase the exposure on a sunny day.

Thanks for the help!


10-10-2004, 03:49 PM
Well I'm no expert either, but may have just a tiny bit more experience than you do. First of all, try to avoid shooting in the direction of the sun, or having your subject facing the sun. Normally, try to have the sun to your rear-right or rear-left. If you HAVE to shoot into the sun, make sure that you camera isn't focusing on the sun or the sky, and instead is focusing on your subject. For my dSLR, I simply disable the focusing points in the sun/sky area and enable only one on the subject.

As for dark photos, that's probably because either, one, your shutter speed is to high, or two, your aperture is too small. Try decreasing your shutter speed and opening up your aperture a bit more. Also, it could be because that you're focusing on the bright areas too much, so the darker areas appear very dark.

Hope these will help. Good luck and enjoy your trip!