IAbowhntr wrote in post #17971007
I take pictures of a nesting pair of eagles at a local park here in Des Moines and the eagles seem to fly down to the river for a drink on the river bank or in the river ... I'm shooting a 6D with a Tamron 150-600 lens I shoot Evaluative metering SS 1600-2000, F8-F11, Auto ISO, I shoot AWB and picture style is Standard.
The last few times Ive had these eagles drop down I have had to quite a bit of post work to make them work ... am I missing something obvious? I do not have any problems except when they have their white heads against the dark background or water.
Ive attached a picture that shows pretty much what I am talking about.
I hope Ive given enough info to help you folks help me.
Thanks for helping!
Multi-color birds can be hard, white birds in general are very hard to expose correctly without also greatly under-exposing the ambient around them. One thing you cannot do is use auto-exposure methods. It will not do it right. You have to understand how your meter works, what it meters to, and how to control that. Ideally you shoot a difficult scene like this in full manual. Evaluative metering looks at the whole frame pretty much, and it will basically under-expose a scene with a really bright source of light in it, or over-expose a scene with a lot of dark area (like in your photos). You can tighten up the meter with partial, center weight and/or spot meter. Spot meter will let you meter the bird's head specifically and expose for that white. Center & partial will simply tighten up the average in the middle of your frame. I actually prefer partial metering when I'm shooting in an auto-exposure mode like AV, and I always use +2/3rds EC and shoot RAW so that I have best odds of recovery later when I want to just shoot and not be careful. But manual is ideal for complex exposures.
For critical exposures, I would turn to manual, throw on spot meter, and meter the eagle's head to get that under control within a tolerance of 1/3rd top or so, shooting in RAW. I'd take an exposure, and quickly review it and pull up the histogram to ensure I didn't over-expose (you'll get blinkies on most cameras). I'd rather slightly under-expose white than over-expose, because if you clip exposure, that data is gone (as you saw when you processed yours).
Otherwise, I do often shoot in AV when I bird. And I use +2/3rds EC very often on most of my Canons with it. I leave aperture what I want it. And I push ISO up or down based on the shutter I want for stopping motion. I use partial meter 99% of the time with this when I bird so that it's paying attention to what's in the center AF points arranged in a circle.