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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 10 May 2009 (Sunday) 16:22
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beach photos, overexposed

 
sma1mom
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May 10, 2009 16:22 |  #1

I'm still learning about photography, and I have a canon 5d. I'm trying to take beach photos of our daughter but they are all so overexposed. Max aperature on my camera is f22 (I believe unless I'm mistken) so I would just have to up my shutter speed really high? Is this right? I also have a new polarizer which i haven't used yet. This will help to bring the stop down 1 or 2 right? Any suggestions or tips would be appreciated. I'm trying to force myself off green box and really learn how to use my camera properly,
Thanks
K




  
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tzalman
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May 10, 2009 16:31 |  #2

Please show us an example or two with either the original Exif intact or at least printed out separately.

In general, unless you have a full-frame camera it is not a good idea to use f/22 because it will produce lower quality. Consider f/11 as your upper limit, for beach scenes set ISO 100 and use a shutter speed as fast as is needed to get proper exposure.

Edit - Oops, sorry. I missed where you said you have a 5D. I still would try to not stop down more than f/16.


Elie / אלי

  
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sma1mom
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May 10, 2009 16:35 as a reply to  @ tzalman's post |  #3

I'm sorry I cannot download to my sister's laptop because my card reader is built in at home. Any general tips for taking pics in full sun, bright sand is appreciated.




  
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madeinmaranell0
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May 10, 2009 17:20 as a reply to  @ sma1mom's post |  #4

posting pictures would help...

but the variables in exposure are....

shutter speed

aperture

and iso


if you are shooting at 22....and you are exposing maybe your shutter speed is really slow and your iso is really high.


you probably want to bring the iso down to 200 or so and have a fairly fast shutter speed...

i would use the light meter built into the camera for some guidance




  
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srsuser
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May 10, 2009 18:33 |  #5

You chose a a 5D to learn on?




  
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asysin2leads
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May 10, 2009 19:11 |  #6

srsuser wrote in post #7895066 (external link)
You chose a a 5D to learn on?

What does it matter? I know people who bought a 1Ds MkIII as their first dSLR.

OP,
First, get off the green box. Shoot M. There is a "rule" called the Sunny 16 rule (external link). That's a good place to start. You also take into account the location of the sun. A high sun (at noon) will produce some harsh shadows on the face. You may need a reflector to add some light to the face. If the sun is at their back, you may not have enough light on the face. You will either need a reflector or flash as fill. I'd recommend the reflector. Remember, practice, practice, practice.


Kevin
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egordon99
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May 10, 2009 20:04 as a reply to  @ asysin2leads's post |  #7

Buy and read Bryan Peterson's "Understanding Exposure"

It will help you understand exposure, one of the most basic concepts of photography. Good luck!




  
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SOK
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May 10, 2009 21:36 |  #8

asysin2leads wrote in post #7895227 (external link)
What does it matter? I know people who bought a 1Ds MkIII as their first dSLR.

Agreed. Should people who want to buy a house have to buy a unit first?

Help the economy and go nuts!

asysin2leads wrote in post #7895227 (external link)
OP,
First, get off the green box

+1. If there's one place where the green box will fail, it's the beach.

asysin2leads wrote in post #7895227 (external link)
There is a "rule" called the Sunny 16 rule (external link). That's a good place to start.

-1. For someone who is learning and genuinely wants to use their camera properley, the best place to start is to understand exposure, understand metering and understand the concept of dynamic range. Sunny 16 is hardly a 'rule' to depend on...and it makes little sense to those who don't understand the basics.

asysin2leads wrote in post #7895227 (external link)
Shoot M

+/- 0

I'm an M shooter, but I don't give advice like this. If the OP understands the 3 concepts listed above (exposure, metering, dynamic range), it shouldn't matter which mode is used.

egordon99 wrote in post #7895566 (external link)
Buy and read Bryan Peterson's "Understanding Exposure"

It will help you understand exposure, one of the most basic concepts of photography. Good luck!

+2

OP; the beach can be one of the toughest shooting environments exposure-wise, particularly when you're trying to photograph people rather than a general landscape. Don't give up on it - read up, and practice, and read some more.

People have been trying to get out of Auto since Auto was invented, so make sure you search POTN for some similar threads on this very subject!


Steve
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asysin2leads
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May 10, 2009 23:01 |  #9

SOK wrote in post #7896122 (external link)
-1. For someone who is learning and genuinely wants to use their camera properley, the best place to start is to understand exposure, understand metering and understand the concept of dynamic range. Sunny 16 is hardly a 'rule' to depend on...and it makes little sense to those who don't understand the basics.

I said it was a "good place to start." I didn't say rely on it and take it as law. As someone who is having a difficult time w/ overexposure, it gives him a place to start and then adjust from there. How is it difficult to understand?

1. iso 100
2. AV f/16
3. Tv: 1/125

Pretty stinking simple to me. If it's over/under exposed, adjust from there. How hard can that be. My daughter is 9 and understands the Sunny 16 "rule."

I am in full agreement to buy Understanding Exposure. It's a great read.

OP, make sure you keep an eye on the exposure meter in the viewfinder and keep it at 0 or a little above.


Kevin
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tzalman
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May 11, 2009 01:49 |  #10

Sunny 16 at the beach needs adjusting. The sand is an excellent reflector and you have a lot more light coming from below than with a subject on grass. Sunny 16 minus one stop would be better.

OP - Use your histogram, it is one of the great advantages of digital photography. If you have overexposed shots from the past still on the card, look at the histogram so you will know how an overexposure looks. Unless the graph has piled up at the right-hand edge and the "blinkies" are flashing on the review image, it is not really overexposed beyond redemption, just too bright. A couple seconds in any editing program will reduce the brightness.


Elie / אלי

  
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SOK
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May 11, 2009 05:27 |  #11

asysin2leads wrote in post #7896650 (external link)
As someone who is having a difficult time w/ overexposure, it gives him a place to start and then adjust from there. How is it difficult to understand?

I didn't say it's difficult to understand. I said it makes little sense to those who don't understand the basics. It's akin to someone trying to learn how to cook by baking a packet-mix cake. I agree that anyone can plug numbers into a camera and adjust from there, but I don't see how it teaches them much about what is going on. More importantly, they're no better of when they need to know how (and why) to adjust. Someone has already mentioned that Sunny 16 isn't quite right for the beach.

asysin2leads wrote in post #7896650 (external link)
Pretty stinking simple to me...My daughter is 9 and understands the Sunny 16 "rule."

I don't doubt this. But does your 9 year old understand how to adjust Sunny 16 for glare? Or intermittent shade? Does she know how to adjust to better capture motion? Or show it? Does she understand the disadvantages of using such small apertures?

My point is; I think the OP would get much more out of an afternoon's reading/experimentatio​n than starting with an arbitrary guideline and "adjusting from there"...

But - it's horses for courses, and different opinions are what make this place tick.

OP - let us know how you go!


Steve
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asysin2leads
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May 11, 2009 13:27 |  #12

SOK wrote in post #7897888 (external link)
I didn't say it's difficult to understand. I said it makes little sense to those who don't understand the basics. It's akin to someone trying to learn how to cook by baking a packet-mix cake. I agree that anyone can plug numbers into a camera and adjust from there, but I don't see how it teaches them much about what is going on. More importantly, they're no better of when they need to know how (and why) to adjust. Someone has already mentioned that Sunny 16 isn't quite right for the beach.

My point is; I think the OP would get much more out of an afternoon's reading/experimentatio​n than starting with an arbitrary guideline and "adjusting from there"...

But - it's horses for courses, and different opinions are what make this place tick.

OP - let us know how you go!

If one doesn't understand the basics, then they should stay on the green box. Even in Tv and Av, you have to understand exposure. You have to understand why/when you need to adjust shutter or aperture and more importantly iso. You're right, in any given shot, there will be 5 different opinions on how to shoot it. That's why I like POTN.

I don't doubt this. But does your 9 year old understand how to adjust Sunny 16 for glare? Or intermittent shade? Does she know how to adjust to better capture motion? Or show it? Does she understand the disadvantages of using such small apertures?

Actually, she does have a firm grasp. She doesn't have all the pieces to the puzzle yet, but she's 9. She impresses me. When I had my XT, she took that and the Sigma 24-70 to a Girl Scout function and got great results. Looks like I have some competition


Kevin
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PhotosGuy
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May 11, 2009 13:42 |  #13

Since you used a descriptive title, look at the links at the very bottom left hand corner of this page. Note that you're not alone. One of them is titled, "Overexposed Beach Shots--Help!"

If that doesn't help, try:
Need an exposure crutch?


FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
Classic Carz, Racing, Air Show, Flowers.
Find the light... A few Car Lighting Tips, and MOVE YOUR FEET!
Have you thought about making your own book? // Need an exposure crutch?
New Image Size Limits: Image must not exceed 1600 pixels on any side.

  
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tdodd
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May 11, 2009 14:35 |  #14

I am actually surprised that you get overexposure for a beach scene. Normally you would be more likely to get underexposure. There are a number of reasons that spring to mind which explain why you might get overexposure....

- exposure compensation set incorrectly;
- poor choice of metering mode such as spot or partial and improper use of such modes;
- predominance of dark areas within the scene, especially in the metered zone(s)
- using evaluative metering and placing the active focus point on a dark subject.

but there is little point guessing at the cause of your problem. It really would help us understand what's going on if you can post a sample picture with EXIF intact, just like my example below.

This was shot using Av mode before I knew of things such as Sunny 16. Exposure compensation was set to zero and I used evaluative metering. I picked f/8 and 100 ISO and the camera picked a shutter speed of 1/800. That exposure is equivalent to Sunny 16 minus 1 stop. This has had no edits and I think the exposure looks a tiny bit dark, but very useable. That said, it can take another 1/2 stop added to the exposure in Lightroom without blowing anything (even the white teeshirt) or looking overexposed.

IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: 404 | MIME changed to 'image/png' | Byte size: ZERO


Knowing what I know now, I would have shot this with a manual exposure, starting with a standard Sunny 16 setting of f/8, 100 ISO, 1/400 and then checking the histogram and adjusting as necessary to avoid clipped highlights. That would probably have resulted in a final exposure of f/8, 100 ISO, 1/500, equivalent to an exposure of Sunny 16 minus 1/3 stop. That exposure would have continued to serve me well for any number of shots in those lighting conditions (bright front lighting from direct sunlight) for the next hour or so.

Here is another photo shot on the same day but 1 3/4 hours later. The exposure for this is f/11, 400 ISO, 1/800. That may not have been the optimum combination for IQ but in terms of the exposure value that is exactly equivalent to a Sunny 16 exposure. As above, this has had no edits....

IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: 404 | MIME changed to 'image/png' | Byte size: ZERO


So, within the space of a couple of hours my "correct" exposure value has only altered by 1/3 stop under the same/similar lighting conditions. While it is undoubtedly true that you should learn more about metering, metering modes, exposure setting and exposure compensation, if you want an easy route to more consistent exposure in bright sunny conditions then try setting a manual exposure that matches a "Sunny 16" exposure or just a little bit less for beach scenes. You may still have to deal with the issue of shadows and providing fill light for those, but that's a topic for another day.



  
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In2Photos
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May 11, 2009 14:47 as a reply to  @ tdodd's post |  #15

Any chance you have a flash on the camera? If so, you may be hitting the max sync speed. Is anything in the viewfinder flashing when you are preparing to take a picture?


Mike, The Keeper of the Archive

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beach photos, overexposed
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