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Backlighting - Metering Help!

Hi, just having a little problem with shooting in strongly backlit locations, and would like some advice.

A) Ok here's the shot with the normal metering, so the camera averages the scene, and darkens the exposure to compensate.
Result: subject is too dark to distinguish features

[Image: DSCF1947.JPG]

B) So I turn on spot metering, and measure the light off the subject.
Result: subject is correctly exposed, but the background is washed out and too bright

[Image: DSCF1948.JPG]

C) Racking my brains, I turn on fill flash.
Result: everything is exposed correctly, but the subject looks like she's been artifically pasted/photoshopped into the scene.

[Image: DSCF1950.JPG]

What's a man to do? Sad


I'm worrying over this one....

She does look pasted in indeed, (you're sure she isnt? Big Grin ). I'm a bit puzzled myself, though I expect it is a simple answer that you and I are both overlooking.

If I should figure this one, I'll obviously let you know.



Cave canem

Though maybe, (said he, thinking aloud), it's simply the difference in focus. Normally an image tends to have foreground, background, and a little bit of most in-between. This, conversely, is a sudden transition from near to far. If this idea is right, then;

1/ Use a smaller aperture

2/ Use a shorter focal length

3/ shoot from a little further away from the main subject, (thus changing DOF).

Plus, of course, the flash presents a rather flat light, in contrast to the background, which also exaggerates the effect.




Cave canem

I'm also worried about this one.
At first, I immediately thought to use a fill flash, but upon seeing the last image, I'm puzzled! haha Smile
Maybe use a torch and shine at her.

I think the composition is important too... are you trying to capture the person or the scenery? If you are trying to capture the person, then Rufus idea of changing is a great one.

In economic there is the great theory of opportunity cost. The art of composition is similar. Do you fit everything in and get a mediocre result? Or sacrifice some of the background?

Just a thought

hrmmm fill flashes can be good if u can tone down the intensity ..
ive seen alll sorts of home made flash diffusers .. but id figure u dont want something so dodgy hangng off ur camera in public ~_~

peter Wrote:but id figure u dont want something so dodgy hangng off ur camera in public ~_~

hahah.. it's all about looking good, isn't it? Big Grin

AE lock on the background then take. Subject may be underexposed, but you can fix that when post-processing, provided that not too underexposed otherwise it becomes noise.

Peter Wrote:yeah .. but ul lalso make sure ur running at ur smalledst iso to reduce the noice.. ae lonck is nice. ..

Hey you could try my dodgy flash diffusion technique ... its funni ...

Sorry Peter, but it was difficult to read this post, so I must edit it for other users to read Smile

I think what he was saying was:

"Yes, but you will also make sure that you are running at your smallest ISO to reduce noise, AE lock is nice.
Hey, you could try my dodgey flash diffusion technique, it's funny Smile"

yeah me and my dodgy typos ..

I try to use the lowest ISO possible that doesn't cause the shot to blur from camera shake or sudden movements of the subject. Depends on the lighting and how still you can hold the camera Smile

one word ... MONOPOD ..
i need one of those..

Sorry, but I doubt that a monopod could solve the problem of underexposing the subject in highly lit backgrounds which you do not want to overexpose. Maybe you're referring to my previous posts Tongue hehe
Instead of me going off topic again in this thread, I'll start another one, soon.

yes .. i was refering to the part where u said it depends on how still u can hold ur cam ...
sorri for the lack of clarity ... ^^

Keeping in mind I'm new at this, here's my thoughts on this problem... (nothing like reviving a seemingly dead thread!)

I've found that while spot metering is very useful, one must be careful where one is aiming! For example, in the above photo, if the spot was aimed at the clothing, which is darker, it will over-compensate. If, however, the spot was on the face, which is lighter, you may get a better exposure... Reverse is true when your subject is wearing light clothing (white t-shirt) - spotting on the body will result in an under-exposed photo and, again, spotting on the face will result in a better exposure.

my $0.02

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ10
Image Management/Editing:ArcSoft PhotoBase4
Advanced Image Editing: Adobe PhotoShop 7

Peter - it was extremely bright daylight, monopod not needed.

Thanks for the tip Cailean... I'll try to spot meter on a more neutral object next time... Big Grin

Would some type of filter/polariser help?? I don't have much experience using filters, so i'm wondering if any guru's on filters might help me out. Smile

Hm... polarising filter will cut reflections out, but the image doesn't seem to be affected too much by reflections.

I'd probably say not, unless the entire scene was overly bright, then a ND filter might come into play. Or maybe a graduated filter if one half was brighter than the other...

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