Very disappointed with Canon T4i (650D) - over-exposed/washed out pictures

Started Dec 10, 2012 | Discussions thread
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imqqmi MOD
Veteran MemberPosts: 8,612Gear list
Dynamic range and exposure
In reply to Omni88, Dec 11, 2012

Only the beach and forest shots are technically over exposed. The definition (my definition at least :)) of good exposure is that the average brightness of the image is between 108-130 on a scale of 0 to 255. If the average brightness is above that it means it's over exposed.

Most of your shots have a problem with blown highlights which isn't over exposure per say. Most of your scenes are very bright sunlit scenes that have a huge dynamic range in brightnessess. The camera (in green box mode) tries to expose for middle grey, where you meter it takes a reading, considers it middle grey and sets the exposure settings and takes the picture. What it doesn't account for is that the brightness extends to the shadows and highlights from that metered middle grey point, the amount it extends (dynamic range) can mean blown highlights. Usually there's about +2 stops from middle grey before it blows out highlights.

By shooting in one of the creative modes (Av, P, Tv or M) you can use exposure compensation to prevent the camera from blowing out highlights. A trick I usually use is by shooting in M mode, point the center AF point at the brightest part of the scene and make sure the light meter indicates just under +2 EV by adjusting shutter speed, aperture and iso. Spot metering helps with this technique.You can often leave it on these settings if the scene doesn't change much.

That way you don't take middle grey as reference point for exposure, but the brightest part of the scene, which is always consistent

This of course means that in very large dynamic range scenes the shadows can be utterly dark, so you need to do some post processing to lift them up. This is where AEB comes in, you can take a brighter exposure for shadows and a darker shot and use the highlights to combine them in photoshop so that the high dynamic range is under your control. By Shooting RAW you also have more headroom for exposure and it's easier to adjust your images for exposure and white balance.

As for the other 2 overexposed shots, I think the camera green box mode just messed up. Why that is is anyone's guess. Getting out of automatic/greenbox mode and taking control over your shots is key though.

Omni88 wrote:

Ground and stones look bleached

Beach looks over-exposed

Walkway and south facing ruins look over-exposed

Bus and clouds

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