NX1000 taking washed out photos

Started Jan 22, 2013 | Discussions thread
sixfootzero
Regular MemberPosts: 478
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Re: NX1000 taking washed out photos
In reply to dmeek, Jan 23, 2013

dmeek, congratulations on your purchase! I agree that learning about the principles of photography will make your life easier, especially now that you have such a powerful/flexible camera.

Regarding metering, the simplest setting to explain is spot metering. It uses the area within the little rectangle to determine exposure, and assumes you want whatever's inside to be exposed so it's 18% gray. This works fine if you're pointing the camera at a light-skinned person, among other things, but isn't appropriate in a lot of other situations. It will over expose the image if you're pointed at something black. (To make the black turn 18% gray.) A rule of thumb is that you can correct for this by adjusting the exposure -2ev. It will under expose if you're pointed at something white. You can adjust for this by adjusting -1ev. (To make the white 18% gray.)

Here's a pair of shots I took using spot metering and aperture priority mode, a painted column at a zoo.  I didn't do any ev adjustments, but pointed the spot at different portions of the scene.   In the top left shot, I metered on the bottom of the column in direct sunlight. In the bottom left shot I metered on the top of the column in shade. The two images on the right are simply the other two images chopped and reassembled in photoshop, to show that using this method you can have a great deal of control over exposure depending on where you point the camera.

There are a variety of resources online (Or in print!) that could help you understand the basics. http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/has some great articles on basic and advanced topics, and would be a great place to start. Ansel Adams' books The Camera, The Negative and The Print ( http://www.abebooks.com/Ansel-Adams-Print-Negative-Camera-Volume/8119183276/bd ) are written about film, but all of the principles are the same. These books, if you can find them, are absolutely fantastic. (!)

My impression of your shot is that if it's over exposed it's not by much. Well within the range of being adjusted in post processing. To me it's more that the light is flat, so there's not a lot of contrast.

Happy shooting!

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