try to capture the sky...still with 55kit lens

Started Aug 5, 2012 | Discussions thread
Tuckerpup Regular Member • Posts: 176
Re: I agree

The comments and suggestions seem to be of the "learn more and get better" variety - perhaps something more specific would be helpful.

First, the best book I've ever read on photography is "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson - available on Amazon and elsewhere. Get it, and keep referring to it. It's not the only book you should read, but it's definitely one of the books you should read.

Second, as for exposure, the key to getting what you want is three - fold - knowing what you want, knowing how to meter for what you want, then setting your camera to achieve that result. With shots like this that have such a big difference between highlights and shadows (a 'high dynamic range' in photog lingo) it is helpful to put the camera in spot meter mode (single dot in the middle on the lcd screen) and point the center of the frame at that which you want exposed 'properly'. Note the indicated exposure in terms of shutter speed, aperture and ISO.

With such a high dynamic range, manual mode is probably best. Set the camera to the indicated exposure when metering as above. That's just the starting point. If you metered on the foreground and want it to be silhouetted, under-expose by 2-3 stops. If you want a faint lighting of the foreground, maybe only 1 1/2 to 2 stops. If the capturing the sky is your primary goal, meter on that and adjust settings accordingly.

One other way to deal with this is of course to provide some fill flash. In that case, meter on the sky, set exposure (in manual), and you can use your pop-up flash to fill a little. I usually like to stop down the flash by at least 2/3rds (see your manual for flash exposure compensation methods), and sometimes even more if I want a fainter flash effect. You will find that just a little pop of the flash can hint at what's in the foreground without overdoing it, while preserving the primary focus of the sky-shot.

Third, the composition should have a basic idea of what you are trying to capture. Most sky shots are more interesting in the context of the landscape over which it is displayed. I didn't really get much sense of that in your photos but that will come with practice.

Last but not least, and this is something I'm not really schooled on yet, but the 60D has Automatic Light Optimization (ALO) settings that can help deal with wide dynamic ranges in the frame - read up on that and experiment with it.

All in all it's part of the fun - learning how to handle a camera and produce great images because you know how to use the camera - welcome to the "still learning how to use my camera" club - every single person on this forum is a member!

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Canon EOS 60D Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Canon EF 100mm f/2.0 USM Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Canon EF-S 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 IS +7 more
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