Overexposed - some help please.

Started Mar 23, 2014 | Discussions
RayGuselli
RayGuselli Forum Pro • Posts: 15,050
Overexposed - some help please.

Hi

Could I get some help and advice please?

I am also posting this in the camera specific forum (Nikon D700) but want to put the question and problem to friends here please.

I was shooting today using my Nikon D700 and Nikon 28-300 lens.

A very bright day.

As sometimes happen, many of the images taken (in RAW) have a burnt out/overexposed sky, with the subject being reasonably accommodated.

When I click auto in ACR the image ends up with a great sky but subject too dark.

I end up manually adjusting anyway, but wonder why I am so far adrift with exposure please?

I am clearly not getting exposure right in these circumstances.....any advice would be appreciated.

I attach a link to a RAW file so you can see the problem.
Would be very grateful for any help please.
Thanks
Ray

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/kq454nns3un2xnt/VXO72ewNS1

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Ron AKA Veteran Member • Posts: 4,875
Re: Overexposed - some help please.

I would suggest it is about 2 stops over exposed, and you have lost some of the sky to the left of the girl and horse. Next time if you used a two stop exposure compenstation you would likely get a much better image to work with. Your camera may have a backlighting setting or you could just set it manually, or move the metering point around until the sky shows detail and lock the exposure there. Here is the result of my quick attempt to fix it up in PSE Adobe Camera RAW. Nice shot by the way, except for the sky...

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RayGuselli
OP RayGuselli Forum Pro • Posts: 15,050
Re: Overexposed - some help please....RON

Ron AKA wrote:

I would suggest it is about 2 stops over exposed, and you have lost some of the sky to the left of the girl and horse. Next time if you used a two stop exposure compenstation you would likely get a much better image to work with. Here is the result of my quick attempt to fix it up in PSE Adobe Camera RAW. Nice shot by the way, except for the sky...

Ron,
Thanks so much for your help....appreciated a great deal.
I have come up with a similar solution in ACR and ended up cloning at low opacity some of the unblown sky to disguise my error.
Do you have any idea why I am so much overexposed please?
I was shooting shutter priority etc....I assumed it would be somewhere near BUT, I seem to have ended up with exposure of my daughter and her horse nearer correct exposure, at the expense of all the sky etc...
Any recommendations as to how I might have better used the camera?...perhaps manual and a few test shots first...but my worry would have been that for exposing more for the sky, the subject would be too dark?
Down to my inexperience but grateful for your help so far...thanks very much.
Best wishes
Ray

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Ron AKA Veteran Member • Posts: 4,875
Re: Overexposed - some help please....RON

What mode do you have your metering in? For this particular shot you would be best to have it in a wide matrix mode that includes the sky. I have been experimenting lately by using a narrow spot metering. With it you can easily get the exposure you got, by metering on the relatively dark horse. That does a nice job of the horse but blows out the sky. So, what I do is move the spot around to give me a nice sky that looks about right in the view finder. The horse is going to look underexposed, but that is ok. To do this you would have to put the spot on part of the horse and part of the sky and lock it there. If your camera is focusing at the same time, it has to be a part that is going to give an acceptable focus too. I find this method quicker than using exposure compensation. But of course you can do that too. Manually adjust the compensation until the viewfinder looks right. Bracket it to be sure you get a workable image.

The bottom line is that you can't recover blown highlights, but you can work with bringing out underexposed areas.

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swald Regular Member • Posts: 146
Re: Overexposed - some help please....RON

The EXIF data indicates that the camera was in "spot" metering mode, which, as Ron explained, would account for the overexposure, especially with a scene with such bright lighting in the background.

RayGuselli
OP RayGuselli Forum Pro • Posts: 15,050
Re: Overexposed - some help please....RON and SWALD

Many thanks...
Yes...I blundered...spot metering.
Probably would have been better wide matrix......
I see what you mean now - I have been exposing for my daughter/horse only using spot.
Going to try again and learn....

My friend has phoned and given me some advice as well..explaining about centre weighted and adjusting the area etc...another thing for me to learn.

So grateful for the help here again......
Best wishes and many thanks
Ray

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kormendi_adam
kormendi_adam Contributing Member • Posts: 889
Spot metering + backlighting + dark horse

A very tricky situation

Last week I had the same problem, and thanks God I had all RAW files. Many of my shots were heavily overexposed although I used matrix metering. As I figured out, it was the big, dark body of the horse that fooled the meter. I was in a hurry and forgot to meter off the rider's face....

I learned my lesson

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RayGuselli
OP RayGuselli Forum Pro • Posts: 15,050
Re: Spot metering + backlighting + dark horse....KORMENDI

I too am learning and appreciate your feedback...sounds identical situation!!!
Many thanks again for your feedback...I have a lot to learn.
Best wishes
Ray

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RayGuselli
OP RayGuselli Forum Pro • Posts: 15,050
My solution......

Adjusted in ACR....replace sky...
Levels, curves etc...
Ray

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billythek Veteran Member • Posts: 5,260
Re: Overexposed - some help please.

Ray, just to add to what folks have told you, You may want to consider using automated exposure bracketing, especially if you are unsure about how to properly set exposure.  Not sure what Nikon calls it, but Canon calls it AEB.  Bracketing by +/- 1 stop would probably get you something you can work with in post, and you might be able to blend them into an HDR if you needed.

Another thing to do is turn on blinkies, and pay attention to the histogram when you shoot.  Especially if it is a shot that you recognize might give you trouble, like this one.  Part of the learning process is to recognize such situations.

One other feature I've been using lately is called "exposure lock & hold".  Not sure if your particular camera has this feature, but thought I'd mention it just in case.  With this feature you can find the particular exposure solution you need for a tricky backlit scene like yours, and then lock that exposure for multiple shots without worrying about what the exposure meter will do.

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- Bill

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tom60634 Senior Member • Posts: 2,130
Quick edit with DxO 9

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RayGuselli
OP RayGuselli Forum Pro • Posts: 15,050
Re: Overexposed - some help please. BillyTheK

billythek wrote:

Ray, just to add to what folks have told you, You may want to consider using automated exposure bracketing, especially if you are unsure about how to properly set exposure. Not sure what Nikon calls it, but Canon calls it AEB. Bracketing by +/- 1 stop would probably get you something you can work with in post, and you might be able to blend them into an HDR if you needed.

Another thing to do is turn on blinkies, and pay attention to the histogram when you shoot. Especially if it is a shot that you recognize might give you trouble, like this one. Part of the learning process is to recognize such situations.

One other feature I've been using lately is called "exposure lock & hold". Not sure if your particular camera has this feature, but thought I'd mention it just in case. With this feature you can find the particular exposure solution you need for a tricky backlit scene like yours, and then lock that exposure for multiple shots without worrying about what the exposure meter will do.

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- Bill

Hi Bill
Amazing...I have just finished looking at the options you refer to...
The D700 does have bracketing  (but I assume that would need a tripod to work and presumably on a still subject???...not sure Bill?)
Blinkies...yes...turned on..BUT in my eagerness to shoot  did not properly consider....lesson learned!!
Exposure lock....yep!!...another aid I did not use...
I realise that if you have something like a D700, with as many options as it has...I really need to start and learn what is available.
Going to find some videos if I can re the D700 and watch and learn...
All of your pointers would have helped....!!!and I am grateful for you making me aware...
Best wishes again...Ray

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Pixel Poetry
Pixel Poetry Veteran Member • Posts: 5,334
Re: Overexposed - some help please.
1

Expose for the sky and use fill flash.
PX

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RayGuselli
OP RayGuselli Forum Pro • Posts: 15,050
Re: Quick edit with DxO 9...TOM

Hi Tom,
That is a nice edit....the sky is a lot less distracting than my original...
This thread has taught me so much...the biggest of which is that I have in my possession a great camera...but am not using it to its full potential...really need to start and understand just what it can do and how to do it...
However, your edit shows that even when mistakes are made, they can be pulled back and corrected.
Much appreciate your help as well..
Best wishes
Ray

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Daviskw
Daviskw Senior Member • Posts: 2,769
Re: Overexposed - some help please.

Lovely picture and subject...:-D...not so good rendition...overdone again but always fun.

Butch

billythek Veteran Member • Posts: 5,260
Re: Overexposed - some help please. BillyTheK

RayGuselli wrote:

billythek wrote:

Ray, just to add to what folks have told you, You may want to consider using automated exposure bracketing, especially if you are unsure about how to properly set exposure. Not sure what Nikon calls it, but Canon calls it AEB. Bracketing by +/- 1 stop would probably get you something you can work with in post, and you might be able to blend them into an HDR if you needed.

Another thing to do is turn on blinkies, and pay attention to the histogram when you shoot. Especially if it is a shot that you recognize might give you trouble, like this one. Part of the learning process is to recognize such situations.

One other feature I've been using lately is called "exposure lock & hold". Not sure if your particular camera has this feature, but thought I'd mention it just in case. With this feature you can find the particular exposure solution you need for a tricky backlit scene like yours, and then lock that exposure for multiple shots without worrying about what the exposure meter will do.

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- Bill

Hi Bill
Amazing...I have just finished looking at the options you refer to...
The D700 does have bracketing (but I assume that would need a tripod to work and presumably on a still subject???...not sure Bill?)

If you wanted to do HDR, it is best to use a tripod, however, it is possible to do handheld HDR.  The main reason I do bracketing is just to find the best starting point for post-processing using a single image.  You can even do single-image HDR.

Here is my attempt.  It was foggy that day, right?

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- Bill

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RayGuselli
OP RayGuselli Forum Pro • Posts: 15,050
Re: Overexposed - some help please. BillyTheK

Hi Billy,
I never thought of a one image HDR and have programs to do it..
Also, must try bracketing as you say, if the shots fire quick enough it may just work.
Thanks again and for your excellent rendition.....perhaps another way of saving the image...
Best wishes
Ray

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RayGuselli
OP RayGuselli Forum Pro • Posts: 15,050
Re: Overexposed - some help please.

Pixel Poetry wrote:

Expose for the sky and use fill flash.
PX

Hi Pixel...as always a great take and of course...your advice is the one option not mentioned so far...perhaps that might just have been the solution...
I use an SB800 so it would have done the job...if only I could turn the clock back....but...there will be a next time.
Many thanks for your excellent retouch...
Best wishes
Ray

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RayGuselli
OP RayGuselli Forum Pro • Posts: 15,050
Re: Overexposed - some help please....Butch

Hi Butch...once again...I love this take...

I am veering between the more saturated style and this, more natural...
Excellent work as always and am grateful you have taken time to work on this...MUCH appreciated.
Best wishes
Ray

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Van Griff Senior Member • Posts: 1,090
Re: Overexposed - some help please.

RG

When shooting with a bright background I find the best solution to be:

1.  Shoot RAW to allow greatest PP latitude.

2.  I set my FN button to Lock Exposure.

3.  Set your Exposure Compensation to +2 [experiment with a range of +1 - +3].

4.  Set spot metering.

5.  Lock your exposure on the brightest point in the image . . . be it sky . . . or snow . . . or whatever appears to be the brightest spot.

6.  Adjust your exposure to suit using the lowest ISO possible and required aperture and shutter speeds.

7.  Re-frame and capture your image.

8.  Check for blinkies and expose to the right on your histogram . . . adjust and re shoot the image if necessary.

9.  You should end up with an exposure where your brightest point is not overblown . . . other areas may be underexposed but this is usually fairly easily successfully corrected in PP.

The key is to spot meter on the brightest part of the image with approx +2 EC . . . lock your exposure meter . . . and set your ISO / Aperture / SS . . . accordingly.

Good luck with it!

Best

V G

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