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  • Dog picture, help with exposure.

    LucyWindown2

    I used this in the weekly assignment contest. I really like the photo, but as you see, the sky is completely overexposed. I tried doing my best to fix it in GIMP, but with no success. My Dad mentioned taking two pictures, one with camera exposed for the sky, the other for my dog. The problem with that is (besides not knowing anything about using layers) this shot was hand held, due to the dog moving around, and that my camera was a few inches away from her face. Any helps, tips, whatever is appreciated. I've had my camera for a couple weeks now and trying to learn the correct way of taking photographs.

    Camera - Canon T2i
    Lens - 18-55mm
    Shutter - 1/64.0s
    Aperture - f/3.5
    ISO - 100
    Focal length - 18.0mm
    Equipment - Canon T2i 550D / Canon IS 18-55mm / Tamron SP 24-135mm
    Post Processing - The Gimp, UFRaw, and Luminance.

    Flickr Visit my page and leave any tips!

  • #2
    What you're dad is probably talking about is HDR, which can be difficult to do on a camera like yours that doesn't come with automatic bracketing (this is when your camera automatically takes several pictures at different exposures at the same time). Anytime I want to do an HDR photo I have to use a tripod and I never use a moving subject.

    I really like this photo though so if I were you I would just let the sky be blown out because right now it looks a little over processed.

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    • #3
      There is too much dynamic range to expose properly for both without having to merge two different exposures. In my opinion, you always want to expose for the subject. If something in the environment that is not critical for the shot blows out, just leave it be. A lot of people don't like blown skies, and a lot of people don't care. (me) as long as you get the story across. The image above obviously show the dog in it's favorite place in the house, by the door/window. It would still come across to the viewer that way, even if the sky were even more blown out. The absolute best thing to do would be to move the subject somewhere that this wouldn't happen, but you always can't, like this shot.
      Luke.
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      • #4
        Originally posted by Brookeabee123 View Post
        What you're dad is probably talking about is HDR, which can be difficult to do on a camera like yours that doesn't come with automatic bracketing (this is when your camera automatically takes several pictures at different exposures at the same time). Anytime I want to do an HDR photo I have to use a tripod and I never use a moving subject.

        I really like this photo though so if I were you I would just let the sky be blown out because right now it looks a little over processed.
        Just for the record, the t2i, does do automatic exposure bracketing...

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        • #5
          Thank you for your comments, I really appreciate it. And Serene, you are correct. When I read Brookeabee's post, I wanted to know what that means, and I have that option to use. So I've spent some hours researching how to implement it, and I believe that may fix my over-exposure issues I've been having. But again, thank you so much. My first post and I've already learned something I'm extremely excited about!
          Lance
          Equipment - Canon T2i 550D / Canon IS 18-55mm / Tamron SP 24-135mm
          Post Processing - The Gimp, UFRaw, and Luminance.

          Flickr Visit my page and leave any tips!

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          • #6
            I would say that with your lens set wide open & your shutter speed so low, it's no wonder that your sky was blown out. In this case, a faster shutter speed with fill flash would have made all the difference. I'm sorry, there's no way to save this photo without at least some work in editing. Try revisiting this one with a higher shutter speed next time. Everything else is fine as far as your other camera settings. Experiment until you find the right shutter speed with the fill flash. It'll work even better if you have an off camera speedlight you can adjust for the output. Mine goes anywhere from 1:1 ratio (full power) all the way to 1:64th ratio (least powerful-adds a small amount of fill).

            Best of luck!
            My cameras: 2 Nikon dSLRs, 4 lenses, + a Canon P&S
            "Photographers are the only ones who can go out and shoot something ... and bring it back alive." - Peter Blaise

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            • #7
              You're in a tough spot. As Luke said, the DR is too great to record as is. Bracketing won't help unless you are going to do combining in post processing.
              As Marla said, a shorter exposure for the sky and flash for the dog is the only "in camera" solution. But I'm guessing you don't have an off-camera flash. Fill flash can be tricky with the built in flash, but it can work in some cases.
              You could have tried some household lighting (lamps etc) equipped with "daylight bulbs" to add light for the dog....
              Steve
              the Photographic Academy.com
              SharpShooter Industries
              My 500px, My Flickr, My Blog

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              • #8
                Love the first image, nice set of images but you should definetly get a dog as mint as that into a studio enviroment. You could capture some class shots

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                • #9
                  [QUOTE=mosgood;1430000]I would say that with your lens set wide open & your shutter speed so low, it's no wonder that your sky was blown out. In this case, a faster shutter speed with fill flash would have made all the difference. I'm sorry, there's no way to save this photo without at least some work in editing. Try revisiting this one with a higher shutter speed next time. Everything else is fine as far as your other camera settings. Experiment until you find the right shutter speed with the fill flash. It'll work even better if you have an off camera speedlight you can adjust for the output. Mine goes anywhere from 1:1 ratio (full power) all the way to 1:64th ratio (least powerful-adds a small amount of fill).

                  Thank you for your advise! You are correct, I do not have an off camera speedlight, at least not yet. I will play around with the tips you gave me.

                  Originally posted by sk66 View Post
                  You're in a tough spot. As Luke said, the DR is too great to record as is. Bracketing won't help unless you are going to do combining in post processing.
                  As Marla said, a shorter exposure for the sky and flash for the dog is the only "in camera" solution. But I'm guessing you don't have an off-camera flash. Fill flash can be tricky with the built in flash, but it can work in some cases.
                  You could have tried some household lighting (lamps etc) equipped with "daylight bulbs" to add light for the dog....
                  Thanks for the tips! Using lamps and other things like that are a good idea to try out if the on camera flash doesn't have a good look.

                  Originally posted by photographyxfactor View Post
                  Love the first image, nice set of images but you should definetly get a dog as mint as that into a studio enviroment. You could capture some class shots
                  Thanks for the complement, she's my photogenic dog, my other one is as black as midnight, so I've had trouble getting good photos with her so far. The one in the picture is half yellow lab, half golden retriever.

                  Again, thank you everyone for the help. I'm very glad I've joined this site, it's been more than helpful.
                  Equipment - Canon T2i 550D / Canon IS 18-55mm / Tamron SP 24-135mm
                  Post Processing - The Gimp, UFRaw, and Luminance.

                  Flickr Visit my page and leave any tips!

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                  • #10
                    One shot HDR suggestion.

                    You could try this. I have experimented with it with reasonable results. Shoot this same same scene one stop underexposed and raw. Open the raw file in DPP, and process it 2 or 3 times, changing only the exposure. I would suggest -2, +1, at the very least. Export the final processed images. Use PSE8 or some other program to combine the images. PSE8 calls it "Photomerge Exposure". This will get you 3 stops of recovery on the window, and put the dog's exposure back where it belongs. Good luck.
                    P.S. I didn't invent this; just read about it somewhere.
                    5D, 60D - both gripped. 24 2.8 IS USM, 85 1.8, 100-400L, Σ70-200 f/2.8 OS HSM, 10-22, 15-85, Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 non-VC, Tamron 28-75 f/2.8, 20-35 USM, 28-135 IS USM.

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                    • #11
                      Hi Lance,

                      You can still do this without a speedlight. Just use a lamp set up near your dog to throw some additional light on her. Use a faster shutter speed, & experiment with your depth of field until you find the right balance. The indoor light should fool the camera into making the skies showing through the window darker. It'll take some patience but she looks like the type to be a fairly cooperative model. Small low calorie treats are great bribes. I use them all the time! You might be able to get some better pictures of your black dog using similar methods. I shoot black animals all the time as a volunteer for a couple of rescue groups. They are challenging, but good outdoor lighting (think overcast skies but still sunny-shadows will be less pronounced-the clouds work just like a softbox), or a well lit room, will help you get past this hurtle. Plus some editing in a photo program should help you pull out some good shots. Looking forward to seeing more of your dogs' photos.

                      Good luck!
                      My cameras: 2 Nikon dSLRs, 4 lenses, + a Canon P&S
                      "Photographers are the only ones who can go out and shoot something ... and bring it back alive." - Peter Blaise

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                      • #12
                        How gorgeous! We had to have our retriever put down a few weeks ago, old age. Your photo captures your dog beautifully. I love the was his/her head is on the paw, and the way the dog's upper lip is squashed, so typical! Technically, the photo may not be perfect, but I love the photo anyway.
                        Is the sky on the original really too bad? The sky on the one you first posted definitely look over-processed, but my thoughts are that the dog is so prominent, an over-exposed sky wouldn't be all that bad. Sometimes detail in the sky can be too distracting anyway. Could you please post the original for us to see?
                        My gear: Canon 60D, Canon 18-55mm f/3.5, 55-250mm f/4, and 50mm f1.8.
                        My website Jay Elle Eff.
                        "It's better to be a first-rate version of yourself, than a second-rate version of someone else."

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jay Elle Eff View Post
                          How gorgeous! We had to have our retriever put down a few weeks ago, old age. Your photo captures your dog beautifully. I love the was his/her head is on the paw, and the way the dog's upper lip is squashed, so typical! Technically, the photo may not be perfect, but I love the photo anyway.
                          Is the sky on the original really too bad? The sky on the one you first posted definitely look over-processed, but my thoughts are that the dog is so prominent, an over-exposed sky wouldn't be all that bad. Sometimes detail in the sky can be too distracting anyway. Could you please post the original for us to see?
                          Thanks Jay, and I'm so sorry to hear about your dog. I bet he/she had a great life. Here is the original picture of Lucy, this one is the Jpeg, but I also shot it in Raw. Like I said, I'm brand-spanking new at photography, so that also includes post processing. Also, after dropping the money on the Camera/lenses/filters/batteries/etc, I'm using free software such as: UFRaw, Gimp, and Luminance (for HDR). So I don't have the luxury yet of using Photoshop yet. I use mainly Levels, saturations, and unsharp mask in Gimp, but have been trying to learn how to use Dodge and Burn and Layers in Gimp, but so far, with little to no success. Is one of the issues with the over exposed background because I was using a F/3.5 instead of a F/8+ to have the background in focus? When I work with brightness or saturation, I'm getting halos around the trees in the background and was wondering if that was the problem.
                          Equipment - Canon T2i 550D / Canon IS 18-55mm / Tamron SP 24-135mm
                          Post Processing - The Gimp, UFRaw, and Luminance.

                          Flickr Visit my page and leave any tips!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Lance Brittain View Post
                            Thanks Jay, and I'm so sorry to hear about your dog. I bet he/she had a great life. Here is the original picture of Lucy, this one is the Jpeg, but I also shot it in Raw. Like I said, I'm brand-spanking new at photography, so that also includes post processing. Also, after dropping the money on the Camera/lenses/filters/batteries/etc, I'm using free software such as: UFRaw, Gimp, and Luminance (for HDR). So I don't have the luxury yet of using Photoshop yet. I use mainly Levels, saturations, and unsharp mask in Gimp, but have been trying to learn how to use Dodge and Burn and Layers in Gimp, but so far, with little to no success. Is one of the issues with the over exposed background because I was using a F/3.5 instead of a F/8+ to have the background in focus? When I work with brightness or saturation, I'm getting halos around the trees in the background and was wondering if that was the problem.
                            Other than the distracting bit of something in the sky area, this is a much better version! Just edit out the distraction, & keep it as is.
                            My cameras: 2 Nikon dSLRs, 4 lenses, + a Canon P&S
                            "Photographers are the only ones who can go out and shoot something ... and bring it back alive." - Peter Blaise

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                            • #15
                              I wanted to take on the challenge of editing your photo and wanted to share what I came up with. Still has blown out highlights but it's such a cute picture! Good luck on future photos of your dear friend
                              www.photographybybrittanylewis.com

                              http://www.flickr.com/photos/78540963@N05/

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