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Thread: photos often too dark

  1. #1
    Member Hinkelbein's Avatar
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    Default photos often too dark

    Hi,

    I am rather new to photography in general and I have two questions regarding taking pictures of planes.

    First Question:
    My pictures often come out too dark:
    a.) in general, the whole picture
    6.) the wheels, gears and shadows

    Do you guys sometimes deliberately overexpose the pictures so that you can easily restore them later and make acceptable pictures?

    I know how to adjust the white balance on my EOS 400, but I donīt know exactly how to use this "tric" in practise! In other words: do I adjust white balance on the runway, on a sheet of paper, on the shadows of the plane(s) or on the sky?

    Second question:
    How do you useally shoot clear pictures when the weather is cloudy? My photos are alwasy so dark then! Again, I know how to use white balance (also the programmed ones) on my camera but not in practise.

    I see a lot of photos in the database that were taken in weather not too optimal for photography that come out pretty well though!

    You can understand that it is sometimes very frustrating to come home and see the pictures are crap

    Thanks in advance!!

    Hinkelbein

  2. #2
    Senior Member Airbus_A320's Avatar
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    Set the exposure compensation up, mess around with it and see what is good for the situation at hand. Use the histogram. If a lot of it is too the left it's underexposed. You want the histogram to be biased a bit to the right, but not too much, as that would mean too overexposed. Also, shoot in raw mode if you can since you can fine tune things like white balance and exposure after the fact if you need to.

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    Senior Member brianw999's Avatar
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    Can't comment on Canon setup but with my Nikons I shoot RAW, use centreweighted metering, underexpose by -.7 EV in bright sun, -.3 EV in cloudy sun and -.3 to 0 EV in bright, but no shadows thrown, cloudy light. By shooting in RAW I then have some postprocessing leeway in PS as the highlights should not be blown out.
    If it 'ain't broken........ Don't try to mend it !


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    Member Hinkelbein's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reactions.

    I guess itīs also a matter of playing around and experience. And ... maybe I shouldnīt take pictures early in the morning when I have the sun in a bad position. This mostly results in backlit pictures. One advantage: I can sleep a little longer , but thereīs nothing so good as listening to big engines and smelling fuel ...

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    Senior Member pilotgolfer's Avatar
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    You could try some silhouette shots against the sun in the morning. Doesn't hurt to try.
    And it's already been said before, but really the best thing you can do is get out there and tinker with settings to get it. That's the fun part, being out in all different types of conditions.

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    JetPhotos Crew B7772ADL's Avatar
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    From experience, it's my opinion that the more consumer based Canons (300/350/400D) tend to play safe and underexpose. They certainly do compared to my 20d and 40d anyway. Play about with the exposure compensation until you find a good balance.

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    Member Hinkelbein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B7772ADL
    From experience, it's my opinion that the more consumer based Canons (300/350/400D) tend to play safe and underexpose.
    Thatīs probably why some of my pictures are so dark, because it plays safe and underexposes. I will have to play with Exposure Compensation.

  8. #8
    Member Hinkelbein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianw999
    Can't comment on Canon setup but with my Nikons I shoot RAW, use centreweighted metering, underexpose by -.7 EV in bright sun, -.3 EV in cloudy sun and -.3 to 0 EV in bright, but no shadows thrown, cloudy light. By shooting in RAW I then have some postprocessing leeway in PS as the highlights should not be blown out.
    Hi Brian,

    Just to make sure I understand you ...
    While taking pictures under the circumstances I described in my opening of this topic, you underexpose? You deliberately make the pictures darker so that the PS processing goes better? That makes sense by sunny weather.

    Does this imply that I overexpose in cloudy grey weather? And should I use the same values you described?
    I ask because I fear the photos will look so bright then with a lot of noise. Or am I mistaken?

    Thanks

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    Member Hinkelbein's Avatar
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    And I forgot to ask:

    Which do you prefer to use under the waether circumstances I described:
    P, Tv, Av, M, other?

    I find shooting in P the easiest way, but I am always willing to hear what you experienced plane admirers find the best way

  10. #10
    Senior Member brianw999's Avatar
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    I use aperture priority to control depth of field. Remember that you're using Canon and I use Nikon though. Both very good camera systems but they will invariably have differences in how the manufacturers set up the default features. The only real answer is to go out and practice.

    On lets say a cloudy day, shoot 10 shots at -.7 EV, 10 at -.3 EV, 10 at 0 EV and 10 at +.3 EV. I would guess that on a cloudy day the the 0 EV and +.3 EV will give the best results.

    Alternatively, I believe you can set the camera to take a sequence of shots with those settings built in. Put simply, you motor off 4 shots on each subject with the exposure differences built in. The up side to all this experimentation is twofold.
    1. You gain more experience and learn more about your camera and...
    2. With the exposure bracketing you are bound to come up with something uploadable.
    If it 'ain't broken........ Don't try to mend it !


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    Member Hinkelbein's Avatar
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    Thanks again Brian, I will go on field work. I'll try every step you mentioned. Guess I will print your messages so I can't forget anything when I am along the runway without my pc or laptop

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