What to do with blinding sun?

dulaney22

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Aug 18, 2010
Messages
106
I realize that most of the day isn't good shooting light, but with kids you take what you get. I'm posting an example from the zoo last weekend where the sun just super-exposes the shot and, even with editing, it's just obnoxious. I have a buddy who uses a neutral density filter, but is that the best way to combat bright light? I know it will never be optimal, I'm just looking for a filter or setting that might help.

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twalker294

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Aug 18, 2010
Messages
545
A neutral density filter will only let you use a slower shutter speed or smaller aperture than you would be able to otherwise. It will do nothing to even out an exposure like this. The problem is the dynamic range in the photo, or the difference between the brightest area and the darkest area. If that range is greater than the camera can handle, either the shadows will be underexposed or the highlights will be overexposed. It's up to the photographer to decide which is more important.

Rudi's suggestion is best. The fill flash will serve to reduce that dynamic range by bringing the exposure of the shadow areas closer to that of the highlights.

Your other option, if you shoot in RAW, is to convert the picture once to expose the shadows properly, then convert again to expose the highlights properly then combine them using either HDR software or a standard image editor. This can be effective in some situations but in cases of extreme dynamic range even that won't solve the problem all the time.
 
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