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What to do with blinding sun?

Discussion in 'Creative Corner' started by dulaney22, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. dulaney22

    dulaney22 Mu-43 Regular

    106
    Aug 18, 2010
    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.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/dulaney22/4965936007/" title="P9041574 by dulaney22, on Flickr">
    4965936007_67835ace6e_z.jpg
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    "640" height="480" alt="P9041574" /></a>
     
  2. Rudi

    Rudi Mu-43 Top Veteran

    574
    Aug 16, 2010
    Australia
    Two words: fill flash. :smile:
     
  3. twalker294

    twalker294 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    545
    Aug 18, 2010
    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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