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Cloudy and misty conditions


johnmac 4 91
11 Jun 2012 9:32AM
Hi, Im after some photo tips please. I use Nikon D700 with 24-120mm f4 and 50mmf1.8G lenses. I Do find that I seem to get better images if I under expose by a 0.3 or 0.7 otherwise I find the images can look a little overexposed.
Best settings for photographing in cloudy conditions?
Best setting for photographing in misty conditions?
I have been an enthusiast for abouth 18 monhs now but as you can see by my question Im not an advanced photographer, any help would be appreciated.

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janeez e2
6 1.2k 8 United Kingdom
11 Jun 2012 10:44AM
Just wondered if this is from prints that you have noticed this or could your monitor be too bright? Tricky thing to get everything correct.
puertouk 3 1.1k 17 United Kingdom
11 Jun 2012 10:45AM
You can use a ND grad in misty conditions. Another way is in Photoshop. The only problem under exposing is, you do it to all of the image. I don't get a lot of misty conditions here in Tenerife, so I'm no expert in this field. Hope it helps
Stephen
mikehit e2
5 7.1k 11 United Kingdom
11 Jun 2012 10:54AM
By 'better images' do you mean the mist is more apparent? Then yes, I would agree with you that slightly undersposing is better. Underexposing also gives a slight saturation to colours which has a greater visual impact.
It is hard to give 'best settings' because somuch will depend on the direction of the sun, general tonality of the scense, density of mist/cloud etc. The only thing I would recommend is using the histogram - take one shot and if the histogram is not pushing off the right hand end of the graph, increase exposure until it is just touching the right edge (or until the preview picture on the back of the camera has any 'blinkies'). Then play with exposure settings in post processing to something you like. Even then, as janeez says, so much depends on the brightness of your screen.
The other thing to consider is that often mist will be drifting which means that if light is low the longer exposure times will mean the definition of the mist is blurred and less obvious.
User_Removed 5 4.6k 1 Scotland
11 Jun 2012 11:27AM
Like Janeez, I would be inclined to ask whether your monitor and/or printer are correctly calibrated if you are finding apparent overexposure a common and frequent problem.

On a correctly calibrated monitor, a correctly exposed D700 Raw file without any post-processing may look a trifle under-saturated but it should not look overexposed. Generally speaking, as long as you use the correct AE metering mode for the subject, then the D700 should expose most subjects correctly. But, of course, there are subjects that simply outwit any AE system, which is why you have the exposure compensation button.

My suggestion would be to check your monitor calibration using something like a Spyder and then try to find an evenly graduated subject with a good range of tones and run some bracketed shots at plus and minus 0.3, plus and minus 0.7 and plus and minus 1 EV to see if you do get consistently better results with some degree of compensation.

If it does transpire that your exposure meter is a wee bit out, it is not really a problem as you can routinely apply the requisite compensation - the important thing is to know. But do check out all the other parameters first.
mikehit e2
5 7.1k 11 United Kingdom
11 Jun 2012 12:04PM

Quote:My suggestion would be to check your monitor calibration using something like a Spyder


I thought the monitor could be correctly calibrated but still be too bright and this one of the main reasons for the oft-stated problem of prints being darker than the on-screen image. There comes a point that the brightness causes colour shift but this is often not an issue.
User_Removed 5 4.6k 1 Scotland
11 Jun 2012 2:44PM

Quote:My suggestion would be to check your monitor calibration using something like a Spyder

I thought the monitor could be correctly calibrated but still be too bright and this one of the main reasons for the oft-stated problem of prints being darker than the on-screen image. There comes a point that the brightness causes colour shift but this is often not an issue.



Mike,

Part of the Spyder calibration process involves adjusting the brightness of the monitor after the device assesses the ambient light levels.

.
mikehit e2
5 7.1k 11 United Kingdom
11 Jun 2012 3:04PM
Cheers, LF. I have the Spyder and used it on my old screen (standard Dell flat screen) - so maybe if it can't adjust brightness it does what it can. My new U2412 has brightness controls so it should do it then. Good to know
johnmac 4 91
11 Jun 2012 4:29PM
Thanks all for your advice. I have just calibrated my monitor with Spyder 3 Pro which I purchased from a friend and it has made a slight difference to the screen and colours, the screen is slightly darker than it was before. I have been having problems with prints, they always came out darker than on the monitor. I will try Leftforum advice and and do a series of shots from - 0.3 . + 0.3 up to +1 & - 1. I always wondered it you take images with a lot of mist about would you over or under expose. It came about walking the dog early in the morning and there was a lake with a good mist on it, thought I would take the camera next time. I know I could take a lot of different shots but if I had an idea what settings to start with it would help.

Thank again all
mikehit e2
5 7.1k 11 United Kingdom
11 Jun 2012 4:47PM

Quote:the screen is slightly darker than it was before

That happens a lot - screens are ususally set up by the manufacturers for maximum impact/contrast for documents and games/movies


Quote:I have been having problems with prints, they always came out darker than on the monitor.

A very common issue. If you google 'why are my prints darker than on screen' you will see much discussion on this and one comment is that a screen is often set up in a corner of the room with less than maximum illumination but because the screen is illuminated from behind this is not a problem. The print however relies on reflected light so you need to lok at it in a brighter area and if you take it next to a window the differences become much less distinct.
mlewis 10 1.5k United Kingdom
11 Jun 2012 5:26PM

Quote: I have been having problems with prints, they always came out darker than on the monitor.

You need to adjust the brightness of the screen to match the viewing conditions of your prints.
SlowSong e2
6 4.8k 29 England
11 Jun 2012 5:48PM
So, if you darken the screen to compensate for the backlighting, you may get brighter prints but won't the images look too bright when uploaded to a site like EPZ?
johnmac 4 91
11 Jun 2012 7:10PM
Before I calibrated my Samsung monitor I re-set it back to factory settings which were brightness 100, contrast 65 & sharpness 60. After recalibrating, the monitor is now brightness 73, contrast 75 & sharpness 60. I calibrated during the day (I would normally edit in day and early evening) in the kitchen with blinds closed and the back of the monitor facing the kitchen window. Through the process it said to adjust the brightness on my monitor to match the Brightness Target (73). Do you think I should have set both the monitor brightness from 100 down to 50 & contrast 65 down to 50 rather than factory settings? Then calibrate.
I suppose I would be better trying Mlewis comments and having prints done then compare/matching them to the monitor display.
User_Removed 5 4.6k 1 Scotland
11 Jun 2012 7:51PM

Quote:Cheers, LF. I have the Spyder and used it on my old screen (standard Dell flat screen) - so maybe if it can't adjust brightness it does what it can. My new U2412 has brightness controls so it should do it then. Good to know


Mike,

No - it won't do it. It will tell you to do it, and by how much, and tell you when you have got it right. Typically, in an average ambient light situation, it may determine that your brightness should be set to 120 and that, say, it is currently at 175. You then reducce your brightness manually and hit "refresh" and Spyder will then tell you that you are at, say, 130. So you reduce it a wee bit more ..... and so on until you are within range of 120.
johnmac 4 91
11 Jun 2012 8:04PM
Brill, thanks Mike I did it right then which is a bonus for me.

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