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Is there a filter or something that can be used so that whites don't get blown out? Now that I am taking shots outdoors so much, this is becoming a real problem. I am using the light meter on my camera, but still having problems.
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Expose for your whites on your histogram and use fill-flash to lift the shadows??
That's what I'd do, but I'm sure there'll be some far more expert advice to follow ;o)
You could always look at the sunny f16 rule on the internet...may help a bit too.
ND (neutral density) filters. Basically filters that block some of the light in a method that does not otherwise significantly alter the color of the image.
They come in varying strengths to block more or less light.
NDGrads or split NDs are good for landscapes where the upper (or lower) portion may need a different level of darkening.
I don't profess to be pro here but...
Expose properly, if using a Canon for instance, take a shot look, for the blinkies on preview then if need be wind down the exposure 1 or 2 stops (or thirds there of) Push shutter button half way, then wind big dial left to decrease exposure, right to increase - Sorry no experience how to do this on Nikon and the likes.
Bear in mind also that a SLR will only realistically take in about 6 or so stops of light at a time so massive contrast differences etc. require careful planning or multiple exposures.
You can indeed get filters tho, grads whether they be soft or hard, check out Lee filters for more info.
Hope this makes sense, im too drunk to read it back to myself now, not sure I understand any of it myself but I tried.
What type of shots and situations give you blown highlights (whites)? Depending on the circumstance a different approach can be used. In very general terms:
- Use spot metering, or centre weighted
- Use -1/3 or -2/3 exposure compenstaion as a default
- Shoot RAW (if poss)
- Use ND filters
Another old fashioned way might help, Point camera at the whiter areas of your composition, Half press shutter to lock exposure, Recompose your shot still holding the shutter button halfway, Then take the shot.
If your camera has exposure lock, Same again expose for the whites, Lock the exposure, Recompose and take the shot.
The above can be used with all exposure modes, But dependant on how bright things are you could also use as mentioned by Mike, Spot & Centre weighted, along with exposure lock.
If all else fails try not to shoot in very bright sunlight, ie When it's Overhead or between 12 noon and 3 pm, ALSO where possible move your subjects into a shaded area,,
Check the histrogram when you take a pic to see if there is a pile up at the extreme right of it - a sure sign of burnt out whites. Just apply a little "minus" exposure compensation if you find that your whites are too white.
Quote: your whites are too white.
Now why does that sound like a soap powder advert Sorry could not resist
As it happens I was dreaming of Persil Automatic (as one does) when I typed it!
Thank you everyone, I appreciate your input.
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