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Contre Jour


17 Jan 2012 12:33PM
OK, so the topic title is showing off my French. Wink What I really need to know is how to improve back lit shots. I love them and used to always just slightly underexpose when shooting into the sun. recently I got a new camera - a Canon 60D. Now when I do the same I get washed out shots whenever I am even facing the sun. If I shoot in RAW I get an underexposure of say -1.5.

What is the best way to deal with this - use a polariser, use am ND filter, just underexpose more, always shoot in RAW ?

Any suggestions

( here is an example of what I mean...)
penarth2041xs.jpg

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digicammad 12 22.0k 37 United Kingdom
17 Jan 2012 12:45PM
Looking at that I would say underexpose more. An ND filter won't do anything that underexposing wouldn't and neither will a polariser (in this particular shot).

Shooting in RAW will give you more leeway than JPEG so I would definitely recommend that. I'm sure your 60D must have decent auto-bracketing, why don't you set if for something like -4 to 0 in 1 stop increments.

Ian
17 Jan 2012 12:49PM
Thanks Ian. The canon does have auto-bracketing so i can give that a try - -3 to 0 would be the maximum on there.

The canon uses CR2 for RAW and I have struggled to get a decent processor for it. I have been using Raw Therapee as that can also be used on Linux, but the results don't come out great.

Any suggestions on that score?
saltireblue Plus
5 5.0k 29 Norway
17 Jan 2012 12:58PM

Quote:The canon uses CR2 for RAW and I have struggled to get a decent processor for it. I have been using Raw Therapee as that can also be used on Linux, but the results don't come out great.


Have you tried using Canon's own DPP...it is an excellent RAW program, and of course being Canon, you will have no problems.
whipspeed Plus
11 4.1k 22 United Kingdom
17 Jan 2012 1:23PM
Definately use the DPP to process the RAW files, it is very good and easy to use.
17 Jan 2012 2:14PM
malcolm, sarah, thanks for the advice on the Canon DPP. I will definitely give that a go
rogleale Plus
12 131 United Kingdom
17 Jan 2012 3:29PM
Hi Bonvilston,

Looking at your posted shot with its extreme over exposure of the hotspot I have to point out that there are some situations where even HDR won't save the shot,raw or not. I like the shot though.

Roger
Big Bri 14 15.9k United Kingdom
17 Jan 2012 4:39PM
Using a ND filter or CP will just make your require a longer shutter speed, so it might be useful if you find that your lens is at it's smallest aperture and your are at your fastest shutter speed and need to underexpose even more, but this is not very likely.
rob_marshall 4 96 1 United Kingdom
17 Jan 2012 5:20PM
I think it might have been better in this case to just shoot the shadows. I know backlight can look good, but here it just appears like a white blob. The shadows on the other hand are very nice. In situations such as this I often switch to spot or centre-weighted metering to see what sort of exposure time I have - and I guess that here you had plenty spare. You could have used ND grads but I think it might have been too obvious that you had done so.

Photoshop is probably the best RAW editor, but DPP is pretty good for basic adjustments. Even RAW processing can't do very much with completely blown highlights. There's a variable brush tool in Photoshop, but if the area is too far gone you often just end up with a blotchy mess.
bainsybike 5 298
17 Jan 2012 5:49PM

Quote:If I shoot in RAW I get an underexposure of say -1.5


I'm not quite sure what you mean. I would expect to "set" the underexposure, rather than "get" it. What mode are you shooting in? (Av, Tv, M, Auto, etc).

It's still possible to correct the result even in jpg - I've taken the liberty of adjusting the brightness - hope you don't mind!

penarth2041xsa.jpg




Penarth Pier?
17 Jan 2012 6:02PM
Graham, Thanks for that. I did try this myself and got this result.
penarth2041as.jpg



Not what I envisaged when I took the shot.

You are dead right about the location - Penarth Pier. I took a walk there to get some inspiration - generally it worked, but not on these back lit shots though
Eviscera 9 1.1k 149 United Kingdom
17 Jan 2012 6:58PM
fwiw Peter (nice p.f btw) I use this approach for c.j images.

1. Set the cam to single point autofocus.
2. Set to spot metering.
3. If you're using a zoom lens, zoom into that part of the image where the edges are best showing the c.j effect , half depress the shutter and lock that exposure.

4. Zoom back out , recompose the scene and shoot.

Heres a kak example of some street in the same light , zoomed the hairy bloke and the metering did a fair job on the rest of the scene.

contre.jpg

Paul Morgan Plus
14 17.1k 6 England
17 Jan 2012 8:24PM
The simplest and quickest way is to simply dial in some compensation, piddling around with spot metering is going to be slow for quick grab shots but it is still another way.

Here`s an example similar to yours, I dialled in some comp, but with very strong back lighting your always going to loose something.

https://www.ephotozine.com/user/paul-morgan-599/gallery/photo/---20014337

And the same here, just dialled in some comp.

https://www.ephotozine.com/user/paul-morgan-599/gallery/photo/---20163036

https://www.ephotozine.com/user/paul-morgan-599/gallery/photo/---20126344
rob_marshall 4 96 1 United Kingdom
17 Jan 2012 8:31PM

Quote:
You are dead right about the location - Penarth Pier. I took a walk there to get some inspiration - generally it worked, but not on these back lit shots though



Bonvilston _ I knew I knew that name. I used to live in Llandow, near Cowbridge. Now live in Carmarthen, which is near nowhere! I know Penarth well - and so does my wife from her yewth.
17 Jan 2012 9:36PM
Hey Rob , I spent a while living in a caravan on a site near the karting circuit at Llandow whilst waiting to sell a house. We could have been neighbours ! Wink

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