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The big +/-


nicipix 5 3
18 May 2015 6:24AM
I have found that some of my pictures seem to be light to the front and darker towards the back. I shot in daylight with Sigma 18-250 and Nikon 35mm with various apperture settings and on both lenss I seem to have the same problem.. What could have caused this phenomenon and I thought maybe it was either the ISO exposure or the +- exposure rate.. I also strugle to figure out what the significance of the +- metering entails. All comments will be appreciated.

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18 May 2015 8:17AM
This has nothing to do with your camera or lens, it is rather your choice of the subject and composition, and the necessity to update image processing skills. Google for Cambridge in color site , it is a great place to start.

Have a go, and good luck!
duratorque 17 427 United Kingdom
18 May 2015 10:02AM
Are you using auto mode or aperture priority using flash? The background not by the flash is dark because it is under exposed. Choose a combination of shutter speed, aperture and ISO that you you a good exposure on the back ground while keeping the shutter speed below the flash sync speed. Then turn on your flash for fill light.

I don't know Nikon system, with Canon in AV mode, that is what it does automatically.

+/- are exposure compensation. There are two of them, one for exposure that control the ambient light level, the other is flash compensation that control the flash output.

A basic how to use your camera course is a good way to start your photography learning process.
mikehit 11 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
18 May 2015 10:22AM
Nici - the human visual system is a wonderful thing and far exceeds anything a camera can record. When you see a scene the eye flits across it, adjusting its 'picture' to suit the lighting at that point. So when you look at a sunlit hill the eye closes down and the brain records it, a split second later it focuses on the shadow under a hedge and the eye upens up to show the detail ther (at that point, the sunlit hill is now 'over exposed') but the brain puts the two images together to create a composite that a camera cannot record in a single image.

Now, when you point the camera at the subject, the camera tries to maintain an 'average grey' across the scene while at the same time guessing that your subject is in the foreground. So it exposes for the foreground and lets the background turn out as it may (in this case underexposed). The fact you change the aperture does not matter because if you open up the aperture the camera chooses a shorter shutter speed to give the same exposure. If you close down the aperture it chooses a longer shutter speed.
The '+/-' is called exposure compensation where you tell the camera 'nope, I want to increase exposure so give me a longer shutter speed' and the +/- on the exposure dial shows you how much you have overridden the camera's judgement.

By the way, you will never overcome the lighting difference between the foreground and background so if you expose for the background the foreground will be overexposed. All you can do is get an exposure that allows you to get the best image in photoprocessing afterwards.

The only other solutoin is as duratorque alludes to is using flash or other tools like reflectors to put more light into the background and narrow the difference in lighting.
nicipix 5 3
18 May 2015 1:22PM
Hi Mikehit... now this was seriously useful and informative. Its exactly what I assumed that no matter what I did, the exposure was the same. Seems the extended light such as a flash or reflector would have made the difference. I'm not all that new to photography, but sometimes something pops up that does not have the rational answer you would assumed it would. Thank you so much for your effort and input. This really turned on the "lights" so to speak. :Smile

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