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DPChallenge Forums >> Individual Photograph Discussion >> underexposed daytime pics
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07/26/2008 02:33:02 AM · #1
I'm seeing a trend with my photos that I want to understand and correct. In the daytime, when the sun is harshest, shooting in aperture priority mode creates severely underexposed photos. I find this ironic considering the amount of sunlight available. Here's an example, taken on my Canon 20D, Tamron 17-35 lens (no filter on lens):

' . substr('//lh5.ggpht.com/JibbyvonJibb/SIrCcugY2KI/AAAAAAAAACQ/dmdAywaau9k/20080720-20080720-IMG_5507.jpg?imgmax=512', strrpos('//lh5.ggpht.com/JibbyvonJibb/SIrCcugY2KI/AAAAAAAAACQ/dmdAywaau9k/20080720-20080720-IMG_5507.jpg?imgmax=512', '/') + 1) . '
F/20
1/200s
ISO 200
metering: average

Exposure is fine any other time of day or when there are clouds. Any suggestions?
07/26/2008 02:40:53 AM · #2
This is because your camera is metering to expose the scene at 18% grey. The camera wants to make all scenes neutral, in the middle, so it takes a bright scene and dulls it and a dark scene and brightens it. You either need to shoot in Manuel and control the camera yourself or use exposure compensation to lower or raise the exposure of the scene.
07/26/2008 08:41:50 AM · #3
trevytrev said it all. Actually the answer is in your file details. Metering = average. This mode does what trev said, it balances everything out and gives you a neutral exposure, not necessarily the correct one. Try changing the exposure mode on your camera when shooting the same subject. See if this gives you different results.
07/26/2008 09:45:06 AM · #4
Based on what I am seeing, this image is near perfect in exposure, there are no blown out high lights, and shadow detail is all there. Yes the image appears to be flat but it is not underexposed.
07/26/2008 11:16:04 AM · #5
According to your settings, you are off. It should be at F16. I was taught that if you set your shutter speed the same as your ISO, in this case 1/200ss ISO 200, What you should do is point your camera into the north sky then adjust your aperature to get the proper exposure. That would be F16 in the midday light. Then adjust accordingly depending on the situation of course.ie if you need a faster ss then adjust your aperature to get the same exposure etc.

The other thing you can do is point your camera at green grass and fill the screen and adjust your settings. Green grass in the same light as your subject=grey card.

The other thing you can do is use your hand. Your hand is approx 1/3 of a stop brighter than a grey card. So do the same as the grass trick. Put your hand in front of your camera and fill the screen. adjust your settings. Keep in mind your hand has to be in the same light as your subject.

All else fails. Bracket,bracket,bracket.
hope that helps.
07/26/2008 11:57:26 AM · #6
If you're looking to use it straight out of the camera, then yes, it's about a stop underexposed. But if you're planning on editing it, it's about right. Nothing blown out, nothing too blocked up.

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All I did was adjust the white balance (made an assumption that the umbrella is white), bring the midtones up (a lot), and bump the saturation.

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