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Landscape with overcast
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Aug 9, 2017 21:05:48   #
Star_Of_Life89
 
This is my first time submitting photos here and sharing my pictures with anyone outside of my immediate family. So be gentle, it's my first time ;)

I will post about my background in an introduction post later, but for now I would like to ask for some assistance and feedback. I welcome constructive criticism aimed at helping me grow in this hobby that I love so much! These photos were taken around a salt marsh reservation in Florida during a beautiful, cloudy day. One of my biggest struggles has always been getting proper exposure during overcast shooting conditions. I have read a little about how light meters get their reading and how to adjust for a light background and a dark foreground as well as visa versa. Unfortunately, I am still getting either fairly dark foregrounds or blown highlights and loss of detail on my clouds. Especially in the picture of my daughter by the river. I don't have any photo editing software at the moment, nor any fancy filters or lenses. These were shot with my 18-55 kit lens (I Know, I know... poor quality lens. I'm working on investing in some prime lenses specifically for landscape) on a Nikon D5000. I also had a Bower DHD PL filter on my lens.

The last photo on here I am the least proud of. Every other picture on here I can justify why I selected my aperture and shutter speed to try crafting the picture the way I saw it in my head. That particular photo, however, no matter what I set my shutter speed to, where I got my light reading etc, I could NOT get it to expose correctly. My daughter was almost pitch black until I finally ended up with an aperture of f/5. It was total desperation and frustration. An issue I have never experienced before. Despite being a self-taught novice of only a few years, I have a decent comprehension of light, how it affects the picture and how to get a proper exposure (most of the time).

Perhaps on some of these I'm being a little to critical of myself given the equipment I have to work with, but I'm hoping a few of you with more experience and knowledge can help me. I'm currently finishing RN school and have 4 kids, so buying $300 and up lenses and photoshop's extravagant price are out of the question for now. I'm not asking for critique on each and every photo, as that would be rather time consuming. I only added several of these so you can see how I was exposing my shots and hopefully give you enough to let me know what I need to change to better expose in similar conditions in the future.
This was shot with f/18, 1/125 sec., iso 200, 55mm focal length with white balance set to cloudy.
This was shot with f/18, 1/125 sec., iso 200, 55mm...
(Download)
f/18, 1/60 sec, iso 200, focal length of 55mm and still a cloudy for white balance.
f/18, 1/60 sec, iso 200, focal length of 55mm and ...
(Download)
f/16, 1/60 sec, iso 200 and a focal length of 18mm. It was just slightly to the left of the above picture so there wasn't as much of an issue with blown highlights in the clouds vs dark trees because the sun was 45 degrees to the right.
f/16, 1/60 sec, iso 200 and a focal length of 18mm...
(Download)
I had the most trouble with this one because I wanted to show the shadows with the bright mid ground and the beautiful clouds that ended up over exposed. f/16, 1/25 sec, iso 200 and focal length of 34mm. White balance set to shade.
I had the most trouble with this one because I wan...
(Download)
I loved the light rays as well as the sun on the water with the trees behind it. Again problems with dark trees. f/16, 1/400, iso 640 and a focal length of 55mm. White balance back on cloudy.
I loved the light rays as well as the sun on the w...
(Download)
This is my daughter by the river and another example of not getting the clouds properly exposed. f/5, 1/125 sec, iso 200 focal distance 18mm. White balance cloudy.
This is my daughter by the river and another examp...
(Download)
 
Aug 9, 2017 21:23:06   #
rmalarz (a regular here)
 
My first question would be what format are you shooting? RAW or something else?
Star_Of_Life89 wrote:
This is my first time submitting photos here and sharing my pictures with anyone outside of my immediate family. So be gentle, it's my first time ;)

I will post about my background in an introduction post later, but for now I would like to ask for some assistance and feedback. I welcome constructive criticism aimed at helping me grow in this hobby that I love so much! These photos were taken around a salt marsh reservation in Florida during a beautiful, cloudy day. One of my biggest struggles has always been getting proper exposure during overcast shooting conditions. I have read a little about how light meters get their reading and how to adjust for a light background and a dark foreground as well as visa versa. Unfortunately, I am still getting either fairly dark foregrounds or blown highlights and loss of detail on my clouds. Especially in the picture of my daughter by the river. I don't have any photo editing software at the moment, nor any fancy filters or lenses. These were shot with my 18-55 kit lens (I Know, I know... poor quality lens. I'm working on investing in some prime lenses specifically for landscape) on a Nikon D5000. I also had a Bower DHD PL filter on my lens.

The last photo on here I am the least proud of. Every other picture on here I can justify why I selected my aperture and shutter speed to try crafting the picture the way I saw it in my head. That particular photo, however, no matter what I set my shutter speed to, where I got my light reading etc, I could NOT get it to expose correctly. My daughter was almost pitch black until I finally ended up with an aperture of f/5. It was total desperation and frustration. An issue I have never experienced before. Despite being a self-taught novice of only a few years, I have a decent comprehension of light, how it affects the picture and how to get a proper exposure (most of the time).

Perhaps on some of these I'm being a little to critical of myself given the equipment I have to work with, but I'm hoping a few of you with more experience and knowledge can help me. I'm currently finishing RN school and have 4 kids, so buying $300 and up lenses and photoshop's extravagant price are out of the question for now. I'm not asking for critique on each and every photo, as that would be rather time consuming. I only added several of these so you can see how I was exposing my shots and hopefully give you enough to let me know what I need to change to better expose in similar conditions in the future.
This is my first time submitting photos here and s... (show quote)
Aug 9, 2017 21:25:51   #
Star_Of_Life89
 
Ah, good question. I meant to add that. I shoot JPEG. Due to lack of time for editing (not to mention no software to do so) I shoot JPEG to keep my file sizes down and increase the number of shots I can get per card since my largest SD card is only a 16GB.
Aug 9, 2017 21:35:59   #
RichardTaylor (a regular here)
 
With the last picture you will need to add light to lighten up your daughter. You could try using a (fill in) flash, (even an on camera flash would help) or using a reflector to bounce a bit of light onto her body/face. With your permission I can post an example.
Aug 9, 2017 21:38:46   #
rmalarz (a regular here)
 
Fair dinkum, as they say in Aus. That does put you at a slight handicap. jpg images have only a limited amount that you can do with them. Even then, you'd need some processing software. A couple of those have potential, but they'd need RAW to bring the fullest amount of potential out of them. I'll offer my congratulations on your metering mode selection. That put you in much more control of your exposures. Also your choice of center weighted metering is a good choice, as well.

My suggestion, especially if you are going to shoot jpg format, use matrix metering. This will allow the camera to assess the exposure over more of the exposure. Just make that one change, for now. Then give it a try and let's see what results you get.
--Bob
Star_Of_Life89 wrote:
Ah, good question. I meant to add that. I shoot JPEG. Due to lack of time for editing (not to mention no software to do so) I shoot JPEG to keep my file sizes down and increase the number of shots I can get per card since my largest SD card is only a 16GB.
Aug 9, 2017 21:39:34   #
Star_Of_Life89
 
That would be wonderful!!! You have my permission. For some stupid reason (I guess because my wife kept calling me to hurry up and get back to the house for dinner) the flash never even occurred to me. I even have an adjustable flash in my camera bag.
 
Aug 9, 2017 21:42:51   #
Star_Of_Life89
 
Thank you. I will try the matrix metering and see what I can do with that. I appreciate your feedback greatly! When I am able to get some software I will switch to the RAW. In the mean time since I don't use the fn button, I have it set to change the format to RAW, so I can do a shot here and a shot there using the RAW without using up much space or frequently going into my menu.
Aug 9, 2017 21:45:34   #
RichardTaylor (a regular here)
 
Star_Of_Life89 wrote:
That would be wonderful!!! You have my permission. For some stupid reason (I guess because my wife kept calling me to hurry up and get back to the house for dinner) the flash never even occurred to me. I even have an adjustable flash in my camera bag.


This is just a snapshot and the pop up, on camera, flash was used.
#1 no flash
#1 no flash...
(Download)
#1 Pop up flash used. No Flash exposure compensation used.
#1 Pop up flash used. No Flash exposure compensati...
(Download)
Aug 9, 2017 21:49:03   #
Star_Of_Life89
 
That makes sense. I think since I was rushed the flash completely slipped my mind. And all evening I was shooting landscape where a tiny on-camera flash wouldn't reach a few hundred feet to the tree line and I just never got in the mindset of it being portrait now. I appreciate the friendly reminder that I have that option :)
Aug 9, 2017 21:50:04   #
rmalarz (a regular here)
 
Here's a very quick rework of your image. However, this takes some photo editing software. There is issues of blown highlights in the clouds. However, as you can see, some editing is required. Until you can obtain some editing software, and time to learn and become proficient with it, it would be best to try my first suggestions and obtain the best in-camera image that you can get.
--Bob
Star_Of_Life89 wrote:
That would be wonderful!!! You have my permission. For some stupid reason (I guess because my wife kept calling me to hurry up and get back to the house for dinner) the flash never even occurred to me. I even have an adjustable flash in my camera bag.


(Download)
Aug 9, 2017 21:57:26   #
Star_Of_Life89
 
rmalarz wrote:
Here's a very quick rework of your image. However, this takes some photo editing software. There is issues of blown highlights in the clouds. However, as you can see, some editing is required. Until you can obtain some editing software, and time to learn and become proficient with it, it would be best to try my first suggestions and obtain the best in-camera image that you can get.
--Bob


Bob, sir, my jaw just hit the floor!!! Thank you for showing me just what a little photo editing can do. I always strive for the best possible image I can get in-camera first both to save time, and so I can get an even better end-result. All the suggestions I have gotten so far are immensely helpful!!!! I will take a few shots in RAW next time for comparison.
 
Aug 9, 2017 22:04:30   #
rmalarz (a regular here)
 
You are getting a lot of information captured, as you can see. Not optimum, but it's there.
--Bob
Star_Of_Life89 wrote:
Thank you. I will try the matrix metering and see what I can do with that. I appreciate your feedback greatly! When I am able to get some software I will switch to the RAW. In the mean time since I don't use the fn button, I have it set to change the format to RAW, so I can do a shot here and a shot there using the RAW without using up much space or frequently going into my menu.


(Download)
Aug 9, 2017 22:11:48   #
Star_Of_Life89
 
That is absolutely remarkable!!! I'm glad to see that with just my kit lens and some basic knowledge of photography I was able to capture enough detail to make it rather decent. I can't wait to have a better selection of lenses and a little more knowledge (and the experience that goes with it) to capture even better quality. You definitely have me sold on getting some software and perhaps even attending a class to learn how to use it. I'm am utterly in awe my friend!
Aug 9, 2017 22:22:42   #
RichardTaylor (a regular here)
 
With high contrast 'scapes, there are a couple of options.

#1 use the light to create sillouetts
#2 Use HDR techniques (you will need software for this)
#3 Controll the light by using on camera filters, like graduated neutral density (ND) filters.
Aug 9, 2017 22:39:54   #
Mundj
 
Since yor are in RN school you are short on time and money, just keep practicing and learning about the equipment you have. Your daughter would have been better exposed it you had either selected spot metering or had first gotten close and locked the exposure setting. These will come with practice. Post processing of raw files will yield wonderful results but will require a financial and time investment to learn. When I started on my digital photography journey several years ago, I too thought better glass would yield great results, wrong. I often go back to my kit lenses and experiment. I get much better results now ,but I have a very long way to still go. In my humble opinion (IMHO) you should select the highest quality jpg files your camera will provide. Like the blind hog finding an acorn you will capture a real great shot and will want the best image available. In the future when you have the funds use raw files and learn post processing. You will find a lot of help here.

Good shooting.
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