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How To Avoid Overexposure Around Noon?  
User currently offlineLufthansi From Germany, joined May 2002, 454 posts, RR: 2
Posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 5838 times:

Hi there!

Everytime I take pictures around noon the sun shins so bright that most of the white fuselages have an overexposure. If I set the EV balance to lets say -1 the picture looks a bit grey and after editing in photoshop (setting black an dwhite points) it's overexposed again.

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c184/lufthansi/CIMG1638.jpg


Life starts at take-off!
21 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineWILCO737 From Greenland, joined Jun 2004, 9032 posts, RR: 75
Reply 1, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 5834 times:
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Quoting Lufthansi (Thread starter):
Everytime I take pictures around noon the sun shins so bright that most of the white fuselages have an overexposure. If I set the EV balance to lets say -1 the picture looks a bit grey and after editing in photoshop (setting black an dwhite points) it's overexposed again.

I know that problem. I use f8.0 and ISO 200 and then use a shorter shutter speed. Either in manual or just set about -1 on the exposure correction. That usually works fine for me then.

Maybe chose another light metering mode? No clue how it is called. But don't use the single spot one, then the rest of the picture will be really dark.

The example you showed is indeed overexposed. Is that the edited one or the original?
Maybe chose the black and white points differently or use lower numbers. Like set the white to all 210s or something like that. Then it should be fine. And with contrast and making it lighter you should get a proper exposure.

wilco737



It it's not Boeing, I am not going.
User currently offlineViv From Ireland, joined May 2005, 3142 posts, RR: 28
Reply 2, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 5828 times:

Use spot metering or exposure compensation.

However, noon light is almost always flat and awful.



Nikon D700, Nikkor 80-400, Fuji X Pro 1, Fujinon 35 f/1.4, Fujinon 18 f/2
User currently offlineWhisperjet From Germany, joined Nov 2007, 569 posts, RR: 8
Reply 3, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 5818 times:
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PHOTO SCREENER

Unfortunately there is no real way to avoid it, neither during shooting nor in post processing.
You can use the exposure correction but that will lead to a dark belly with almost no details visible. If you use the s/h tool in photoshop you will lose the shadows and create halos.

That's why I personally tend to stay at home during noon in summer and go spotting in the mornings and evenings only.

Stefan



Nobody is perfect - not even a perfect fool.
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 5776 times:

No way of avoiding it really, as others have said. The sun is so high it illuminates the top half of the fuselage but leaves the bottom half in shadow.

It is, however, possible to still obtain good shots, by using both the camera and Photoshop. As Viv says, spot or centre-weighted (which I use most of the time) will help; as will stop comp. but again the more you use the more detail will be lost in the shadows.

Shooting in RAW (I assume you are already) will also allow you to tweak the image further. What I tend to do is try and neutralise the burned-out areas and lighten the shadows - if you can get a good balance the image will look OK.

Karl


User currently offlineRonS From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 762 posts, RR: 22
Reply 5, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 5743 times:



Quoting JakTrax (Reply 4):
As Viv says, spot or centre-weighted (which I use most of the time) will help

That's what I do too. Center Weighted Exposure mode when there is too much sun. Later when the sun is not as powerful, I switch to Evaluative Exposure. 90% I'm in Evaluative.



All opinions expressed by me are my own opinions & do not represent the opinions in any way of my employers.
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 5718 times:

To illustrate (and this ain't a self-plug!) below are a few of my images shot at around noon in summer. By using the correct metering mode and by applying some careful and subtle correction post-capture in Photoshop the awkward mid-day sun can be tamed!


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Karl Nixon
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Karl Nixon




View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Karl Nixon
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Karl Nixon



Of course you will notice that all the subjects are off the ground, which avoids the presence of heat-haze. Unless right on top of the aircraft, or at a significant elevation, ground shots will be marred by it, unless as mentioned you shoot very early morning or evening.

Cheers,

Karl


User currently offlineLufthansi From Germany, joined May 2002, 454 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 5676 times:

Thanks for the input! I'll try your tips asap!

Stephan



Life starts at take-off!
User currently onlineNIKV69 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 5666 times:



Quoting Lufthansi (Thread starter):
Everytime I take pictures around noon the sun shins so bright that most of the white fuselages have an overexposure. If I set the EV balance to lets say -1 the picture looks a bit grey and after editing in photoshop (setting black an dwhite points) it's overexposed again

I have given up shooting when the sun is right above me. Yea you can fool with the settings and use ex comp but I don't like the look of the fuselage. IMO unless the subject is something you really need and or is rare try to shoot it in better conditions.


User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 5606 times:



Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 8):
IMO unless the subject is something you really need and or is rare try to shoot it in better conditions.

Or just shoot it between Sep and Apr.....

Karl


User currently offlineIL76 From Netherlands, joined Jan 2004, 2237 posts, RR: 48
Reply 10, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 5605 times:

How To Avoid Overexposure Around Noon?

...by going home.
...by having a long lunch between 11:00 and 16:00.
...shooting planes while they are over the piano keys (the reflection of the white piano keys illuminates the bottom of the aircraft, reducing the nasty contrast):

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Eduard Brantjes


E


User currently offlineJeffM From United States of America, joined May 2005, 3266 posts, RR: 51
Reply 11, posted (5 years 2 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 5500 times:

Get. and learn how to use an incident meter.

User currently offlineStealthZ From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 5697 posts, RR: 44
Reply 12, posted (5 years 2 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5452 times:
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Quoting JeffM (Reply 11):
Get. and learn how to use an incident meter.

I was going to mention that on Wednesday but thought I would wait and see how long it took JeffM to say it.

Have to say Jeff, 3+ days you are slipping a little!

Cheers

Chris



If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
User currently offlineTrackcharlie From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 76 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (5 years 2 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5447 times:

If you shoot RAW and process using Adobe Camera Raw in Photoshop or Lightroom then the recovery slider can bring back some, if not all blown highlights without affecting the overall exposure. You can tweak the exposure and fill light sliders (carefully) to get the best overall exposure.

User currently offlineDvincent From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 1744 posts, RR: 10
Reply 14, posted (5 years 2 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 5427 times:
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It's not really an issue of exposure so much as dynamic range and the fact that top illuminated planes just don't look very good. Unfortunately the planes are too big to use a flash for fill and you can't really have giant reflectors hanging around to get some more light in...

Unless it just snowed recently.  Wink



From the Mind of Minolta
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 15, posted (5 years 2 months 6 days ago) and read 5413 times:

But normally when it snows it's winter and the sun will be too low for the discussed problem to be an issue.....

 Wink

A high noon sun is something that I believe cannot be metered for correctly. I really don't think any sort of light meter will be of much help. It's a problem similar to heat-haze - it simply can't be eliminated and manifests itself normally between around 11am and 4pm.

Karl


User currently offlineJeffM From United States of America, joined May 2005, 3266 posts, RR: 51
Reply 16, posted (5 years 2 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 5368 times:



Quoting JakTrax (Reply 15):
A high noon sun is something that I believe cannot be metered for correctly. I really don't think any sort of light meter will be of much help.

Complete rubish. Light, no matter what time of day can be metered correctly. An incident meter doesn't care how hot, or how bright it is.  Yeah sure If you have to rely on your camera's reflective meter, then you will have a much harder time.


User currently offlineCpd From Australia, joined Jun 2008, 4879 posts, RR: 38
Reply 17, posted (5 years 2 months 5 days ago) and read 5330 times:

I'm agreeing with Jeff (though not in such a blunt manner).

If you set the exposure properly - the photo will be fine. However, I never touch any light meters. I have one (a really high end one), but I no longer use it. You just need to look at what the histograms are showing you on the camera, adjust the settings accordingly and you'll get acceptable images. A lot of my images are a little bit overexposed out of the camera, but it isn't a big deal.

You can use the exposure adjustment in Adobe Camera Raw to pull back lost highlights, and adjust the blacks if you feel the underneath of the plane is too dark. You can then go and change that in Photoshop proper with some more control.

Quoting JakTrax (Reply 15):

A high noon sun is something that I believe cannot be metered for correctly.

My camera doesn't agree with you:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Chris P Denton



We get harsh light a lot in Sydney. You learn to live with it, along with the dreaded heat haze.

[Edited 2009-07-18 08:34:27]

User currently offlineJeffm From United States of America, joined May 2005, 3266 posts, RR: 51
Reply 18, posted (5 years 2 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 5300 times:



Quoting Cpd (Reply 17):
You just need to look at what the histograms are showing you on the camera, adjust the settings accordingly and you'll get acceptable images.

...and on a one chance opportunity hope you get it right. Reflected light meters are only acceptable some of the time imo.


User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 19, posted (5 years 2 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 5230 times:

Yes, maybe I should have phrased that in a different way as my illustrative images above kinda contradict what I'm saying.....

You can meter correctly using the camera or third-party device but I think that images shot with a high noon sun will never look as aesthetically pleasing as ones shot early morning/evening. Those shot at noon during the height of summer never really look right to me and although the histograms often don't indicate an under-exposure I usually find by looking at them that they sometimes look a little 'hot' in parts. I think you'll never get a perfect balance and on the flip side the shadows under the fuselage will always look odd.

I do however think it can be quite tricky accurately measuring that noon sunlight.

Quoting Jeffm (Reply 18):
...and on a one chance opportunity hope you get it right. Reflected light meters are only acceptable some of the time imo.

I use centre-weighted or spot metering in harsh noon light and to be fair it's pretty accurate. Like Chris I sometimes get the odd slight under/over-exposure but so mildly that it's easily corrected in PS.

Karl


User currently offlineJeffM From United States of America, joined May 2005, 3266 posts, RR: 51
Reply 20, posted (5 years 2 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 5229 times:



Quoting JakTrax (Reply 19):
I use centre-weighted or spot metering in harsh noon light and to be fair it's pretty accurate.

Still a reflected reading which will never be as consistent, or as accurate. Too many variables, but if your happy with that, then that's all that matters.


User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 21, posted (5 years 2 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 5196 times:



Quoting JeffM (Reply 20):
Still a reflected reading which will never be as consistent, or as accurate. Too many variables, but if your happy with that, then that's all that matters.

I'm inclined to agree Jeff but carting a meter round with me is too much of a burden (not to mention cost) when off-set against the amount of times I'd truly need it. As Chris says, if the discrepancy is only slight, PS I find can normally correct it satisfactorily. Perhaps 50% of the time my 30D actually does a sterlng job and gets it pretty spot-on.

I still don't like the look of images taken at noon in summer - I'd much rather shoot early mornng (sunrise 'til 10:00) and/or late afternoon/evening (17:00 onwards), when the results will (in my opinion) always be more pleasing. As we all know though some airports (MAN, EMA, BHX...?) always seem to attract the best subjects at the wrong time of day.....!!!

Karl


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