Photo Style

rctneilrctneil Posts: 39Member
edited March 2013 in Nikon DSLR cameras
Hey, I went out to do some practice photography today and kept coming across a situation where the subject was against a quite bright background. Eg: Ducks on water with sun being reflected from water. Trees with sunlight behind. etc.

How do you guys deal with those type of shots?



  • starralaznstarralazn Posts: 201Member
    edited March 2013
    fill flash, or a reflector for a portrait, sillhouttes for other things..

    hdr could solve this issue.

    another way is to find a better angle, back lighting can be difficult to deal with
    Post edited by starralazn on
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,415Member
    edited March 2013
    1. Use your spot meter to measure the light on the subject so the bright background light doesn't result in too dark a subject. or

    2. Set your exposure compensation to +1 and check the LCD. Then keep increasing the exposure compensation up to +2 or more until you have the proper exposure on the duck. or

    3. Use 1 or 2 above and then check your histogram or the LCD set on blinking to see if you are burning out the highlights too much. If so, you simply cannot get the lighting balanced without adding light to the shadow.

    4. Pop up your pop up flash to use auto fill flash and see if that works (it might for a head shoulders portrait but likely won't for a duck which is too far way for the flash to fill. If this is your situation you have to choose between a close-up of a duck with the water around it burned out or with a properly exposed environment around the silhouette of a duck. or

    5. Move to the other side of the pond (or tree) and shoot the duck (or tree) with the sun to your back!
    Post edited by donaldejose on
  • rctneilrctneil Posts: 39Member
    Brill. Thanks. So if I used spot metering to get correct exposure on the duck and the background is mostly burned out, that can be ok in some cases can it?
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,415Member
    Sure, if that is the effect you want. Look at this month's PAD, page 16, the image by Adamz. The water is "burned out" and the ducks are silhouettes but there is still enough information on the water to see that it is water.

    One technique for portraits is to use a white background so the entire background is "burned out" and all you see is the person. However, a duck on water should have some water to be on. You don't really want it floating in nothing so you don't want the background totally "burned out."
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    Some thing else to keep in mind should you have this type of light and are trying to get that shot.

    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,398Moderator
    Polarizing filter can be helpful. But, in shooting objects on water the ideal solution is to have the light coming from behind the camera....or do something interesting with the light...early AM

    Msmoto, mod
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,481Moderator
    ...Or we buy a $5 book on basic photography which tells us all about such things. Seriously rct - if you are going to post every question along the way, you will waste a lot of time. Better to go to your library and get a book on basic photography so all this becomes something you see will happen before pressing the shutter release rather than something you see in your screen afterwards.
    Always learning.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,481Moderator
    Wow - I just searched for 'basic photography' on Amazon UK and got books from a penny plus postage! I also searched using 'learning exposure' and got a vast array of books from low prices.
    Always learning.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,398Moderator
    I will give a plus one to spraynpray. And, even more, I will sometimes buy a photo book in the bookstore and read it myself as there is always something to learn.

    And, a link to Nikon and their articles on photography
    Msmoto, mod
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,481Moderator
    Another good route for newcomers after reading up on the basics is to join a club. Some are better than others but the helpful and competitive atmosphere drives you to improve better than gawping at YouTube.
    Always learning.
Sign In or Register to comment.