View Full Version : Digital camera fits!
Don't know what I do wrong. I have my Digial Mavica on auto focus but I get this glare in the middle of my vase that takes the detail out. Wonder if someone can tell me what to do to improve. Maybe I need lights somewhere else. These were just from overhead breakfast room lights at night.
So....if I did have some lights I could use.... where would you tell me to put them... overhead, to the side.... what do I need to do to make this a stonger photograph.
I'd like to use it as a reference for a painting....as well as to print as is on greeting cards.
Any help at all you can give me will be appreciated.
One more.... and then goodnight.
08-13-2001, 11:54 AM
I think your main problem is the light source you are using is not diffused you need to reflect light back onto the scene. A studio lighting set up would be ideal but take a look at the two links below you might find them useful.
cool links, Mike. Thanks a lot!
08-13-2001, 06:22 PM
This is actually the link I was looking to post, it is a very clever table top studio set up from readily available items.
http://www.shortcourses.com/how/tabletop/tabletop.htm#Taking the Images
08-13-2001, 09:40 PM
I'm not familiar with your Sony, but the problem is that the highlights are blown out, i.e., there is no detail in the whites. You have whites and blacks in your image - the full range of tonal values. The dark tabletop and the dark window panes are large compared to the relatively smaller brightly lit white elements. The camera's light meter is trying to adjust your exposure for the average value it senses. It can't give you both good detail in the black and good detail in the whites. To keep the whites from looking so blown out, reduce your exposure. Perhaps your camera has an EV adjustment. If it does, try setting it to a negative EV, say in the range of -0.5 to -1.5. In film photography, you would do what is called bracketing, that is taking several shots above and/or below the exposure recommended by the light meter. The idea in reducing the exposure is that you will sacrifice the detail the the black to properly expose for the whites. This will make the blacks blacker and more detail will show in the whites.
If you were to use a light color table cloth, this would raise the exposure value of the overall scene and the camera's light meter would set the exposure for a lighter average exposure value. Because it wouldn't be tying to expose for the large dark area, it would be more likely to set the proper exposure for the whites.
Anyhow, try bracketing. And of course you can experiment with your lighting. your camera should be able to produce an acceptable rendition of this scene, especially if you can reduce the contrast
Hope this helps. Good luck.
08-14-2001, 03:23 AM
I've had this problem on several occasions.
I have used paper of tissue to "diffuse" the flash. (just by draping it over the flash window or reflecting it to the ceiling or a wall)
With many digital camers they are oftern more sensetive to the red end of the spectrum, and the use of the flash will only increase this. I oftern switch the flash off completely. (You'll need a steady hand)
08-14-2001, 10:18 AM
The love affair with built-in flash has populated the world with myriads of burned out flat and uninteresting images.
The buit-in flash is useful for providing a light source where there is NONE. Or, at a greatly reduced power, for filling in harsh shadows where the available light is too harsh. In almost all other situations, unless you are a news correspondent, the flash should be disabled or at the very least set to minimum power. The separate flash that can be swivelled to bounce is more versatile. But the in-your-face built-in has to be used with disgression.
Camera set to auto exposure
1 Single soft light source from the side (window) A bounce card might be better or a slightly different positioning so that the single source was slightly less to the side.
2 + Flash at 1/4 power (-2 stops). Useful if the window light was bright sunlight.
3 + Flash at standard power. Hard to know what this is useful for other than NO existing light source. In this case, with no other source, 1/2 power would have been more than sufficient (dark backgrounds usually cause the flash to over expose)
One of the big advantages of digital is that you can review shots as you go along and see what is happening in the exposure department. The exposure compensation in these shots is - 1 stop to allow for the dark background - gleaned from reviewing a preliminary test auto exposure.
Thanks everyone! This is all great information and really has helped me understand what is happening with my photos.
Spectru: My camera does have an EV setting...so I will try doing that.
Let y'all know what happens.
08-14-2001, 11:41 PM
Originally posted by llis
Maybe I need lights somewhere else. These were just from overhead breakfast room lights at night.
From your post, I thought your only light source was external, but upon closer examination I can see that your primary light source was on-camera flash. Kevin's illustration of lighting with different flash settings is excellent. His right-hand picture shows exactly what happened in your case. You can try turning your flash off, but you will probably need plenty of ambient light. Or you can try subduing your flash with a diffuser. A tissue or handkerchief placed over the flash could work. Try shooting in daylight. sometimes window light can provide good illumination. Shooting indoors without flash normally requires slow shutterspeeds. For this you will need a tripod to hold the camera steady. You can buy a tabletop tripod from the photo department of your local department store or online for as little as $20. Experiment.
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