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Thread: Natural Light question

  1. Natural Light question

    Heidi, you mentioned there is no such thing as too much natural light. I think maybe you are right and I just need to change my camera's setting. How do I go around something like this.

    I thought I had "too much light" see how his face is all white? What settings would help with a situation like that? Keep in mind I am a complete newbie at photography and might have to do a little reading to understand your answer LOL.

    Thanks!

    Michelle
    Michelle

    From Downunder! My DD Gallery!
    Memory catcher: Canon IXUS 800 IS and Rebel/EOS 400D
    Creative tool: Photoshop CS 3

  2. #2
    Hey Michelle,
    I am wondering what camera you have? If you have a camera with Program (P) mode you might want to play with that just to get a feel for the settings the camera chooses in given light situations. Really look at what the camera is choosing. It might not make sense right away but as you read and learn it will start to come together. I remember thinking I would NEVER understand manual settings. It is still elusive sometimes.

    For this picture I probably would have chosen a faster shutter speed since you had lots of light. I also might have positioned the baby farther from the light source if it was really, really bright. I like to keep my aperture pretty wide open with babies because I like that look (sharp where I focus, blurry behind and in front of my focus point). Or, you could set your camera on Aperture priority mode (A) and set it to a wide open (smaller) number - the camera will figure out the shutter speed for you. When setting your aperture, keep in mind that a smaller number = a bigger opening and vice versa (confusing at first but you'll get the hang of that).

    Another thing I would try on a photo like this one is shooting from a different angle. Try laying down beside the baby and getting his/her face. I love putting babies on beds or tables for this reason - I can get my camera on their plane without laying down.

    Anyway, I'm going to try to keep my answer to that for now. Let me know if you have more questions. I am learning too - we're just in different spots on the same road.

    I'm sure others will have some tips for you too. Thanks for asking!
    Heidi

    My Gallery

    Heidi Knight Photography
    Camera: Nikon D800
    Lenses: 50 f/1.4, 85 f/1.8, 17-35 f/2.8, 28-300, 24-70mm f/2.8
    Extras: Speedlight SB-700, Alien Bee 800
    Software: Photoshop CS6, Lightroom 4

  3. #3
    elliottsurf Guest
    I am loving this photochallenge and all of the ideas. I have been taking pictures for years, but don't know what aperture is or how to set it! I have a feeling that I am going to learn how to do it now thanks to you!

  4. Thank you so much for your answer Heidi!
    I have a Canon IXUS 800 IS. It is *very* basic. I do have a P funcion but I cant figure out what settings the camera is using. I have a Manual option I like to play with, but I dont think I have aperture options unless it has anything to do with the Exposure and the [Evaluative, Weighted average, spot] options?
    One day I'll get there :P
    Cheers
    Michelle
    Michelle

    From Downunder! My DD Gallery!
    Memory catcher: Canon IXUS 800 IS and Rebel/EOS 400D
    Creative tool: Photoshop CS 3

  5. #5
    Hmm, I guess you should try the different settings you have to decide what you like best. When you open the photo in Photoshop you can look at the properties and it might tell you your aperture and shutter speed. We'll get it figured out. Your camera manual should be your best friend. I made the mistake of not looking at mine very closely and wish I had - I would have learned so much faster!
    Heidi

    My Gallery

    Heidi Knight Photography
    Camera: Nikon D800
    Lenses: 50 f/1.4, 85 f/1.8, 17-35 f/2.8, 28-300, 24-70mm f/2.8
    Extras: Speedlight SB-700, Alien Bee 800
    Software: Photoshop CS6, Lightroom 4

  6. #6
    Looks like your camera was metering more for the dark background... so was letting more light in than you needed, which is why the sweet little face is blown out.

    I'm not sure how to change that in your particular camera. Using a dSLR in maual and the in camera meter, you can fill the frame with the face and get a meter reading and set your setting accordingly, then back up, recompose, but leave the settings how they were (even though the meter will probably show the exposure being off).

    Or you can bump up the shutter a stop or two, knowing the in camera meter is probably going to read wrong because of the dark background.

    Sorry, I'm not sure that's much help with your particular camera!

    Heidi's suggestion to position the baby different so perhaps the harsher light will fall on a different place is also very good!

  7. Thank you for the tips Kim.
    Heidi, actually, I found my REAL camera manual. I thought I read it but hey.. I read the basic one and now I found the advanced one (not that there is anything advanced about my technique LOL). There is a lot of stuff to go through and since it is not an SLR it does everything for me (even when I dont want it to) so I need to get used to all the settings I can play with.
    Hope I dont wreck too many pictures while playing hehehe
    Thanks again!
    Michelle
    Michelle

    From Downunder! My DD Gallery!
    Memory catcher: Canon IXUS 800 IS and Rebel/EOS 400D
    Creative tool: Photoshop CS 3

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