Requesting help with photos - foreground always overexposed.

mikehookipa

Member
Joined
30 Mar 2015
Messages
42
Hi all,

Looking for some advice. Everytime I take a photo, my foreground is over exposed. Also maybe my whole photo is overexposed because I don't see the fine details. Things are a bit washed out. I have a Canon 50D with 17-40L and Fuji X100. How can I have my photos show finer details? Thanks

Some samples of my photos...
DSCF6860_zps4rafgc7y.jpg

DSCF6854_zps79bufpfb.jpg

DSCF6798_zpsnvdiv1wv.jpg

20160229_185033-2_zpssbijy6tc.jpg
 

MWS

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Joined
2 Mar 2015
Messages
40
Location
Nottingham/Derby
I’m struggling with this too - whilst I can get the detail it takes 5 shots to get one good one thats not a white out.

My tank is luminous green as is the room its in when the lights are on!

I don’t know much about ISO, Exposure settings etc. but suspect this is where I’m going wrong so watching this with interest.

Lovely tank tho’ - what light is that?
 

mikehookipa

Member
Joined
30 Mar 2015
Messages
42
The lighting in the first few photos is an Aquaticlife Dual T5HO...The last photo I have a Tek Light 6 bulb fixture in which I only run 2 bulbs.

Let's both wait for some photo experts to give us some advice! :D
 
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J Art

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10 Apr 2016
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Location
USA
just use exposure compensation. dial it down 1.5 stops.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

rebel

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Joined
4 Aug 2015
Messages
2,093
I think your green channel is blown out. Your WB is off as well but easily fixed.

Check the individual histograms after the picture and check whether ANY of the channels have blown. If so, you need to cut down exposure.

Also check into HDR techniques.
 

Ivan Lugovic

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Joined
14 Jun 2013
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22
You can do a few things:
Go on exposure compensation and step it down untill you are pleased.
You can also adjust a white balance in your camera, or just shoot a bit underexposed photo in RAW format and then tweek it in photoshop (shadows, blacks, whites, white ballance etc...)

For the dslr settings go with lower possible iso (100-400), f7-8, and shooter speed arround 150-200.

And remember, nothing is written in stone, you must shot lots of photos and try to find best balance. ;)
(Somethimes I do 300+ photos just for one shooting)
 

Tom43

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Joined
11 Sep 2017
Messages
36
Location
Portsmouth, UK
You can do a few things:
Go on exposure compensation and step it down untill you are pleased.
You can also adjust a white balance in your camera, or just shoot a bit underexposed photo in RAW format and then tweek it in photoshop (shadows, blacks, whites, white ballance etc...)

For the dslr settings go with lower possible iso (100-400), f7-8, and shooter speed arround 150-200.

And remember, nothing is written in stone, you must shot lots of photos and try to find best balance. ;)
(Somethimes I do 300+ photos just for one shooting)
Ivan, one question: what focal length lenses do you favour, and for what uses? Many thanks.
 

Tom43

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Joined
11 Sep 2017
Messages
36
Location
Portsmouth, UK
Thanks Ivan for those links, much appreciated. I shall digest all this with pleasure.

Referring to your post above, I was playing with my camera today. I tried using an 85mm, 135mm and 300mm lens (all primes, 80s Nikkor glass) on my four-thirds format camera (with a speed booster) but had to stand back 4-6 feet. Images in the viewfinder were clear, but just not enough light to keep ISO in the range 100 to 400, let alone use f7-8.

What is your preferred way to light a tank for both the wide shots and telephoto? My Panasonic GH4 was bought for video work, and so I have manual prime lenses and studio lights (daylight flourescent bulbs with diffusion, plus some LED lights). I'm wondering if you ever use studio lights only rather than flash, and if so when/why?

Thanks for your time and insights...
 

Ivan Lugovic

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14 Jun 2013
Messages
22
Hi Tom,
I am not very advanced in photo skills but I will give my best to explain my point of view.
If anybody else has something to add, please, do so.

So, I am using Nikon D5200 DX (which is not full frame) camera and maximum focal length I've used for taking photos of the tank was 35mm DX lens.

For taking whole tank shot I warmly suggest to use as wide lenses as possible.
For my DSLR camera ideally would be something like Tokina 11-16 lens.

Using wide lens (11-18mm) promotes visual effect by providing more "depth" by elongating back sides of the tank.

Ones you have used (85mm, 135mm and 300mm ) are not suited for taking this kind of photos.

They are great to use outdoors and for macro purposes (85mm) but not very useful for our hobby.

Regarding light issue, if it is possible, you should use as much light as you can put on top of the tank including studio lights or extra LED (or use flash with wireless trigger).
It gives you so much more space for higher shutter speed and lower ISO to get that "crisp" effect.

That also goes for taking macros...more mm usually demands more light for taking nice photos , specially if you are going with the higher aperture (f7-8).

I hope that this was helpful...
 

Tom43

Member
Joined
11 Sep 2017
Messages
36
Location
Portsmouth, UK
Hi Tom,
I am not very advanced in photo skills but I will give my best to explain my point of view.
If anybody else has something to add, please, do so.

So, I am using Nikon D5200 DX (which is not full frame) camera and maximum focal length I've used for taking photos of the tank was 35mm DX lens.

For taking whole tank shot I warmly suggest to use as wide lenses as possible.
For my DSLR camera ideally would be something like Tokina 11-16 lens.

Using wide lens (11-18mm) promotes visual effect by providing more "depth" by elongating back sides of the tank.

Ones you have used (85mm, 135mm and 300mm ) are not suited for taking this kind of photos.

They are great to use outdoors and for macro purposes (85mm) but not very useful for our hobby.

Regarding light issue, if it is possible, you should use as much light as you can put on top of the tank including studio lights or extra LED (or use flash with wireless trigger).
It gives you so much more space for higher shutter speed and lower ISO to get that "crisp" effect.

That also goes for taking macros...more mm usually demands more light for taking nice photos , specially if you are going with the higher aperture (f7-8).

I hope that this was helpful...
Thanks Ivan for your advice. I have some quite wide lenses which I will certainly use for full tank shots as you suggest. In hindsight, reading my post, I wasn't clear - but my question is really about doing macro photography.

My camera is similar: not full frame, but micro four thirds. So if you are using 35mm full frame DSLR lenses with adaptors (as I do), you have to multiply the focal length by 1.5 (with a speed booster attached, without this you multiply by 2.2) to arrive at the actual magnification. So I'm assuming this is similar with your camera, and hence the extreme wide angle lenses you choose. I will experiment with wide angle to see the effect on the perceived depth that you describe, so thanks for that tip.

I've since done some reading on macro photography, and realised that there was a lot I didn't know about macro photography! Most of the photography I've done in the past is portrait and landscape, and so none of my lenses are macro lenses. The sorts of images I want to capture, apart from the full tank shots, are close-ups of natural fish behaviour. I love the details, patterns and surprises that macro photography reveals that you can't see with the naked eye. And I like the sort of nature shots that make you feel like you are "in the tank" rather than a neutral observer.

What I've discovered (I feel stupid saying this, as it shows my ignorance... but I didn't know what I didn't know!!) is that macro lenses are quite different from normal lenses (surprise surprise!) in that they are optimised for use at their closest focusing distance which is the opposite of a normal lens that is optimised for use at infinity (that's what the blog post said... Ken Rockwell I think it was, who I've relied on for lens and photo gear reviews and advice for years). And also I hadn't thought enough about subjects like depth of field at such close distances, and the effect of motion blurr; so my reading has revealed some of the reasons for the techical problems I'm having...

In short, I plan to use a flash to fix the light issue for macro. And I'm looking into a second hand macro lens - either approx 100mm or 200mm.

I will experiment as you advise with my studio lights. I have two 800W studio lights, so they are more than powerful enough to make the tank blinding... I'll have to use diffusion and maybe even bounce the light, I'll try and see. But I still will need flash for macro work to freeze the action and use higher shutter speeds...

Thanks again. I'll let you know how I get on. If I managed to produce any half decent shots, I'll post some...
 

Tom43

Member
Joined
11 Sep 2017
Messages
36
Location
Portsmouth, UK
Another great article about this.

https://www.fish-etc.com/knowledge/how-to-photograph-your-fish-and-tank-part-1

Basically try lots of light with something like f8, shutter speed 1/200 and low ISO as possible. Or lower shutter speed if you have no fish.

I use cheap chinese floodlights to get a lot of light. Can be a pain to hang above your tank..
Hi Nigel, thanks for this. I'd reached that conclusion from my research online since I posted this! Basically, I had to go back to basics and have a think about what I was doing technically... see my answer to Ivan which explains my current thinking and direction, which chimes with what you say.

Thanks again.
 

Gabriel19

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25 Apr 2018
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Location
Paignton
I like to keep photography simple using the aquarium camera app on my iPhone. It’s recent update means it adjusts automatically as well as letting you alter exposure, white balance and the spectrum of colour or add a gel to stop blue lights washing out colour
 
Joined
9 Jun 2018
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124
Location
York, UK
Hi all,

I know this is a relatively old post now but one thing you can do is a method called HDR (High dynamic range) photography. You take 3-5 photos with the same composition but change the exposure each time so you end up with 5 photos exposed correctly for shadows, mid tones, and highlights. These can then be merged in software with a result that is perfectly exposed through the whole range, giving the photo much more depth and detail.

Setting the camera to manual mode is best for this, because the only setting you want to be changing for each photo is the shutter speed to avoid altering the depth of field or detail of the photos. The software is pretty good at compensating for ghosting as well but it's best done when there's no moving subjects.


Chris
 
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