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Archive 2012 · rookie picture quality question
  
 
dansmail26
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · rookie picture quality question


My wife was trying her new (to her) sxi with a 28-135 is u lens on it for the first time outdoors in the snow yesterday. On many of the pictures the color (mostly of our granddaughters pink snowsuit) came out very poorly. Some of the pictures were great. She was switching between auto and portrait modes. She is still trying to work on using the camera in manual mode.
She has taken some tremendous indoor shots where we can't believe how good the colors come out.
Any ideas?
Thanks



Jan 17, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Ian.Dobinson
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · rookie picture quality question


What was the white balance set to?
Did she shoot raw or jpeg? (in those modes I think are jpeg only?)

If the whitebalance is wrong then colours will be strange.


The first advantage to shooting raw is the ability to change the white balance after on the pc.

You say she's learning to shoot manual. Very good. the sooner off the picture styles the better. Manual is good but not that needed. Starting to learn to use either AV or TV and making some of the choices for yourself is a good start.




Jan 17, 2012 at 07:23 PM
slee915
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · rookie picture quality question


You need to overexpose by at least 1 stop in the snow. I don't think those auto/portrait modes will do that for you.




Jan 17, 2012 at 07:33 PM
dansmail26
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · rookie picture quality question


I don't think she made any adjustments to the white balance, she is shooting jpg and didn't over expose either. It's been raining all day so when the snow comes back.... lol.

Would you suggest she start in av or tv mode?

Would it make sense for her to shoot raw or work on getting good jpg's out? She has been learning elements too.



Jan 17, 2012 at 08:01 PM
Ian.Dobinson
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · rookie picture quality question


dansmail26 wrote:
Would it make sense for her to shoot raw or work on getting good jpg's out? She has been learning elements too.


some think that RAW is just for pros and other high end users. I would actually say that it can benifit the less experienced more. If your an expert and can nail everything in camera then a jpeg straight from the cam would look great. but if you need to work on the file then raw will yeild so much more.



Jan 17, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Monito
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · rookie picture quality question


Are the pictures underexposed and "corrected" outside of the camera? Snow can fool camera meters since it so bright. They want to make everything middle gray and the brightness of the snow dominates, so it gets shoved way down near middle gray.


Jan 17, 2012 at 08:27 PM
AGeoJO
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · rookie picture quality question


+1 on what slee915 and Monito mentioned!


Jan 17, 2012 at 08:37 PM
thedutt
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · rookie picture quality question


+1 on raw. gives you complete control over white balance and some latitude on exposure. You dont need Elements, the canon supplied DPP is actually really good at converting RAW files. Moreover, as the software improves, so does the JPegs generated for the same RAW files. (e.g. processing a 20D or a 5D high ISO files with updated noise reduction in DPP software produces a noticeably better result)




Jan 17, 2012 at 09:04 PM
svassh
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · rookie picture quality question


Best way to jump start this is for both of you to enroll in a beginners DSLR photography course. If you can't do that consider a good beginners book from Scott Kelby. It will explain alot and get you pointed in the right direction.


Jan 17, 2012 at 09:54 PM
leftymgp
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · rookie picture quality question


Like others have said, I would definitely shoot in raw. You have so much more to work with in post processing if you do that. I find I rarely agree with the camera's white balance decisions and always end up tweaking everything.

As far as AV or TV modes, it really depends on what you're doing. If you're in a situation when you know you'll need to stop action, TV mode could make sense. I use AV mode just about all of the time unless I'm in a weird light situation and then I switch to M.



Jan 17, 2012 at 10:12 PM
 

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BrianO
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · rookie picture quality question


Short of an in-person photography course, the best advice I can offer the newcomer is:

http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Exposure-3rd-Photographs-Camera/dp/0817439390

This will answer questions such as "Why are my pictures too dark/light," "Why did the picture of my kid riding a bike come out blurry but the background is crisp," "When should I use Av, Tv, or M mode," and many more.



Jan 18, 2012 at 03:39 AM
Ferrophot
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · rookie picture quality question


Hi. I think the things you and your good wife need to know about are; exposure (shutter speed, aperture and ISO), exposure compensation and focus. If there is a good understanding of these then 90% of the technique for picture taking is covered.
The best way to gain this understanding is to read up on the basics (barely covered in the camera manual) and then take lots of pictures, experimenting as you go. Hanging around this forum will help too. Good luck.



Jan 18, 2012 at 03:57 AM
Scott Stoness
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · rookie picture quality question


I agree that this might be caused by color cast settings. Or underexposure because snow undermeters.

The direction of the light is also critical. If the sun is behind the subject the colors will not be as good. As well, diffused light will be better (cloudy day).

Using flash on for people is generally a good thing because it overcomes the severe shadows.



Jan 18, 2012 at 04:34 AM
melcat
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · rookie picture quality question


I disagree with the advice to shoot raw and fix the exposure later. If the camera metered on the snow, the shot is probably 1 stops underexposed. This is at the limit of how much adjustment raw files from most cameras will take without posterisation. Certainly, with my cameras, I would either bin such a shot or maybe try to process it as black and white.

As hinted in the above, the easy way to shoot in snow is to put the camera in Av, set exposure compensation to 1/3 stops, and meter on the snow using AE lock. Either that or trust the camera's meter to recognize it as a snow scene - something a Nikon might but apparently Canon doesn't (I have never tried evauative metering in my Canon cameras). I would spot meter with multispot metering (you'd need to use M).

Set white balance sunny or shade before shooting as appropriate. Not hard.

Using raw workflow brings a whole world of pain involving keeping software up to date, archiving, asset management, sidecar files, manual sharpening etc. In my opinion, it's a detour beginning photographers should not be making. You do have to nail exposure and white balance in camera if you shoot JPEG.

EDIT - corrected slip in 1st para

Edited on Jan 18, 2012 at 08:30 AM · View previous versions



Jan 18, 2012 at 06:57 AM
carnac
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · rookie picture quality question


melcat wrote:
...If the camera metered on the snow, the shot is probably 1 stops overexposed. This is at the limit of how much adjustment raw files from most cameras will take without posterisation. Certainly, with my cameras, I would either bin such a shot or maybe try to process it as black and white.


Have to disagree - cameras underexpose when shooting snow - the camera meter, not knowing it is snow, tries to make the snow scene neutral gray, making the children too dark.

It is a little counterintuitive - in very bright scenes the camera will underexpose (trying to make the picture neutral grey) and in very dark scenes the camera will overexpose (trying to make the picture neutral grey). This assumes that the camera has a high enough shutter speed/small enough aperture to correctly expose bright outside scenes (keep the ISO low) and low enough shutter speed/large aperture to correctly expose dark scenes (keep the ISO high).

Exposure compensation of +1 to +2 stops should help. If shooting manual, just overexpose by that amount from the metered value. Otherwise - use an exposure compensation of + 1 to +2 stops.

Another way to get better shots in the snow - use the spot metering mode and/or get close to your subject. By filling the meter (in spot mode) or the whole frame with subject the snow will be less of a factor and not force the camera into underexposure.

Experiment - easy when using manual - take four or five shots of the same scene at -2, -1, 0, +1, +2 stops compensation from the meter reading and take a look for yourself at how they turn out.

It would be helpful if you could post a picture or two.

Cheers - Jim



Jan 18, 2012 at 07:52 AM
kevindar
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · rookie picture quality question


Dont shoot in portrait mode. the colors are overly red, and unnatural looking. that most likely is your problem. also in addition of the snow causing underexposure by camera metering (as others have mentioned) in may experience, often leads to a very cool white balance which throws off the colors.


Jan 18, 2012 at 07:57 AM
melcat
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · rookie picture quality question


carnac wrote:
Have to disagree - cameras underexpose when shooting snow - the camera meter, not knowing it is snow, tries to make the snow scene neutral gray, making the children too dark.


Ouch, yes, horrible slip, Jim is quite right. At least later in the post I got it right: set exposure compensation to +1 2/3 or thereabouts. You are looking to retain slight detail in that snow, which means slightly less than the 2 1/3 stops which is detailless white.



Jan 18, 2012 at 08:28 AM
dansmail26
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · rookie picture quality question


Thanks so much everybody, you all are so helpful.
We will wadw rhrough all the advice, and def look for a course or the book that is mentioned.
Thanks



Jan 18, 2012 at 01:05 PM
carnac
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · rookie picture quality question


melcat wrote:
Ouch, yes, horrible slip, Jim is quite right. At least later in the post I got it right: set exposure compensation to +1 2/3 or thereabouts. You are looking to retain slight detail in that snow, which means slightly less than the 2 1/3 stops which is detailless white.


melcat:

I always have to think for a minute about snow or very dark pictures about needing to overexpose or underexpose (always seems a little backwards to me :-). I just didn't want to confuse the OP.

Cheers - Jim



Jan 19, 2012 at 06:29 AM





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