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any suggestions on keeping white parts of an image from getting blown out? I'm to the point now of hating painting White things  ( or even off white like bone), because i know it will photograph so badly.  I have 2 photos, both use indirect light,

the better one with natural light coming from the front on an overcast day . you can see the tops of the skeleton heads/faces washed out

together rough (6).JPG

 

and the other, an artificial " pure white" light with a scrim to further soften it. Here the problem is much worse and depth of field/focus goes to heck too

together rough (2).JPG

 

any advice greatly appreciated.

 

 

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I think what you need to do is control the opening time of your camera. I’m really not an expert, but I know that if the camera lens opens for a shorter period of time there will be lest light coming in and so the white won’t be as saturated. I think you need to change the ISO setting. Maybe someone who knows photo-fu better than me can help.

 

By the way, I like the way you adapted the Murder of Crows. Great work.

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I have a few questions. 

Are you using a camera or phone to shoot your photo?  Do you have any control over the F-stop and shutter speed? Do you have any control over how the camera or phone measures/meters the light?  How far away is your light source when using the artificial  light?

 

 

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You have to expose for the white/bright parts first by adjusting your camera settings. If your camera has some form of highlight warning functions (like zebras), that will help greatly. You will then have very dark shadows which you can brighten up with white bounce cards. Hope that helps.

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18 hours ago, Metalchaos said:

By the way, I like the way you adapted the Murder of Crows. Great work.

thanks, really happy with how that turned out

 

10 hours ago, Hibou said:

I have a few questions. 

Are you using a camera or phone to shoot your photo?  Do you have any control over the F-stop and shutter speed? Do you have any control over how the camera or phone measures/meters the light?  How far away is your light source when using the artificial  light?

Camera- inexpensive Panasonic point and shoot. I don't think it has F-stop , shutter  or a light meter but i will check tonight. I tried a smart phone but it was not any better and harder to use /hold-steady.

Played with this one last night, I did find out that by backing away the artificial light from the object by 16 inches and shoving it all the way into the blacked out photo box the glare was almost completely eliminated, probably 75% better.   Does require image cropping but that's ok

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If you post the model of your camera I will try and figure out the best settings for you. You could also pm the model number to me if you don’t want to post it in the forum.   
 

if you camera doesn't have manual controls then your two variables will be your light source and the ISO settings on your camera.  

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Panasonic DMC-LS80.

  I don't think kit has any of those adjustments.

 

https://www.panasonic.com/content/dam/Panasonic/support_manual/Digital_Still_Camera/English_02-vqt3-vqt9_other/DMC-LS80%20Operating%20Instructions.pdf

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You are correct that that camera does not have F-stop and shutter speed controls. But it does have manual control over light sensitivity. 
The lower you set the ISO number the less sensitive your camera becomes to light. 

in the playback mode of you camera you should have an info button that shows you what the cameras settings were for each image.  Look at the ISO it gives you and decrease that to the next lowest number. 

You also have a number of preset modes like landscape,macro, and portrait, that change the the settings on your camera. You can try playing arround with these preset modes to see what results they give you.  

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9 hours ago, Hibou said:

You are correct that that camera does not have F-stop and shutter speed controls. But it does have manual control over light sensitivity. 
The lower you set the ISO number the less sensitive your camera becomes to light. 

in the playback mode of you camera you should have an info button that shows you what the cameras settings were for each image.  Look at the ISO it gives you and decrease that to the next lowest number. 

You also have a number of preset modes like landscape,macro, and portrait, that change the the settings on your camera. You can try playing arround with these preset modes to see what results they give you.  

I'm noticing there are a lot of "scene modes" that might be useful. Night portrait/scenery, candle light, sunset, high sensitivity, beach, snow, etc.

 

Any of these may have the right tweaks to balance low light and highlights at the same time.

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1 hour ago, Clearman said:

You can also try changing you backdrop to something that is a neutral grey instead of black.

I originally included this in my post as well.  It’s a good suggestion.  

 

13 minutes ago, Cranky Dog said:

I'm noticing there are a lot of "scene modes" that might be useful. Night portrait/scenery, candle light, sunset, high sensitivity, beach, snow, etc.

 

Any of these may have the right tweaks to balance low light and highlights at the same time.

My point exactly.  I couldn’t remember which term Panasonic was using on their cameras for preprogrammed scene modes, so I went with the most generic term I could think of.  

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thanks so much for all the replies, I will try all those suggestions soon.  The basic "portrait mode" did make a huge difference after i forced the flash off last night, but it deliberately blurs parts of the photo. 

 

I'm going to try candle light and sunset mode (ISO 100) next.

 

I've probably taken 100 pictures so far of this silly little thing (and threw away 95 of them) , but they are slowly getting better,

 

thank you

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In most cameras the candle mode will set the ISo of the camera up really high, open the lens all the way up and try to account for the orange color temperature of candle light.   So the front and back will fall out of focus, the image will be grainy due to cranking up the iso and depending on how close the light source is to daylight will give you blueish colors. 

 

The sunset might give better results but those tend to crank up the contrast which will blow out the highlights. 

 

The landscape mode might be a good choice or if you have a group portrait mode those would be good starting points.  

 

Most pro photographers shoot much higher ratios than 20 to 1. 

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