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Member Since 07 Oct 2013
Offline Last Active Apr 18 2018 12:03 PM

In Topic: Holiday lights

01 December 2014 - 11:59 PM

Thanks for the advice it will be a big help.  I downloaded Enfuse and was able to test it out a little.  It will take some practice but I'm looking forward to capturing some cool scenes.  I believe the D5300 will only bracket 3 shots up to 2ev.  


Thanks again!

You can manually bracket (which we all did before the days of auto-bracketing.)  On your camera, set to Aperture Priority mode (A) and use Matrix Exposure mode. Set ISO to 800 or even 1600 (for your D5300, iso 1600 is certainly useable!)  Set camera on sturdy tripod.

Shoot one shot at the desired f-stop and shutter speed as set by camera for the aperture you want determined by depth of field desired - that's your 0 ev reference.  Now take one at one stop slower shutter speed for the +1ev.  Then take another at 2 stops slower shutter speed for the +2ev. Then take one at 1 stop faster than the 0 ev shutter speed - that's your -1 ev and then take the 5th shot at 2 stops faster - that's your -2 ev.  Now you have a 5 shot bracket. 

eg: Aperture priority (A) at ISO 800 - the camera auto pilot set shutter to 1sec. - that's your 0 ev shot.

+1 ev would be 2 sec

+2 ev would be 4 sec

-1 ev would be 1/2 sec

-2 ev would be 1/4 sec

There's your 5 shot HDR 


It's more fun doing it this way - also give you an excuse to buy a really expensive but sturdy tripod!  


Have fun.

In Topic: Holiday lights

01 December 2014 - 12:38 AM

No camera sensors or film have the dynamic range of our eyes so in a scene like this, while it looks ok to our eye, you will not be able to capture it with the camera properly.  It is obvious that the lights are very much over exposed - thus the halo effect - and you did that on purpose so that you can get the trees and water in the picture. If you expose for the light properly, everything else will be totally dark - that the result of lack of dynamic ranges. Even if you have a sensor that can captures the scene properly, there is no medium that can display it - your computer screen won't have that dynamic range or contrast ratio capability to show it.  So, if you want to have a good picture of this, here's 3 things you can do to "cheat" a little:


1. Time to use HDR - High Dynamic Range technic - do a 5 shot bracket of -2, -1, 0, +1, +2 ev and assemble them together. If you don't know HDR, google it. If you don't have Photoshop and use only Lightroom there is a plugin you can get to do it - google "Enfuse" - is a "donation-ware" and if you like it, donate some money to them.

Or 2. Take the picture during dusk - when there's still some background light and set exposure mode to "spot" and put the spot on the brightest light. The light will be properly exposed but the rest will be under but at least there's some light to show something other than a black dark background. Shoot RAW then in Lightroom, boost the "Dark" and the "Shadow" and up the "Clarity". 

Or 3, Get closer so more of the light fills the image area. Set exposure mode to "matrix" metering and when more of the lighting fills the image, it will meter more accurately for the light and they won't be over exposed.  Google "image christmas lights" and noticed how all the images that are exposed properly (and not done by HDR) have more light than dark in the pictures.


Hope this helps.

In Topic: images washed out intermittently

04 November 2014 - 12:00 PM

Ok, Afterimage pointed out the obvious problem with the way the image was exposed - way over exposed.  If it does that consistently in Auto mode, you've got a problem with the camera but before you send it back to Nikon, try this:


1. Perform a "Factory Reset" on the camera.  I don't remember the sequence but it's in the menu - one of the last item.  This will clear any inadvertent setting that may be done on the camera to offset its exposure.


2. Set your camera to M-Mode - yes fully manual and use the light meter inside the viewfinder. This will test if you have a light meter problem.  In an indoor setting, set ISO at 800.  Set shutter at 1/60.  Now adjust the aperture (F-stop) until the lightmeter "needle" is in the center - that's the correct exposure.  Shoot.  If the image is still over exposed, your light meter in the camera is bad - it's the same light meter used by the CPU of your camera in Auto mode.


3. If it's ok in the Manual mode, your light meter is good, now see if the CPU is good.  Set camera to P-mode - this is the semi auto mode.  Turn command dial to get an ISO reading of 400 to 800 and watch the shutter speed as you turn - you want the shutter speed to be faster than 1/30 sec.  Shoot.  If the image is still over exposed, you got a CPU program.


Finally, FORGET the Auto Mode - really seriously!  I work in a camera store and have never seen a Nikon DSLR that can take properly exposed pictures with it in Auto mode. The most awful feature is that it will pop up the flash when there's really not need to - when there's enough parameters left for the camera to push to not have to flash. Whoever designed the computer algorithm for their Full Auto mode must not be a photographer!!!  Use P mode if you must. But learn to use the Aperture Priority A-mode.  Aperture controls depth of field of your focus and that's how you get good pictures.


Hope this helps. 

In Topic: images washed out intermittently

03 November 2014 - 05:13 PM

Did the on-board flash fired?  By the look of the well defined shadow line under the arm, looked like it did!  Looking at the settings, at 1/60, F/5.6 and ISO 3200 there's no need for the flash to fire.


Remember this is NOT a Point & Shoot camera - so even in Auto model you cannot treat it like a P & S camera.  

Here's a couple of things to look at:

1. Check what your exposure mode is set at - looks like it may be set to "spot" and the spot you picked for it is dark so the camera went all out to get as much light as possible - then the flash came on and over-exposed the picture.  For general use, set the exposure mode to "Center Weighed" or "Matrix" mode.

2. TURN OFF THE FLASH - just set to no flash mode - you'll get much better pictures in general.  The on-board flash is way too small, has short range and will cast very harsh shadows - and in most instances screw up the picture.  

In Topic: Ambient light control question

30 October 2014 - 05:46 PM

Yes, you got it!


Now you have discovered the inherent weakness of trying to use flash in Aperture Priority mode.  You end up having to fool around/fiddle with two different parameters to try to "cheat" the camera to get to do what you want out of it - if you are going to fiddle you might as well just shoot in manual so you only have to fiddle with just one parameter - the shutter speed.


In this fill-in flash situation, all you have to do is select your aperture based on your DOF need (you do that anyway in A-priority mode) then using the light meter (shows up in the viewfinder when you are in manual mode), set the shutter speed to get the correct exposure - then speed up 1 or 2 stops to get the darken effect you want - than use the flash to fill in the subject and expose the subject properly.  Voila - fiddle with shutter speed and you got it and leave the EC and FEC alone!


Hope that helps.