Exposure Challenge

I was sitting on my couch one evening, looking out the window admiring the gorgeous sunset.  As my eye wandered, I noticed a dandelion head in full puff in the middle of the lawn.  Taking inspiration from Milkay’s run of dandelions, I jumped up from the couch and dashed out the door with my 50mm lens attached to my camera.  I plucked that thing out of the ground and raised it to the sky.  Using an aperture setting of f/1.8 so the background was out of focus, I took my first shot.  Although my light meter said my exposure was dead on, it was actually way overexposed, washing out the sky and drowning the dandelion head.  The only thing properly exposed was my hand holding the weed.  Obviously not the look I was going for.  So, I sped up my shutter by a few notches, and voila.

(ISO 640, f/1.8, 1/640s)

Another evening I was hanging out on the deck with my darlings.  The setting sun was casting a beautiful golden light.  I was struck by Little Girl’s face as she sat next to me chatting about her day.  This time I had my handy 18-200mm lens attached.  I left the camera at it’s f/11 aperture setting, and adjusted my shutter speed.  I love how the light captured her skin tone and eye color so perfectly.

(ISO 640, f/11, 1/400s)

Then I called Big Girl over.  I used the same settings at first, but wasn’t satisfied.  Instead, I chose to underexpose her shot by a couple of stops.  Much better.

(ISO 640, f/11, 1/800s)

And her’s converted quite interestingly to black and white.  I could not get the same quality with Little Girl’s shot.

Another great challenge Scott! Don’t think I “pushed any envelopes” but I was forced to really think about what I was doing.  Thank you.  NOW I can go look at everyone else’s!!  WhooHoo!

(In case anyone is wondering, I tend to keep my camera’s white balance set to “cloudy” and a couple of dashes into the lower right quadrant…I like the warmth this setting adds to most shots.  Now and then I have to try something different, but this is my goto setting.)

17 thoughts on “Exposure Challenge

  1. FS Photography May 26, 2010 / 12:18 pm

    Well you certainly picked the best of dandelion inspirations there in Tracy… and what a great silhouette.. and some real nice light in those portraits..

    • kanniduba May 28, 2010 / 6:18 am

      Thank you!
      Yes, Tracy’s shots are amazing. I’ve told her how very bad for my self-esteen she is. 😉

  2. milkayphoto May 26, 2010 / 12:25 pm

    Stunning shots, KD! LOVE the blue-to-pink-to gold-ish sky and the silhouetted dandelion – so lovely!

    Thanks for the shout out – much appreciated! 😀

    Funny – I keep my WB setting on Daylight for most things, or Flash for portraits and stuff. I, too, prefer the warmer tones.

    • kanniduba May 28, 2010 / 6:21 am

      Thank you Tracy…
      The sky was unbelievably gorgeous that night. I tweaked the sharpness a tad, but otherwise the shot is untouched. What you see is the sky I saw.

      I’ll have to experiment more with WB settings. Do I even have “daylight” or “flash?” Hmmm. Better go find out. 🙂

  3. thedailyclick May 26, 2010 / 6:49 pm

    Those are some beautiful shots, KD. LOVE the dandelion!

  4. truels May 27, 2010 / 1:26 pm

    Nice pictures, I think no. 1 and 3 are great, because there is a blurry soft and nice background that gives a depth in the picture. The dandelion is VERY good!

    • kanniduba May 28, 2010 / 6:24 am

      Thank you Truels! I was pleased with the dandelion too. 🙂

  5. giiid May 27, 2010 / 1:46 pm

    You are absolutely right it is a lovely warm light, and you have used it well by taking portraits. The dandelion photo is very nice too, with its warm tones as background. Summer evening.

    • kanniduba May 28, 2010 / 6:26 am

      Both of those evenings were simply perfect. Wish I could have bottled them both and saved them!

  6. karma May 27, 2010 / 2:16 pm

    I must say “wow!” to that picture of the dandelion. The composition is stunning, and I’m thinking this is one of those shots that could generate many moods. My first mood was “how sad and lonely” but then I started feeling more like this was the ending to a lovely day.

    Love the pictures of the girls’ glowing skin tones. So many times I look outside at that beautiful evening light and wish I could capture it like that.

    • kanniduba May 28, 2010 / 6:31 am

      Thanks so much Karma! 🙂
      I am hoping to take advantage of that morning and evening light more over the summer. I just love the skin tones too.

  7. Nye May 28, 2010 / 5:40 am

    I love the dandelion shot, looks almost like a giant Ferris Wheel from a distance. Amazing that you could hold the dandelion and camera at the same time, great shot. 🙂

    • kanniduba May 28, 2010 / 6:33 am

      LOL
      If I”d had my 18-200mm lens attached, I probably wouldn’t have been able to take a steady shot one handed…that lens is heavy!!! But my 50mm is a tiny little short thing, so it wasn’t a problem. What WAS a problem was the very slight breeze. I had a few more blurry shots than sharp ones.

  8. JenniferA May 30, 2010 / 8:07 pm

    KD, these are fabulous! The first one could be in a magazine, maybe in an allergy medication ad, hee hee – let the sun set on your allergies with Allergy-B-Gon! 😉

    The photos of your girls are lovely too and not just the light – I love the unusual cropping.

  9. Scott Thomas Photography June 1, 2010 / 7:46 pm

    I still am not keen on underexposed photos but the black and white conversion is excellent, KD. 🙂 Focus is on the eye, right where it is supposed to be. The color and depth of field of the dandelion makes this a unique nature photo.

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