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Photography Question 
Donna L. Dohi
 

How to shoot with large window directly behind


Can someone help please. I am fairly new to photography and have purchased a Nikon D70.
When I take a image at a small chapel the couple are standing directly in front of a large window looking out to the lake and mountains. I have tried a few things but still it comes out as a silhouette. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks


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4/4/2006 4:02:02 AM

 
  Hi Donna;

Shoot the photograph at an angle to the glass.If you stay at a, say 45% angle to the glass, the flash burst will bounce away from you.

Also, you don't mention using a flash, so I have got to suggest that you use your camera on fill flash mode. This will give you the light you need to make your subjects pop.

Have fun and keep shooting,
Mark H.


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4/4/2006 4:57:06 AM

 
Bob Fately   Donna, what Mark is referring to relates to a limitation of cameras (film and digital) as compared to our eyes - the dynamic range is lower. That is, when that couple stands in front of the window, your eye can see their faces as well as the lovely scene behind them, right? What you don't realize is just how much brighter that lake scene is than the couple inside the church. Thanks to the way vision works, when we perceive something as twice as bright as something else the reality (if measured with a meter) is that the brighter scene may be 100 times as bright. No kidding!

Well, a camera cannot read that wide a disparity of lighting - either it captures the bright part and loses all the shadow details (a la your silhouettes) or it captures the dark areas and the bright spots just wash to white (called "blown out highlights").

The thing to do is try to even things out a bit. One way is to put a big dark filter over the window (which is what is actually done sometimes) to bring down that outside scenery light - while it looks funny to your eyes the camera would pick up the details in both places.

Of course, that's a bit of a pain, so the other option is to increase the lighting on the folks inside the church - that's what the flash would be for. By adding light there (it's called "fill flash") once again the couple and the lake come closer to each other in overall brightness, and the camera can capture it all.

Mark's suggestion about standing at an angle is useful, since if you're directly in front of a reflective surface you may well get the bright reflection of the flash itself.

Make sense?


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4/4/2006 8:14:22 AM

 
Terry  R. Hatfield
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/4/2003
  What Your Trying To Accomplish Is Really Hard If Not Impossible Donna,
Make The Image Of Couple With Fill Flash Then Make An Image Of The Window View Without The Couple In It "At Proper Exposure", Combine The Two Images In PS, And You Have Your Shot:-)


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4/4/2006 9:13:33 AM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Actually Donna, this isn't as difficult as it's being made out to be. Ever watch a motion picture, say a restaurant scene with people seated indoors in the foreground adjacent to a bright daylight scene outside the window? The objective here is to control your lighting.

First, don't shoot this scene at a time of day when the sun is brightest, go for early morning or late afternoon - eary evening when the sun is much lower on the horizon and the lighting is softer and less harsh.

Then BALANCE your outdoor light with your indoor lighting. Flash probably isn't such a good idea unless you can REALLY control where it's going. Chances are, even at 45 degrees, you're going to see some fireballs somewhere in the glass unless they can be cropped.

So, just take a meter reading of the ambient, outdoor light with a meter in the incident mode, and then match the indoor lighting to that reading, using incandescent lighting, perhaps ceiling lighting, table lamps, hot lights of some kind corrected for daylight. Piece of cake right?
Of course. Take it light.
Mark


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4/4/2006 11:16:26 AM

 

BetterPhoto Member
 
 
 
Hey Mark;

Here's a shot I just took. Notice the mirror wall behind the ladies. I'm not trying to be smart. I'm just proving a point.

Have fun and keep shooting,
Mark H.


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4/4/2006 5:15:44 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  I don't quite get it Mark. What's the point? The mirror doesn't look like a mirror but apparently, Donna wants the view through her window to be quite obvious in the finished shot. If you stand at an angle to a window, then what's outside the window, appears at an angle in the photograph, not full view really. My solution gets the whole scene and the foreground in balance. Whaddya think?
M


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4/4/2006 5:45:38 PM

 

BetterPhoto Member
  Basically, any time you shoot directly at a window using a flash, you are going to have flare. Even non reflective glass is good about that. I don't know what the scenery is like on the other side of the window is like, but if it's that beautiful it will probably be worth a try.

As for my shot, that was the idea.

Have fun and keep shooting,
Mark H.


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4/4/2006 6:00:55 PM

 
Donna L. Dohi  
 
 
Thanks everybody. I really appreciate all the comments. I have used the flash but you are correct about that. The only times we can take photos is 10.30am & 2.30pm so I do not have much choice of lighting. The scenery outside is fantastic and is well known here in NZ.


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4/4/2006 6:18:18 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Then it's like I mentioned Donna: You have to light the foreground, inside, with some kind of indirect lighting that brings it up to the same brightness level as the light outside. See what I mean? Lemme know if I can clarify that at all.

OHHHHHHHHHHH WAIT !!!! Here's an idea: Change the times of all of the clocks inside the church either forwards or backwards to coincide with whatever time you WANT to shoot!!!! It'll be our secret. ;>)

Take it light.
Mark F


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4/4/2006 10:32:41 PM

 
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