Auto Show (convention center) photos too dark...HELP!
Since search is disabled, I'm not sure if this has been asked....

I took my Canon XT with kit lens to the Detroit Auto Show and while I got some good pictures, most turned out really dark. Being a complete DSLR newbie, I have to admit that most were shot in the automatic mode as I am still learning the "creative" or manual modes and how to work them...I am going back on Saturday and would like to take some more/better shots. What should I be doing? I also have a Canon 75-300mm lens if that helps!Thank you!.

Also, just a side - my name is NOT "Jim S Jordan", dpreview messed up my profile somehow and won't answer me on how to fix so if anyone knows how to do that as well, I will love you forever!.

'We cannot discover new oceans unless we have the courage to lose sight of the shore.' ~Anonymous..

Comments (7)

Without seeing any of he images it's hard to say, and I'm also not familiar with your camera. I can say that Cobo does offer some serious lighting challenges!.

I would recommend several things, again based on not seeing any samples..

1. Shoot on manuel settting, ISO of 400, and the fastest shutter speed you can..

Since you said your kinda new to this, do you know how to balance your exposure, shutter and apeture? If not get your manual out and play around with the settings before Saturday..

2. Forget about a tripod with the crowd, and use the lens your most comfortable with, one that you can hand hold without waivering around..

3. If your flash has TTL it should sync with your camera, and the settings you set for the camera - again not familiar with your system, but that will help put some twinkle in some of the darker vehicles in the darker corners..

I spent 6 days at the show, Preview week, and took over 3700 images. Even using a combination of flash and available light, draggging my shutter, etc. I still ended up with some dark images. I was able to rescue most of them in Photoshop, but thats not what you always want to do!.

Some of the best available light images I got were at the Audi, Infinity, and Lexus displays..

VW, Ford and GM were ok, but alot of color contamnation due to their varied lighting themes. Toyota, Scion, and Suzuki were the worst for lighting..

Hope this helps...

Comment #1

Switch to P mode, and up the exposure compensation to the + side until the image looks good to you or the histogram is centered or slightly to the right of center..

A great cheap investment for indoor photography is a 50mm f1.8 lens. for $79 you get a sharp lens thats 3-4 stops faster( lets in more light) than the kit lens. The faster lens may make flash unnecessary depending on the light level..

If your too dark photos used flash, remember light falls off like 1/d^2 ( something 2x as far away gets 1/4 the light). This makes the background of flash photos dark compared to the subject and would be very noticeable in a big convention center where the back ground may be a long way away...

Comment #2

If you are shooting in Auto mode I will assume the flash is firing?.

If the flash is firing and the shot is too dark, then it's probably because the flash isn't powerful enough to light the scene..

This seems especially likely if you are using a 70-300 lens; using such a lens it is easy to be fooled into thinking you are closer to the subject than you actually are!.

If that is the problem, then (apart from using a more powerful, external flash) the answer is to use one of the modes where you can control aperture and/or shutter speed (Manual, or whatever the other modes are called on the Canon), leave the flash off, and dial up the ISO if necessary..

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window..

Comment #3

Download the free program Picasa. You can lighten up your pictures there if you want to save them.Roses64068..

Comment #4

Thanks everyone! I need to do some more reading of my manual but all of your suggestions make it easier to know what I can work on/learn from...I really appreciate it!.

'We cannot discover new oceans unless we have the courage to lose sight of the shore.' ~Anonymous..

Comment #5

About the instruction book think of this as being like the owner's manual for a stove. It tells you what you need to do to set the temerture and turn on the timer and switch from broil to bake, but it does not provide any recipes..

So you'll need a good book or two that goes past camera insructions..

About the show Arrowman's advice is the best here. P for program is a gret compromise between shutter speed to minimize camera shake, and aperture to maximize depth of field, so the car is sharp for more than a few inches..

Use your lenses nearer their wide settings, and you'll get wider apertures, allowing better exposure..


Comment #6

Just created my SmugMug account so please take a look...any and all comments are appreciated!.


'We cannot discover new oceans unless we have the courage to lose sight of the shore.' ~Anonymous..

Comment #7

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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