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Thread: Exposure and techs for backlit "ring of Fire" Images

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    Default Exposure and techs for backlit "ring of Fire" Images

    Guys can you give me some techs to start me off say shooting a hare/deer at 30M into the sun at around sunset.
    Could you also tell me how I should expose....here is a bit on why I'm confused


    We all understand that ETTR exposing to the right, gives us the best possible most detailed file to work from,It also means we don't have to boost exposure,so capturing the best possible rendition of noise.


    Now I believe that one would under expose the above shot in some cases by quite a lot,this is to saturate colours and obviously enhance the backlighting hitting our subject,but won't that then give us a more noisy image than if one pushed exposure. the other problem of course is SS. By under exposing we have a faster shutter so more likely to capture a sharp frame ,especially important for us as our subjects do move. At sunset here that SS is dropping rapidely,so ISO is being employed at higher levels,increasing the possibility of a noisy image


    Looking for some thoughts and advice here please . I'm going to get chances in this situation it's very likely and I'm not happy with my skillset to deal with it at all at the moment. Being more than a little confused on which way I should go ,to grab the best possible image quality I can muster


    Thanks so much for reading this and any help in advance,I feel I'm missing something. I also understand that to get the best possible results I ideally want a lit subject against a dark BKG and the camera position also shaded.

    This senario is UK based,I don't know whether that might mean a differing approach.

    Take care

    Stu

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    Life Time Member Rachel Hollander's Avatar
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    Hi Stu - As with everything, the answer is it depends. It depends on how much detail if any you want in the final image. Yes, the key for a backlit, rim light outlined image is to underexpose. The less detail you want then the darker you can go. Noise won't be a problem unless you try to lighten the image in post. That's when noise gets introduced. There's no set techs or magic formula that someone can give you. You'll just have to experiment in the field. If I wanted just the rim light, I would start off with ISO 400 or lower and a ss of at least 1/2500 and then modify the settings to get the look that I wanted as I shot. If it's cold and you want highlighted breath then you need more detail so you underexpose less.

    Hope this helps,
    Rachel

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rachel Hollander View Post
    Hi Stu - As with everything, the answer is it depends. It depends on how much detail if any you want in the final image. Yes, the key for a backlit, rim light outlined image is to underexpose. The less detail you want then the darker you can go. Noise won't be a problem unless you try to lighten the image in post. That's when noise gets introduced. There's no set techs or magic formula that someone can give you. You'll just have to experiment in the field. If I wanted just the rim light, I would start off with ISO 400 or lower and a ss of at least 1/2500 and then modify the settings to get the look that I wanted as I shot. If it's cold and you want highlighted breath then you need more detail so you underexpose less.

    Hope this helps,
    Rachel
    Thanks Rachel yes much help . The base premise I've been confused on is what you have mentioned ,the image should be OK if I don't raise exposure. So if under expsosed in camera noise shouldn't be a problem as long as I don't up the exposure later in post. I feel my start point iso would be much higher here,due to low levels of light,but it's that base concept of understanding what I should be trying to achieve in camera has been my issue. Hopefully I'll be able to apply this better now Rachel thank you very much.Tthe little details given are very useful too

    Thanks as always Rache,great reply . Sunset has been so elusive for me for so long,I'm finding I have weaknesses I need to address and I just know these chances are going to come at one hare spot in particular

    Take care

    Stu

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    Wildlife Moderator Steve Kaluski's Avatar
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    Stu:

    1) Set your exposure compensation between -1 and -2.
    2) Only shoot very close to sunrise and sunset, never in bright light.
    3) Keep everything simple with as few elements as possible.
    4) Keep all detail out of the shot, any solid object must be black.
    5) If shooting against the sky try a white balance of shade to boost the colours.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Kaluski View Post
    Stu:

    1) Set your exposure compensation between -1 and -2.
    2) Only shoot very close to sunrise and sunset, never in bright light.
    3) Keep everything simple with as few elements as possible.
    4) Keep all detail out of the shot, any solid object must be black.
    5) If shooting against the sky try a white balance of shade to boost the colours.
    Happy Easter Steve

    Great points all five thank you very much. It's not so much against the sky Steve,I feel the shots will be mainly land locked ,but nonetheless a great set of tips.

    Naturally ask a question like this and it's back to grey and rain here,I really should know better,but manythanks for the time and wisdom all the same

    take care

    Stu

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    Super Moderator Daniel Cadieux's Avatar
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    And don't forget, you can still "ETTR" with that situation, it's just that you will have much less pixels in the right-most box of the histogram. The highlights are normally so bright that you will need to reduce the metered exposure quite a bit anyhow to get the wanted result, with much of the frame being very dark (and corresponding data to the far left). At first glance the histogram would look like an underexposed frame, but in reality would be just right.

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    Super Moderator arash_hazeghi's Avatar
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    Can you post an example of what exactly you are trying to capture and what camera you use?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Cadieux View Post
    And don't forget, you can still "ETTR" with that situation, it's just that you will have much less pixels in the right-most box of the histogram. The highlights are normally so bright that you will need to reduce the metered exposure quite a bit anyhow to get the wanted result, with much of the frame being very dark (and corresponding data to the far left). At first glance the histogram would look like an underexposed frame, but in reality would be just right.
    .
    Interesting post Daniel,thankyou. Would those hilights always show in the histograme,would an exceptable method (if one had the time that is) be to drop exposure and still the blinkies stop flashing on the rear screen of camera?

    Many thanks Daniel

    stu

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    Quote Originally Posted by arash_hazeghi View Post
    Can you post an example of what exactly you are trying to capture and what camera you use?
    Hi Arash thank you for the reply and time.
    Arash camera is a 1Div,lens,(I only really have the 300 f2.8 is and both exts mark iii.
    Yes of course
    Arash here is an attempt at a brown hare. I tried to get the exposure right in camera here and then work the exposure down in post. My shutter speed is much lower than I want. Image is HH and cropped . This experience is why I posted Arash,I know I didn't handle this situation as well as I might have. Rachel's post means a lot Arash I had mistakenly notunderstood that underexposing in camera isn't a precursor to a noisy image it's boosting exposure in post that boosts noise.

    It's lovely the effort this forum puts into educating us ,how many mods have just tried to push me forwards
    thanks guysName:  _70F6912.JPG
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    Stu

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    Super Moderator Daniel Cadieux's Avatar
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    For a "ring of fire" type image you'll likely have some blinkies and still have the result you want. The histogram would look something like a big spike at far left (representing the blacks and very darks), then a smaller spike at far right (representing the bright ring). If you stop down to remove blinkies most of the rest of the image may be rendered fully black, or close to it, which may be a very dramatic result.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Cadieux View Post
    For a "ring of fire" type image you'll likely have some blinkies and still have the result you want. The histogram would look something like a big spike at far left (representing the blacks and very darks), then a smaller spike at far right (representing the bright ring). If you stop down to remove blinkies most of the rest of the image may be rendered fully black, or close to it, which may be a very dramatic result.
    Daniel,thank you again. Yeah it's that drama you speak of, which doubtless is attracting me. I find backlit and sunset a fascinating combination artistically Daniel, but very much wanted my approach to be better ,hence the thread. It's been very informative ,with probably more still to learn. I wondered if those ring of fire hilights would show in the histograme they are not terribly apparent in the image i've shown although that obviously has been processed in DPP4. Sorry to be a bit slow,it takes me a while to assimilate what I need to be working towards tech wise,and how that works best with the tools I use and of course British light

    Thank you so much

    Stu

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    Super Moderator Daniel Cadieux's Avatar
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    Hey Stuart, you're welcome. I would not call the example you posted a "ring of fire" image. It's simply a somewhat backlit, low-light image, and the "ring" does not stand out much. You'll want to find yourself a situation where the sun is still above the horizon and much more closely aligned behind the subject. This will get you much, much more pronounced highlights around the subject, and when lowering the exposure to tame those highlights the background will get much, much darker, if not fully black. Here is an example I created last year that I would call "ring of fire" - is this similar to what you are trying to achieve?

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    Life Time Member Rachel Hollander's Avatar
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    Daniel, that's a fantastic image and example. Love it.

    Stu- I agree with Daniel that I don't see the hare image you posted as a "ring of fire" image. I think more of the images like Daniel's posted here or my backlit bison images that I posted in Wildlife and those were the techs I was describing.

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    Ditto Daniel and Rachel,

    the hare image doesn't really have the kind of back light to create the "ring of fire" effect, it is just low light so it's not going to create the effect you desire, you need stronger light to make it happen

    best
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Cadieux View Post
    Hey Stuart, you're welcome. I would not call the example you posted a "ring of fire" image. It's simply a somewhat backlit, low-light image, and the "ring" does not stand out much. You'll want to find yourself a situation where the sun is still above the horizon and much more closely aligned behind the subject. This will get you much, much more pronounced highlights around the subject, and when lowering the exposure to tame those highlights the background will get much, much darker, if not fully black. Here is an example I created last year that I would call "ring of fire" - is this similar to what you are trying to achieve?
    Yes Daniel,maybe a bit more of subject detail visible and naturally i'm going to be picky and say I want a whole ring. I'm just joking Daniel,it's a superb example and again I'm in your debt. Sometimes Daniel what I'm looking for is a slightly lighter frame with all picked up in warm sunset light some of the BKG too,but yes essentially the above. I'm so grateful to you all for helping as the combination of posts has lead us here. Now, I feel I am armed with the details of how I can have a go at executing this type of image not only with a base set of techs to work up from but I have the field conditions too.

    I'm simply shooting too late, trying to attempt this when the light has dropped too far,it's so obvious now ,but the penny hadn't dropped at all.

    Dan Arash Rache and Steve,genuine thanks. Dan's image above and similar have always been of deep fascination to me. I adore the light play it's gemuinly stunning to me Dan. I can't wait to get a chance myself now

    Hehe I can't help it guys,i'm really excited can't wait for a chance

    thanks again

    Stu

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