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Recompose The Photo
This is probably the simplest solution. When taking a photo of a scene with very bright and very dark parts, move your camera to eliminate one of the extremes. In the case of the band, I would have either closed the curtains for the shot, or recomposed completely and photographed from the window looking at the band, and the crowd behind.
Use Exposure Lock
If you can't recompose the photograph, instead tell the camera what part of the image you would like to see. The rest of the photo will be either over or under exposed (too bright or too dark) but at least you will see your subject. You can dothis by placing the center of the image at your subject; half depressing the shutter to lock the focus and exposure; move the camera to re-compose the image; and fully depressing the shutter.
In the band image, the camera chose to correctly expose the scene outside, but even if the band member had been correctly exposed, the window would have ended up being over exposed and you would just have seen white.
Some cameras have an option called 'spot metering' to set the part of the image you'd like to be correctly exposed. If your camera has this setting, enable it before using the technique above.
Use Fill In Flash
If your scene has a sunny background, but your subject is in the shade (or has a hat on), turn on the flash (as I explained way back in tip number 9 - Using Flash During The Day). I know it seems wrong but it really does work! By using the flash, your subject will look as bright as the background. This would have worked well for the child shot above.
High Dynamic Range Imaging
This technique is not for the faintof hearted. It requires a subject that does not move; a good camera with the capability to set the exposure and output RAW images. A tripod and image editing software like Photoshop CS3 are also needed.
High Dynamic Range Imaging (or HDR for short) is a technique for placing both very dark and very light areas in the same photo. It requires you to take a number of photographs of thesame scene - each with a different exposure. First take the shot using the camera's recommended settings. Then, in manual mode and keeping the aperture at the same value as the first shot, take a sequence of shots - each shot having a different shutter speed (above and below the original). You'll have 5-9 shots of the same scene all in different exposures.
Merging the three images to the left creates the HDR image below. Thanks to Photomatix for the images.
Now import these into your favorite paint program. I use Photoshop, but you can as easily use a cheaper program designed specifically for HDR photos like Photomatix. Follow the HDR directions and the paint program will merge these images into one great looking shot!
Use a Filter
If your scene is of a brightsky and a dark ground (for instance at sunset, or on a cloudy day), you can use a graduated neutral density filter. This filter cuts out someof the light from one part of the photo (the sky). This will correctly expose the ground and the sky without needing to use HDR. These filterscan be complex to setup, so I don't usually recommend them for beginners.
Fix The Original Photo in an Image Editing Program
Finally, if you can't take another shot at the same location, you can fix the original image by changing the levels using a paint program. This works best when your subject is darker than the rest of the photo (because cameras lose detail in over-bright areas). I've brightened the band member in the top image using this technique and while it looks okay in thissmall shot, this technique can tend to amplify any noise in the image. The darker the subject, the harder time you will have fixing the image.
I discuss exactly how to use this technique in lesson 2 of my free Image Editing Secrets course. I have a tutorial for Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Paint Shop Pro and the free Google Picassa.
- See more at: http://www.digital-photo-secrets.com/tip/140/6-ways-to-fix-too-bright-and-too-dark-photos/#sthash.58eENOTt.dpuf
If you are shooting in Auto mode with flash, this should solve your problem. Make sure you are not dictating any of the settings, i.e. choosing a longer shutter speed, a very small aperture setting, or a very low ISO (sensitivity) setting.
Typically the vibration warning icon will appear when the camera is trying to use a long shutter speed without flash in order to get the right exposure for a darker scene. Your outdoor (bright light) photos are probably OK.
In dim light with a point and shoot camera, you can have your choice between 1. blurry (using a relatively slow shutter speed), 2. dark (using a shorter shutter speed but no flash), or 3. a good photo with flash (which uses a medium shutter speed and added light from the flash)
Grainy photos is due to high ISO that is needed to capture photos in low light. The solution to that problem is to use flash. Blur in low light would be due to a long shutter speed in an attempt to capture enough light to get a properly exposed photo. Again, the solution here is to use flash. Auto mode with flash on is just fine in this situation-- you could also try night mode if you wish.
When using a zoom or telephoto lens, it's just like using a telescope - a little bit of movement in your hand makes the image jump around a lot. If you take a picture under these conditions it is often blurry. There are 5 things to improve the image quality:
1. Use the fastest shutter speed possible.
2. Since a fast shutter speed captures less light, you also need a wider aperture (that's the size of adjustable curtain in the lens known as the f-stop, a smaller f-stop number indicates a wider aperture). The wider aperture allows more light in.
3. Use a tripod. This works for telescopes and cameras.
4. Bright available light. On a sunny day, there is lots of light available, so you can use a fast shutter speed and still get enough light.
5a. On film cameras use "fast film". This film is more sensitive, meaning it requires less light so you can use a faster shutter speed.
5b. On some digital cameras there is Image Stabilization. The image is electronically stabilized - this is like using a tripod to hold the image still, while allowing the camera to move around a little bit.
I hope you found this helpful
A stuck shutter is another common failure mode for digital cameras. The symptoms of a stuck or "sticky" shutter are very similar to CCD image sensor failure. The camera may take black pictures (for shutter stuck closed), or the pictures may be very bright and overexposed, especially when taken outdoors (for shutter stuck open).
To confirm a stuck shutter, put the camera in any mode other than "Auto", and turn the flash OFF (you don't want to blind yourself for the next step). Next look down the lens and take a picture. You should see a tiny flicker in the center of the lens as the shutter opens and closes. If no movement is seen, then you likely have a stuck shutter. If so, please see this link for further info and a simple fix that may help.
Based on the following descriptions:
I'd say use the little person running, or 'Sports' mode. This basically chooses a high (fast) ISO and fast shutter speed, in attempt to let the most light in and reduce the exposure length to reduce blur.
Hope this helps.
Oh, FYI, manual mode is very useful...if you find a shutter speed and f-stop (aperture) that works for your setting -- which can be seen in the viewfinder or on the status LED on the top of the camera -- you can set the camera to those settings and know that the shots should turn out well, where any 'automatic' type setting is very convenient, it has the potential of adjusting the lighting based on the wrong 'subject' of the photo and leaving you with a under or over-exposed photo. Best of luck!
You should not use the flash for these shots (unless you connect a powerful external flash), it won't help you at this distance. You should use the shutter priority mode and experiment with shutter speed (no flash) to get the best result - for sports action it should probably be faster than 1/100 sec. If the light is too low you may use higher ISO setting - 200 or 400 (though higher ISO will result in grainier images, it may be your only option for blur-free photos).