Taking photos of bright objects

ronaldDecember 7, 2005

I am at my wits end. I have tried everything I can think of to get bright objects to come out bright.

I am using a Sony Mavica FD100 and a light box. Tried every combination of settings on the camera and angles of light.

The picture below is of a coin that is bright silver and brilliant.

Any ideas on how to solve this problem would be appreciated.



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I would like to know too! I have a Fuji S5100.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2005 at 9:27AM
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Ron & Amy- have you tried posting at the photography forum? There are a lot of people there who take some amazing shots. Maybe they could help you too.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2005 at 9:45AM
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Thanks I will post there.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2005 at 10:30AM
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Yes, I figured that since he already posted here I would add my reply too.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2005 at 3:05PM
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Hi Ronald,

The problem is your camera's exposure system. Photographers figured out a very long time ago that the visible world on average reflects back 18 percent of the light shining upon it. All camera exposure systems function on this principle and assume that what you are photographing matches that average. Weathered and faded asphalt is about the right tone. When your camera exposure system is faced with something that is brighter than this average it doesn't know any better and drags it down. This problem often occurs in snow scenes, scenes where you are photographing a light source and bright silver coins.

Look on your camera for a control that is marked -/+ it's usually a button or menu item and it is often split in half one side dark one side light. You need to adjust your exposure to +1 or +1.5 for the coin.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2005 at 11:15AM
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Hi feldminte
Thanks for your input. My Mavica allows me to go to a +2 setting. I have tried all the settings and still am not satisified with the results.
After examining several hundred bright coin photos on the internet I have decided that this is a very common problem.
I have photos in auction catalogs that show bright coins as bright. I am sure these were taken by professional photographers with ideal lighting equipment and expensive cameras.
Thanks to everyone for their help.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2005 at 1:27PM
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When I first got my Fuji S5100 I took a photo of some coins on my desk using just the Auto Mode with Macro and flash, and they came out very shiny.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2005 at 5:07PM
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To take closeup photos of shinny objects you need to use a diffuser over the flash head. For an onboard flash that could be anything opaque thats large enough to cover the flash. (The one that is used alot is the Pillsbury icing cup that comes with cinnamon rolls) For an external flash you can usually order one at many of the camera supply places. Just google for "flash diffuser". Hope that helps

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 4:34PM
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