Washed out

edited September 2016 Posted in » Nikon D3300 Forum
So I took my daughter out today to take some pictures with my new Nikon D3300. I used the settings you had on your cheat sheets for Portrait (Daytime-Outdoors). It was kind of overcast and she was standing in the shade.

55mm M f/5 ISO400 1/320 AF-S Single-point AF

Shot with my kit lens. What type of lens would you suggest for this picture?

When I look at her in the pictures, my opinion is that her skin is washed out and the back ground is too vibrant.

Any pointers?


  • edited September 2016
    It can be hard to get exposure just right when a subject is in the shade, and also when the light is bright and overcast, as contrast is lessened.

    If the subject was too bright, then you can compensate (- exposure compensation if you're not in manual). If the subject is too dark, you can compensate in the + direction, or try spot metering on the subject's face.

    If you're shooting in manual mode, disobey the meter to compensate, but make sure that you turn off auto ISO or the camera's meter may overrule you and change ISO to reverse your compensation.

    You can also brighten up a shadowed face by using fill flash, but it can be a little harsh if it's straight off the camera, and cast distracting shadows, if the subject is too near a background object.

    Although the D3300 does not do automatic bracketing, one thing you can do is to bracket your exposures. Set the camera at the likeliest setting, or at what the meter recommends, take that shot, and then try one stop (aperture and shutter speed both operate 1/3 stop per click, so go three total) over and one stop under.

    The kit lens should do all right here, but a faster prime such as the 35mm f/1.8 or the 50mm f/1.8 will give you nicer out of focus backgrounds and maybe a little more zing in the contrast and sharpness.

    If you are shooting in Raw format, you can use the View NX2 program or something similar that reads raw files, and so exposure compensation, among other things, easily in post processing.
  • Hey @michlwillms - It looks like we connected on Facebook and I answered your question there. @bruto offered up some great tips as well, thanks @bruto!
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