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why is my T3 taking white photos in Manual exposure mode?


I have a Cannon T3 that I have been using a lot for the past 3 years. I was at a huge event to take photos and my camera stopped working in M, AV, TV, and P modes and would only take white photos. All other modes where working just fine. I am aware of adjusting the ISo and that was on auto. My shutter speed was set to 1/30 to take a nice photo of a moving car. My apeture was at F2.8 to make my subject stand out more. My white balance was on AWB. The image setting was on portrait and the auto lighting optimizer was set to strong. I have never had this happen on any other of my previous shots I have used all the settings I have put down on this post. I checked the lens and made sure it was clear of obstructions and the lens itself was clean. It would take perfect photos on creative auto during this time it was taking white photos on the manual modes. Please help this photographer out. I lost some seriuos money over the weekend 😞


that really does sound like what you say it looks like; major overexposure. The wide open f/2.8 and the slow 1/30th shutter sound like the correct exposure inside a dim restaurant, not outside in the daytime.

Manual will let you overexpose, but Av would have set you a fast shutter to counterbalance the wide f/2.8 aperture. Or TV would stopped down the aperture to work with that slow shutter.

What shutter did the camera select when you were in Av mode at f/2.8? In my experience that would have the camera giving you a shutter speed more like 1/640th or faster, even with clouds, definitely not 1/30th.

Could you possibly have about 2 or 3 stops of positive exposure compensation dialed in?

If the camera is still doing it next time look at your EC and make sure it is zeroed, try it in Av or TV instead of manual and if you still have problems try resetting your settings to default in Menu.

B/t/w, is the super slow shutter intentional? Are you panning, trying to get a lot of motion blur on wheels and background?

Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?

This morning I realized you may have been trying for that motion blur thinking a shallow DOF is part of how it's done but that isn't correct. Using a wide aperture does produce a shallow DOF but it also forces the need for a fast shutter speed in decent light. The motion blur we aim for when shooting motorsports or prop planes comes from the slow shutter speed AND a smooth panning action. The pan is the critical part of getting it right.

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."


Outside during the day at f/2.8 and 1/30th of second... the image should have been horribly over-exposed.  In other words, the camera is probably fine.   Here's why.


The sun provides a very consistently level of light during the day (if you're within an hour of sunrise or sunset things change a bit).  There's an exposure rule called the "Sunny 16" rule.  This rule says that in full sunlight during the day, the sun will provide enough light such that a correct exposure would be captured at f/16 IF you simply set the shutter speed to the INVERSE of the ISO setting.


Breaking that down to simple terms:  If you use ISO 100 (base ISO on the T3) at f/16, then the shutter speed should be set to 1/100th.  At ISO 200, you would use 1/200th.  At ISO 400, you would use 1/400th.  Etc.  But notice that this assumes f/16.  You are using f/2.8


To translate that to f/2.8 we need to count the "full" stops of difference.  f/16 -> f/11 is one full stop (twice as much light is collected at f/11).  f/11 -> f/8 is another full stop (twice as much as f/11 or FOUR TIMES as much at f/16).  f/8 -> f/5.6 is a third full stop (EIGHT times more light than f/16).  f/5.6 -> f/4 is a fourth full stop (SIXTEEN times more light than f/16).  f/4 -> f/2.8 is a 5th full stop (THIRTY TWO TIMES more light than f/16.)  


Keep in mind that if you were at f/16, and if you used the lowest possible ISO (instead of auto) at 100, then the correct shutter speed would have been 1/100th.  But you were at 1/30th... which collects roughly three times more light.  Multiple that out and your image would be overexposed ... by ABOUT 100 TIMES too much light.  That's a lot!


You are over-exposed by about 6.5 stops.


The Sunny 16 rule goes on to suggest what you should do about clouds.  If you have "light overcast" conditions (clouds... but not dense clouds.  If you look at your shadow on the ground you'll see you cast a "weak" shadow, but you can see one.) then the clouds are absorbing about 1 stop of light.  If you have "medium overcast" conditions then you are losing about 2 stops of light (medium overcast is heavy enough that you can no longer see any shadow on the ground.)  If you have "heavy overcast" conditions (it looks like it's about to storm) then you're probably losing 3 stops of light.


Think 1/30th is a bit slow for a panning shot.  You'd want a tripod or a dual-mode IS lens (and switched to IS mode 2).  Most of Canon's "white" L series lenses with IS can do this.  Consumer grade zooms aren't as good at it.


This panning shot was taken at ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/40th but on a medium overcast day (loss of about 2 stops).  I think I'm using a 2-stop ND filter (that's not recorded in the image EXIF data).  But this is a bicycle... not nearly as fast as a racing car.  You can probably develop quite a nice level of blur even at 1/60th.  Since the backgrond is blurred due to motion, there's no need for shallow depth of field.  The image will look like it has shallow depth of field because the background is motion-blurred.




I usually suggest starting with slightly faster shutters speeds, use continuous burst mode (so you get several frames each time you shoot a pass of a subject) and then work your way to slower speeds to see how slow you can get.  I've managed to get all the way down to 1/10th ... hand held (it takes both practice AND luck.. only a few shots out of the burst series of several will be usable.)


Here's 1/10th sec (this subject was moving along very slowly... so without dropping to 1/10th, there would have been very little blur.)  It's easier to get blur with faster moving objects because you don't have to slow the shutter so much.




Don't forget that you can use a neutral density filter to cut the light entering the lens and this will allow you to use a lower shutter speed.  This helps when you've got too much light and can't (or don't want to) crank the f-stop high enough to allow for a slow enough shutter speed to have the motion blur you want.


Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da

Hey everyone thanks for being so quick to reply to me. I was trying for the motion blur I have done a few times successfully. I did change the Aperture a few times and I have many many photography books and am going to Art Instatute for Photography. They have covered a lot and are very helpful. I will mess with it again I promise. I got really ill recently. I changed the shutter setting too and that did not do anything. I use a EF 24-105mm lens for a lot of my auto shots. I will apply everything you guys have suggested. 11187316_1576927755894035_2127595059177486745_o.jpg

here is one during a bit of daylight. I am not real good at it quite yet and I am taking these out of a moving vehicle yet for I dont have a rig yet. I will let you all know what is going on I promise. I really appreciate all you have done and been trying to help me with. Your photos rock!! I hope one day to have a nicer camera and set up!

Believe it or not the camera OPERATOR has more to do with the finished result than the price of the gear.

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."

I do and dont believe that to an extent. I am still learning yes but I can tell I dont get sharp crisp photos even when taken from a Tri-pod and I have luxury lenses and nice ones to borrow from the campus.

It also may be possible I am not destined to take photos of moving objects. 11094152_1571114466475364_1168415617822018533_o.jpg11114247_1567681583485319_2444462253129267648_o.jpg11110816_1579508505635960_146442278987922397_o.jpg11110816_1579508505635960_146442278987922397_o.jpg

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