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Subject: "“Understanding Exposure”" Previous topic | Next topic
snakesat Basic MemberThu 02-Mar-06 09:50 PM
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"“Understanding Exposure”"


Burkburnett, US
          

I have had my D50 for 6 months now. It was my first SLR camera. After 6 months of shooting in A, S and M mode I thought I was becoming pretty knowledgeable. I just received the book “Understanding Exposure” (Revised Edition) By Brian Peterson. I have only read it once, but will re-read it in a couple of days. For an amateur photographer it was like an “epiphany”. The book is very well written for anyone who wants to understand exposure. I feel now at last that I have the information while out shooting that I can become a pretty good photographer. Just like my D50 I feel this was money very well spent.


David\'s Gallery





  

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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: “Understanding Exposure”
jasoninak
02nd Mar 2006
1
Reply message RE: “Understanding Exposure”
drjimbob Team Member
02nd Mar 2006
2
Reply message RE: “Understanding Exposure”
MarkinTexas
03rd Mar 2006
3
     Reply message RE: “Understanding Exposure”
Swetz Silver Member
06th Mar 2006
4
          Reply message RE: “Understanding Exposure”
soupdragon
06th Mar 2006
5
          Reply message RE: “Understanding Exposure”
Swetz Silver Member
06th Mar 2006
6
          Reply message RE: “Understanding Exposure”
blw Moderator
06th Mar 2006
7
               Reply message RE: “Understanding Exposure”
Swetz Silver Member
06th Mar 2006
8
                    Reply message RE: “Understanding Exposure”
MotoMannequin Moderator
07th Mar 2006
9
          Reply message RE: “Understanding Exposure”
MarkinTexas
09th Mar 2006
13
Reply message RE: “Understanding Exposure”
Jerry G
07th Mar 2006
10
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soupdragon
07th Mar 2006
11
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MotoMannequin Moderator
07th Mar 2006
12
     Reply message RE: “Understanding Exposure”
Swetz Silver Member
22nd Mar 2006
14
          Reply message RE: “Understanding Exposure”
soupdragon
22nd Mar 2006
15
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MotoMannequin Moderator
22nd Mar 2006
16
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feadin
22nd Mar 2006
17
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jeffdalton
23rd Mar 2006
18
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MotoMannequin Moderator
23rd Mar 2006
19

jasoninak Registered since 24th Jan 2006Thu 02-Mar-06 10:02 PM
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#1. "RE: “Understanding Exposure”"
In response to Reply # 0


Dale City, US
          

Great book! I'm still reading through it

Jason in Virginia
Flickr

  

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drjimbob Team Member Awarded In Memoriam for  sharing countless hours of his expertise no matter how simple or complex the question, and especially for his eternal good nature. Charter MemberThu 02-Mar-06 10:03 PM
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#2. "RE: “Understanding Exposure”"
In response to Reply # 0


Bowie, US
          

I've been shooting for over 25 years. I read that book every January to remind myself of the basics. I recommend it whenever I notice someone on the site ask "how can I improve my photography?" With that book under your belt, you should be well on your well.

A BAD DAY BEHIND A NIKON BEATS A GOOD DAY BEHIND A DESK - Bob Tomerlin
My Nikonians Gallery

  

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MarkinTexas Registered since 27th Dec 2005Fri 03-Mar-06 04:31 AM
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#3. "RE: “Understanding Exposure”"
In response to Reply # 2


Victoria,
          

I'm two thirds through "Understanding Exposure" and it is great. I plan to read it a second time shortly and start practicing some of the techniques. Great Book.....Mark

Recently retired and loving it!

  

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Swetz Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Feb 2006Mon 06-Mar-06 04:32 AM
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#4. "RE: “Understanding Exposure”"
In response to Reply # 3


Cambridge, US
          

I was reading on kenrockwell.com about Nikon matrix metering. From what I have read, matrix metering takes care of the vast majority of situations. Understanding Exposure does not talk about matrix metering. If you use matrix metering most of the time, how do the techniques in the book help you. I dont understand.

Steve
www.stevewetzel,com

  

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soupdragon Basic MemberMon 06-Mar-06 04:59 AM
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#5. "RE: “Understanding Exposure”"
In response to Reply # 4



          

In my understanding of it, matrix metering is like taking a number of spot meterings around the composed frame and averaging them all.
I am led to believe it's a little more complex in as much as the matrix metering will attempt to compensate for areas of an image which are outside the cameras metering range. I think it does some kind of wierd calculation depending on what colours it sees as well.
As a side note, matrix metering is of no interest to me most of the time as I tend to spot meter on the point or points of interest around the frame, and make my own judgement as to the final exposure.

  

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Swetz Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Feb 2006Mon 06-Mar-06 01:18 PM
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#6. "RE: “Understanding Exposure”"
In response to Reply # 4


Cambridge, US
          

What matrix metering acutally does is sample the light, color and distance of an image at 30 points (on the D50). Then it compares those values to a internal database of information compiled from 30,000 professional photographs and trys to "guess" what you are taking a picture of. Then based on the picture it thinks you are taking it determines the exposure.

Its very good at this, it seems to expose an all white photo, like snow or sand, correctly. It also seems to do a good job on all dark images and silouettes.

Because of this, many of the techniques for metering and setting exposrure that used to be needed no longer seem to be. So I am wondering just how useful is the information in a book like understanding exposure?

Steve
www.stevewetzel,com

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Mon 06-Mar-06 02:09 PM
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#7. "RE: “Understanding Exposure”"
In response to Reply # 6


Richmond, US
          

Matrix definitely works most of the time, but no meter can guess your intent. Furthermore, although matrix works most of the time, you occasionally do get surprised. In those cases, it is much, much safer if you know how the meter is going to react, so spot and center weighted averaging are going to be more appropriate. And that's when you need Understanding Exposure.

Finally, just knowing what good exposure is and how the meter arrives at it are useful.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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Swetz Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Feb 2006Mon 06-Mar-06 10:50 PM
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#8. "RE: “Understanding Exposure”"
In response to Reply # 7


Cambridge, US
          

>Matrix definitely works most of the time, but no meter can
>guess your intent. Furthermore, although matrix works most
>of the time, you occasionally do get surprised. In those
>cases, it is much, much safer if you know how the meter is
>going to react, so spot and center weighted averaging are
>going to be more appropriate. And that's when you need
>Understanding Exposure.
>
>Finally, just knowing what good exposure is and how the
>meter arrives at it are useful. gr

Not sure if I agree with that totally. The whole POINT of matrix metering is to guess at the photo you are taking and your intent. That said, I know there are times where matrix metering guesses wrong, or where your intent is something other then what what would be considered normal for the picture you are taking.

I agree with you in that when matrix metering does not give you what you want, then you need to choose another mode. But even then, by looking at the histogram, you can simply set the exposure compensation. It seems that with the advances in the metering system and with DSLRs, you really need to understand very little about exposure.

That said, I am still trying to learn about it.

Steve
www.stevewetzel,com

  

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MotoMannequin Moderator Awarded for his extraordinary skills in landscape and wildlife photography Nikonian since 11th Jan 2006Tue 07-Mar-06 12:12 AM
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#9. "RE: “Understanding Exposure”"
In response to Reply # 8


Livermore, CA, US
          


>I agree with you in that when matrix metering does not give
>you what you want, then you need to choose another mode.
>But even then, by looking at the histogram, you can simply
>set the exposure compensation. It seems that with the
>advances in the metering system and with DSLRs, you really
>need to understand very little about exposure.
>
>That said, I am still trying to learn about it.

I understand the point Swetz is making, as this is generally how I work - aperture Priority mode, set aperture how I want, adjust exposure comp using the histogram, let the meter choose shutter speed. I could use the light meter in Manual mode and adjust shutter speed instead of exposure comp, but for most cases the former works just fine and is more convenient.

That being said, I simply can't agree that because something isn't strictly necessary that the knowledge is irrelevent. There will be cases when metering won't work at all and you have to set up manually, in which case you're adjusting a 4-dimensional quantity (exposure) and understanding it can never hurt.

All that being said, I must confess I've not read "Understanding Exposure" but I'm sure from what people say around here that it's a great book and I think I will put it on my list.

Cheers,
Larry - a Bay Area Nikonian

Larry - a Bay Area Nikonian
My Nikonians gallery

www.tempered-light.com

  

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MarkinTexas Registered since 27th Dec 2005Thu 09-Mar-06 12:55 PM
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#13. "RE: “Understanding Exposure”"
In response to Reply # 4


Victoria,
          

>I was reading on kenrockwell.com about Nikon matrix
>metering. From what I have read, matrix metering takes care
>of the vast majority of situations. Understanding Exposure
>does not talk about matrix metering.

Understanding Exposure, page 116, discusses matrix metering. It's under the Exposure Meters section.

If you use matrix
>metering most of the time, how do the techniques in the book
>help you. I dont understand.

Recently retired and loving it!

  

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Jerry G Registered since 13th Dec 2005Tue 07-Mar-06 02:35 AM
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#10. "RE: “Understanding Exposure”"
In response to Reply # 0


Woodstock, US
          

I, like many of you, discovered that my pre-disposed distrust for automatic exposure settings was unwarrented with my D50. It makes great decisions. I find the D50 makes many "correct" exposure decisions that I would not have imagined. It impresses me each time - particularly in light or dark photos where the "correct" lighting was subtle.
Furthermore, while I rarely use the histogram in the D50 to correct exposure, I do use the
"exposure adjustment" slide bar in Apple's iPhoto. This allows me to "re-expose" the picture (adjust exposure) when it is imported to the computer application. I believe (but don't know for sure) that this "exposure adjustment" in iPhoto is similar to the histogram compensation on the D50. This last minute "exposure adjustment" in iPhoto has turned some throw-away pictures into wall hangings.
This discussion brings up another, bigger subject of photography and post-photography. Is it any less "photographic" to adjust exposure digitally on the computer than on the digital camera. I wonder what Ansel Adams would have said? Perhaps the same thing Beethoven might have said if offered a MIDI keyboard and a computer with Garage Band on it.
I believe it is very important to understand the interdependence of exposure variables whether these settings are set manually or automatically.
Jerry

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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soupdragon Basic MemberTue 07-Mar-06 05:03 AM
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#11. "RE: “Understanding Exposure”"
In response to Reply # 10



          

Adjusting exposure posthumously so to speak is, in my opinion, not a good thing.
If you are one who has migrated from film you will almost assuredly be aware of the truncated dynamic range of the imaging sensor by comparison.
To this end, if you lashed up the exposure of your subject in camera, you will at best be able to recover some shadow or highlight detail, and by doing this, you will exacerbate the problems of saturation, contrast and colour balance further.
I gave up with evaluative metering about 1 week after getting my D50 as it missed the mark more often than not.
More to the point, many of the subjects I photograph do not lend themselves well to the "Hang on, I'll just check the histogram" style of working in as much as they are transient events.

Well, that's my rant over with.

  

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MotoMannequin Moderator Awarded for his extraordinary skills in landscape and wildlife photography Nikonian since 11th Jan 2006Tue 07-Mar-06 04:35 PM
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#12. "RE: “Understanding Exposure”"
In response to Reply # 10


Livermore, CA, US
          

>I, like many of you, discovered that my pre-disposed
>distrust for automatic exposure settings was unwarrented
>with my D50. It makes great decisions. I find the D50 makes
>many "correct" exposure decisions that I would not have
>imagined. It impresses me each time - particularly in light
>or dark photos where the "correct" lighting was subtle.
>Furthermore, while I rarely use the histogram in the D50 to
>correct exposure, I do use the
>"exposure adjustment" slide bar in Apple's iPhoto. This
>allows me to "re-expose" the picture (adjust exposure) when
>it is imported to the computer application. I believe (but
>don't know for sure) that this "exposure adjustment" in
>iPhoto is similar to the histogram compensation on the D50.

I have to disagree. For my type of shooting (nature/landscapes) I find the D50 almost always over-exposes (I typically use -0.7 to -1.0 EV of exposure comp in aperture mode) and the over-exposed images are usually impossible to recover in post-processing due to blown highlights.

Different subjects may yield different results of course, YMMV.

Larry - a Bay Area Nikonian

Larry - a Bay Area Nikonian
My Nikonians gallery

www.tempered-light.com

  

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Swetz Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Feb 2006Wed 22-Mar-06 12:39 PM
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#14. "RE: “Understanding Exposure”"
In response to Reply # 12


Cambridge, US
          

Wow, you D50 OVEREXPOSES. That is indeed strange, as all the comments I have heard is that most complain it underexposes. This because the D50 trys to never blow out the highlights. I wonder if your camera has a problem.

Well I went out and picked up the Revised Version of Understanding exposure. Very good read so far, but different then I though it would be, I am into the shtter speed section, but still little mention of HOW to set your esposure. I am sure it will come. Very good discussion of apature and shutter speed though.

One hint he mentions that was worth its weight in gold. That being that you can turn the lens on a camera like you are going to remove it to get a Depth of Field Preview. I tried this on my D50 (with the power off) and it works! That is a great tip. If the D50 was lacking one feature, that was it.

Does anyone know if this can be done with the power on? I was afraid to try it.

Steve
www.stevewetzel,com

  

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soupdragon Basic MemberWed 22-Mar-06 02:01 PM
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#15. "RE: “Understanding Exposure”"
In response to Reply # 14



          

All this begs the question why anyone would want to use matrix metering.
Lets face it, in simple terms, if you have a dark subject you want correctly exposed against a very bright back ground, you meter off the subject. The background will do as it pleases and no amount of matrixing will help.

  

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MotoMannequin Moderator Awarded for his extraordinary skills in landscape and wildlife photography Nikonian since 11th Jan 2006Wed 22-Mar-06 03:39 PM
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#16. "RE: “Understanding Exposure”"
In response to Reply # 14


Livermore, CA, US
          

>Wow, you D50 OVEREXPOSES. That is indeed strange, as all
>the comments I have heard is that most complain it
>underexposes. This because the D50 trys to never blow out
>the highlights. I wonder if your camera has a problem.
>

I seriously doubt the camera has a problem, and the -0.7EV exposure comp with matrix metering is not at all atypical from many people I've talked to. If you spot meter on a bright spot, then yes the shot will appear underexposed.

Larry - a Bay Area Nikonian

Larry - a Bay Area Nikonian
My Nikonians gallery

www.tempered-light.com

  

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feadin Registered since 16th Mar 2006Wed 22-Mar-06 08:20 PM
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#17. "RE: “Understanding Exposure”"
In response to Reply # 16


Buenos Aires, AR
          

My D50 doesn't really overexpose, but it's more like the shots are "exposed to the right". I guess this is better to reduce noise, and as I usually shoot RAW, then later underexpose a little when converting to JPEG. This usually results in a cleaner image than directly underexposing to JPEG in the camera. And in all ISOs, you should try it.
But I agree that images tend to look like overexposed many times, or at least I like better a -0.3 or -0.7 exposure.

Cristian Feldman
http://www.vayu.com.ar

  

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jeffdalton Registered since 04th Jan 2006Thu 23-Mar-06 02:04 AM
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#18. "RE: “Understanding Exposure”"
In response to Reply # 17


GB
          

I have also bought this book and it has helped me a great deal.along with reading this forum of course I find that I am becoming a much more proficient photographer.




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MotoMannequin Moderator Awarded for his extraordinary skills in landscape and wildlife photography Nikonian since 11th Jan 2006Thu 23-Mar-06 05:30 AM
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#19. "RE: “Understanding Exposure”"
In response to Reply # 17


Livermore, CA, US
          


Generally what I find myself battling is blown highlights in the sky in landscape shots. If I'm shooting on a tripod then I bracket exposure and combine. If I'm handheld then I find exposure comp between -0.7 to -2.0 exposes the highlights and I can then recover data from the shadows in PP.

Many types of shots don't have these dynamic range issues, and sometimes blown highlights don't matter or aren't noticed. If the highlights are blown though, you will never get the data back in PP.

Larry - a Bay Area Nikonian

Larry - a Bay Area Nikonian
My Nikonians gallery

www.tempered-light.com

  

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