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bill unger

manchester, US
56 posts

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bill unger Registered since 25th Oct 2011
Sat 26-Jan-13 08:03 PM

Some times (not always) when I shoot in Manual and set the light meter to the center I get photos that are so over exposed. What am I doing wrong?

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elec164

US
2576 posts

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#1. "RE: Blown out picture" | In response to Reply # 0

elec164 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jan 2009
Sat 26-Jan-13 07:16 PM

Hard to say without some more specific information such as, what metering mode were you using? For example if using spot metering and the focus point is on a dark area with a high dynamic range scene you would most likely wind up with blown highlights.

An example image with the EXIF data intact would be of great help.

Pete

Pete

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IanCT

SF Bay, US
253 posts

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#2. "RE: Blown out picture" | In response to Reply # 0

IanCT Registered since 15th Sep 2008
Sun 27-Jan-13 05:22 AM

Ditto what Pete said.

When I'm shooting portraits I usually spot-meter and set AE to lock on shutter focus (halfway press) on the subjects eye and recompose the frame, that way the camera will (hopefully) meter accordingly.

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bill unger

manchester, US
56 posts

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#3. "RE: Blown out picture" | In response to Reply # 1

bill unger Registered since 25th Oct 2011
Sun 27-Jan-13 06:33 PM

Yes I was set as spot metering. So I guess I need to use matrix.
Thanks Pete

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agitater

Toronto, CA
4527 posts

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#4. "RE: Blown out picture" | In response to Reply # 3

agitater Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 18th Jan 2007
Sun 27-Jan-13 07:27 PM | edited Sun 27-Jan-13 07:29 PM by agitater

If you spot meter a very dark area of a generally bright scene, exposure ends up being adjusted for the darker area only. That often blows out the bright areas because in order to properly expose the metered spot the brighter areas end up being lifted as well but beyond the dynamic range of the sensor or film.

Matrix metering usually makes much better use of a sensor's or a film's dynamic range because matrix is designed to find the most appropriate midpoint overall in a frame and adjust exposure on that basis.

Spot metering and area metering definitely have their uses, but it's important to judge the scene to determine whether spot or area metering is needed.

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cosmicfires

Lynnwood, US
944 posts

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#5. "RE: Blown out picture" | In response to Reply # 0

cosmicfires Registered since 22nd Nov 2011
Sun 27-Jan-13 07:45 PM

When using spot metering and to a lesser degree center weighted metering it's necessary to choose an area to meter which is most likely different in composition from what you want for your image, lock exposure and release the shutter.

I often use center weighted metering in tricky situations. I meter based on long experience, lock exposure, then release the shutter.

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km6xz

St Petersburg, RU
3559 posts

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#6. "RE: Blown out picture" | In response to Reply # 0

km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009
Mon 28-Jan-13 05:23 PM

You have gotten good comments, about a subject that is often confusing but essential for coming to grips with photography. The D7000 is great in capturing a wide range of light from very bright to details in very dark, in fact it is in a rare class of wide dynamic range cameras. At low ISO the D7000 will capture a wider range of light intensity while preserving detail than any model of Canon by 2 stops, even their $7000 pro camera.
But with all that great DR is still not enough to capture scenes as wide in range as our eyes can. That means we can expose for the subject to be exposed best and run the risk of clipping highlights and still have detail buried in blackness on the dark side. Or we can expose to assure the highlights are not over exposed and get darker than desired target subject in bright scenes or we can try to preserve the most shadow detail, get a good but not optimum exposure for the subject and forget about retaining any detail of the highest tones which could be badly clipped.
You have a 13.9 stop range of capture and some bright scenes with dark shadows could have 18 stops of light range that our eye could handle under daylight conditions and well over 20 in dark conditioned tests. That means it comes down to the photographer making a artistic choice as what he wants exposed giving the most detail and how much of either end or both of the full scene range he will allow to be lost.
You can use HDR to capture a wider range and remap the tones to a narrower range that a monitor or printer can handle.
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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clayolmstead

Austin, US
197 posts

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#7. "RE: Blown out picture" | In response to Reply # 0

clayolmstead Registered since 21st Jul 2010
Sat 02-Feb-13 08:39 PM

A good exercise is to get an 18% gray card, put it on your subject, and set your exposure to that. (Your spot meter assumes it's being pointed at a monochromatic object that reflects 18% of the incident light.) Obviously this only works in the studio or some other well-controlled area, but with a little practice you can start picking out objects in your field of view that have the right tonality.

That's how we did it back in the day, when a spot meter was the only choice. Nowadays it's easier and more accurate to use matrix metering, frame for the picture you want and move the focus/exposure point to the area of interest. The focus point gets more heavily weighted in the exposure calculation than the rest of the scene, so it still takes some practice to get a accurate exposure. In some tricky situations, you might still want to focus on one spot and expose on another. I have the AEF/AEL button set to AEF so I can lock focus and expose by pressing halfway down on the shutter release, or do both together with the shutter release.

As with all Nikons, if you're using this method in high contrast situations it helps to knock the exposure compensation down by .7 EV.

This might sound complicated, but it becomes second nature with practice. Practice is required no matter what method you choose - you just have to pick what works for you.

Clay
Austin, TX USA

Cousin

Geelong East, AU
152 posts

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#8. "RE: Blown out picture" | In response to Reply # 6

Cousin Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Oct 2011
Sun 03-Feb-13 07:36 AM

>You have gotten good comments, about a subject that is often
>confusing but essential for coming to grips with photography.
>The D7000 is great in capturing a wide range of light from
>very bright to details in very dark, in fact it is in a rare
>class of wide dynamic range cameras. At low ISO the D7000 will
>capture a wider range of light intensity while preserving
>detail than any model of Canon by 2 stops, even their $7000
>pro camera.
>But with all that great DR is still not enough to capture
>scenes as wide in range as our eyes can. That means we can
>expose for the subject to be exposed best and run the risk of
>clipping highlights and still have detail buried in blackness
>on the dark side. Or we can expose to assure the highlights
>are not over exposed and get darker than desired target
>subject in bright scenes or we can try to preserve the most
>shadow detail, get a good but not optimum exposure for the
>subject and forget about retaining any detail of the highest
>tones which could be badly clipped.
>You have a 13.9 stop range of capture and some bright scenes
>with dark shadows could have 18 stops of light range that our
>eye could handle under daylight conditions and well over 20 in
>dark conditioned tests. That means it comes down to the
>photographer making a artistic choice as what he wants exposed
>giving the most detail and how much of either end or both of
>the full scene range he will allow to be lost.
>You can use HDR to capture a wider range and remap the tones
>to a narrower range that a monitor or printer can handle.
>Stan
>St Petersburg Russia

Visit
>my
>Nikonians gallery>.




Stan, it is my goal to understand posts like yours the first time I read them
And please take that as a compliment, and an indication of my current ignorance
I will learn, and from experts such as yourself and many others
Cheers
Michael

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G