exposure compensation querie?

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by jemmy, Jul 6, 2006.

  1. jemmy

    jemmy TPF Noob!

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    Hi guys, here is my drama.... have been shooting with my CAnon 350D, 50mm 1.8lens, and in RAW... then converting to TIFF with my ZoomBrowser software that came with the camera... I am finding with most of my shots ( portraits mainly) i am needing to up the 'digital exposure compensation' by about +0.5 - +1 to achieve a nice look....... Does anyone know why this is happening and why i cannot seem to master the 'great shot' in-camera. I generally shoot using aperture priority mode and like to keep the widest aperture to blur the background - iso @ 100 mostly... it seems to be happening regardless of light situation (outside under hut, inside lounge room, window light...same story!???).... apart from this exposure issue, i'm quite happy with the results..... Is this common or am i stuffing something up:confused: (like usual!!) thanks heaps for your help xx
     
  2. Peanuts

    Peanuts TPF Noob!

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    I too am curious about what some people's replies will be as I too have wondered teh same thing.

    Just a stab in the air, but perhaps the meter in a digital camera is set slightly different then that in a film, as from what I have heard and from experience, digital has a much larger tendency of blowing highlights, so to compensate for this the meter is set differently. (?) Mind you, I generally underexpose but -0.3 in camera and bump it about approximately 0.5 stops to achieve the desiered look.

    One other possible 'reason' why bumping images exposure in certain programs will help to get rid of that flat look, is that on digital images, there always seems to be a tad bit of a 'fog' or grey layer. At least from what I have read. Just open up an image straight out of your camera and apply unmask sharpen at 20,40,0 and see the difference.

    Sorry I couldn't help much
     
  3. bigfatbadger

    bigfatbadger TPF Noob!

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    I think digital cameras tend to overexpose, I'd always set the compensation to -0.3 or -1/2 and then correct in photoshop.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I've heard pretty much what we are seeing here...some people tend to overexpose, while some tend to underexpose. It might be variations in the cameras...it might be variations in shooting technique. It could easily be differently calibrated monitors.

    What does your histogram look like when you are shooting? If you are leaving a lot of room on either side of the scale...then you know you can change your exposure without clipping anything.

    How are you determining your exposure? Are you just using what the camera says, without any exposure compensation? Learning to use the meter to get your exposure...and not just trusting it blindly...will help you get a more accurate exposure. Using the histogram will also help.

    Also, RAW files tend to look more bland than a JPEG right out of the camera. This is because things like sharpness, saturation, contrast...are not applied to the image until you convert the file. You can boost these settings during conversion or you can apply them to the image once you are working in Photoshop. It can be more work than shooting JPEG but it gives you more control and flexibility.
     
  5. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    One thing that's important to remember is that the "exposure" slider isn't really adjusting exposure. I hate that they named it that. You can't change the exposure after the shot. It's done and gone. What it and "shadow" are really doing is effecting the levels (I experimented with this a bit). I find that I often have to do a levels adjustment followed by one or more curves adjustement on my images. I just look at it as being the same as getting the timing/filters/temp right while in the darkroom making the print. You get the neg as good as you can, then fine tune in the enlarger.
     
  6. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    It's important to realize that your meter is trying to render the world in 18% gray, which might not be right for every subject. Your meter doesn't know that what you are taking a photo of is actually white for instance. On top of that, becuase of the limited ability to retain detail in hightlights with digital, it's pretty common for DSLRs to underexpose by 1/2 a stop. Bracket your exposures, by shooting in manual, and taking an exposure that is 1/2 stop above your meter reading and see what you get.
     
  7. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    Some of it could also be how you are using the light. I noticed in the other thread that many of your shots had the girls face in shadow. This would throw the meter off. You would either need to have her better lit or compensate manually.
     

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