I got my camera!!! But need help.

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by photoman720, Jun 1, 2007.

  1. photoman720

    photoman720 TPF Noob!

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    On the exposure bar for the rebel XT, should the exposure bar be right at the middle which is 0. I got it and decided to start out on automatic to learn more. How do I achieve proper exposure?
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    Boy...that's a loaded question :lol:

    The camera's meter (which reads the light and makes the settings, in auto modes) is calibrated to give proper exposure for a scene that is 18% grey. So if your scene actually is 18% grey...then anything that has the same reflectance as 18% grey...will be properly exposed. Got that? :lol:

    If something isn't 18% grey (mid tone) then the camera will try to give you settings to make it grey on the exposure. For example, if the scene is bright white snow...the camera only knows that it's really bright, so it will 'underexpose' the photo. You, the photographer, should know that the camera's meter will do this...and you know that snow isn't 18% grey...so you have to adjust the exposure from what the meter is saying. This is when you will want the 'needle' to be away from the '0' on the scale. With white snow, you will want to add one to two full stops of exposure. You can use manual mode or you can use EC (exposure compensation).

    The same goes with dark subjects. The camera will try to make them grey, so you have to take away exposure. Remember that...bright means you need to add exposure and dark means you have to take away exposure. The amount that you need to give or take is something that will come with experience. Tip: set your LCD screen to show the histogram and check it after taking the shot. Change the settings if the histogram is piled up against the side of the chart.

    There are other ways to get proper exposure. You could use a grey card; just put it in your light and full the frame with it...and use those settings. Actually, green grass or foliage is about 18% grey, so you could use that. Take the reading my half pressing the shutter button and checking the numbers. Then put the camera into manual and input those settings. Or start in manual and adjust the settings until the 'needle' is on '0'.
    You could also get a hand held light meter.
    Or you could just use the histogram...from the start. Shoot, check and adjust.

    The tricky part will be when your scene includes things that are very bright and very dark. You will not be able to find settings that expose them both properly. You will need to decide which is more important and expose for that. Or, you could take a few shots with different exposures and use software to combine them.
     
  3. photoman720

    photoman720 TPF Noob!

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  4. lkWinnipesaukee

    lkWinnipesaukee TPF Noob!

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    Excellent photo! The first picture I took was of my feet.

    Anyway, the whites seem to be washed out a bit. This means you overexposed (only slightly, its still a great picture). You might want to put the "needle" 1 or 2 clicks to the left (underexpose by 1/3 or 2/3 of a "stop").

    Also, try this. Take a picture. Then when the picture is showing up, hit "info" twice. You should see your picture on the left and a histogram on the right. Make sure most of the histogram is in the middle. If not, "run away from" the white part of the histogram with the needle (if the hist is off to the left, set the needle right).

    Look at the picture. If you see parts of it blinking, then that means that it is washed out and has no detail. Dial down the exposure compensation (needle left).


    Hope that helps.
     
  5. photoman720

    photoman720 TPF Noob!

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    Hey thanks! I will try that.
     

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