Question after reading Understanding Exposure

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by flyin-lowe, Jan 29, 2010.

  1. flyin-lowe

    flyin-lowe TPF Noob!

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    I am away from home and without my camera or manual so I have a quick question. While away I took the time to read Understanding Exposure and I learned a lot. My question is does my Canon XS have the ability to "tell me" what shutter speed or aperture to use when exposing a shot. Throughout the book Peterson states that in manual mode he picks an aperture and then points the camera and looks through the view finder and checks shutter speeds until his camera tells him which one is correct for the light conditions etc. Or he selects a shutter speed and then points the camera and adjust the aperture until the camera tells him which one will be correct. I understand that the subject of my picture will dictate shutter speed and depth of field will dictate aperture. But if I am outside shooting a family portrait can I set my aperture and then point my camera to the sky and let it help me with a shutter speed? I am still a newbie and have only used auto exposure, I have messed around in aperture and shutter mode and am getting out of auto but the way he talks more times then not he lets the camera tell him how to set up for a shot. I plan on reading on this when I get home but would like to hear from you guys before hand.
     
  2. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Yes, it's called a light meter.
    The camera will always tell you what it thinks is the correct exposure.
    I also recommend metering your subject instead of the sky. Or, do both and see how each effect your image.
     
  3. ChasK

    ChasK TPF Noob!

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    You may also want to bracket your exposure. This is done by shooting the recommended exposure and in 1/2 stop increments both under and over 1 or 2 stops. That way your reasonably sure to get the exposure you want of your subject.
     
  4. Goontz

    Goontz TPF Noob!

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    Like Bitter said, you use the light meter (graph-lookin' thing at the bottom of your viewfinder). If you want to use f/8, set that and adjust your shutter speed until the light meter shows to be right in the middle. That's a "proper" exposure. Note that the camera doesn't always know best, so you may sometimes want to intentionally under- or over-expose your image.
     
  5. flyin-lowe

    flyin-lowe TPF Noob!

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    OK
    I have adjusted the exposure before and I played around with an HDR once. I just didn't realize that I could make changes and the light meter would move as I went along.
     
  6. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    The exposure meter is looking through the lens right along with you. It measures the amount of light entering the lens.

    You can adjust how it measures the light by telling it how much of what is in the viewfinder to look at. You can select one of 3 metering modes:
    • Spot metering. Spot metering only looks at the very center of the image. (Good for portraiture or evaluating specific portions of a scene to decide how many exposures to make for an HDR.
    • Center-weighted, which looks at the very center but also takes a fair bit of the surrounding image area too.
    • Matrix (Nikon)/Evaluative (Canon) mode which takes the entire image into account. The best mode to use if you're just getting started looking controlling exposure adjustments.
     
  7. Dominantly

    Dominantly TPF Noob!

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    I have photo examples of it in my thread linked below.
     

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