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Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by goodolemargaret, Mar 1, 2008.

  1. goodolemargaret

    goodolemargaret TPF Noob!

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    i have peterson's book on exposure - in it he mentions -2/3 settings - i do not undertand this nomenclature (good $64 word) - what does -2/3 mean anyway
     
  2. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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    Doesn't ring a bell with me. Please quote a full sentence.
     
  3. Tennessee Landscape

    Tennessee Landscape TPF Noob!

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    maybe refferring to the rule of thirds?
     
  4. bango707

    bango707 TPF Noob!

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    exposure compensation?
     
  5. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    Yes, sounds like he's referring to exposure compensation. Most cameras tend to overexpose just a tad. If you set your default exposure compensation to -2/3 (negative two-thirds, ie -0.7) you'll tend to get a much better exposure with less blown highlights. My D80 and D40 are both like this for natural light shooting, although they're dead-on at 0.0 for flash photography most of the time. Most people have no idea how to use their cameras and just expect them to "work". With that in mind, it's better to have a well-exposed photo that possibly blows out some highlights than a darker one. People will notice dark photos and underexposure more than they will blown highlights. So -2/3 exposure compensation is where most cameras like to be set.
     
  6. nismo

    nismo TPF Noob!

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    have a full quote just to be sure
     
  7. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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    That's interesting. My D80 is dead on for natural light but I have my flash setting at +0.7.
     
  8. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    Exposure Compensation and flash exposure compensation are two very different things though.
     
  9. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    Every camera meters slightly differently. Shoot and learn how your camera meters a particular situation. If you find the image is slightly over/under, you should be able to adjust automatically by adding/subtracting with EC.
     
  10. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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    Yep.
     
  11. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    If it is referred to as a technique it sounds a lot more like compensation for what the meter is being pointed at than for meter 'error'. Many photographers, myself and presumably Bryan Peterson included, use references in the scene for setting exposure with a reflective meter such as the one in a camera (effectively using the camera as an incident light meter). Typical ones are:

    the palm of one's hand;

    deep blue sky;

    the sidewalk/pavement;

    grass or mid-green foliage;

    white paper or card;

    grey paper or card.

    Each of these needs a particular amount of compensation to account for its comparative reflectance. Grass is a bit darker than the reference mid-grey, so you set your meter to read -2/3 to -1/2, (ie 2/3 to 1/2 of a stop underexposed) when you meter off grass.

    When you meter off the palm of your hand you use about +1/2, depending on your skin colour (less for darker skin). The reflectance of the palm of your hand doesn't change much, unlike the back of your hand.

    Best,
    Helen

    Later:

    Here are some suggestions for meter adjustments after taking a reflective reading from the other things I mentioned:

    clean white paper or card: +2 (two stops more)

    grey card: none or +1/3 to +1/2

    blue sky: generally none, but this is one to experiment with and learn well because it helps a lot in may difficult situations

    pavement/sidewalk: your judgement based on how the bright or dark the pavement/sidewalk looks, but I often use no compensation for paving slabs.

    In case you need an explanation of 'stop' as it is used in general photography: it is a doubling or halving of exposure, sensitivity, subject brightness or reflectance, or illumination. It is also called a 'step' in technical literature. A change in shutter speed from 1 second to 2 seconds is a change of one stop, as is a change from 1/500 th s to 1/1000th s. A change in aperture from f/1 to f/1.4 is a change of one stop, as is a change from f/11 to f/16. A one-stop change in sensitivity is from ISO 100 to 200.
     

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