Exposure Compensation

Crosby

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When do you, if at all, use exposure compensation? I've used it before to give a slightly underexposed picture to help bring out some color and to set a mood. But lately, in post processing, I've noticed that more and more of my pictures I am bumping up the exposure a 1/2 stop or so (my camera only compensates in 1/3rds). I am judging this by the histogram and looking at the picture while comparing before and after edits.

I understand from reading that some camera light meters just don't get the exposure right and compensation is needed. I was just wondering how some of you are using exposure compensation and when you see the need to compensate.
 

ANDS!

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I use it all the time in Aperture Priority mode. In bright situations, the D300 likes to screw around and overexpose. Pulling a stop out of it seems to do the trick.

And its always better to (slightly) underexpose than definitely overexpose.
 

Josh66

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(my camera only compensates in 1/3rds)

Not sure what you have, but there's usually an option to change it to 1/2 stop increments via custom function.


Personally, I don't use it much. I cases where I would want to use it, I just go to M and do it manually.
 
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Crosby

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Thanks ANDS! Would you say you generally have to over or under compensate, or is it strictly case by case senario?
 
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Crosby

Crosby

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Not sure what you have, but there's usually an option to change it to 1/2 stop increments via custom function.


Personally, I don't use it much. I cases where I would want to use it, I just go to M and do it manually.

Hmm, not sure on the custom function... Canon 30D, it may have a 1/2 stop in custom. Never tried it, I was just wondering if many people use it or do you adjust in post processing.

Sure, manual exposure, for set up shots or when I have the time to adjust, but Av is probably the majority of my shots.

Thanks for your comments.
 

ANDS!

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If I'm outside, especially if I'm shooting people on the streets. . .I will dial in a stop less of exposure. Inside or on days where its not too cloudy, I'll probably go full manual and do 1/3 stop less, maybe 2/3rd's.
 

Rich Ardt

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Its not always a good idea to slightly underexpose, though it is an inherent habit of mine too, coming from a background of shooting a lot of slide film.

There are those who say that with digital it's better to overexpose slightly. And it makes a whole lot of sense when you look at the reasoning and the facts. You'll enjoy reading this: Expose Right

Otherwise, because the camera's light meter is calibrated to read 18%, or mid gray, it tends to underexpose bright scenes and overexpose darker scenes. These are the times when you want to consciously and carefully compensate, i.e. slightly overexposing a bright scene (such as a snowy landscape), and slightly underexposing a dark scene, or subject.
 
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Sure enough, custom function 06 allows 1/2 increments of exposure compensation. Thanks Jeep guy
 
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Thanks everyone, I'll have to sneak a peek at this tomorrow at work for work comes early in the AM.

Rich, are you the author on Luminous-landscape? I read some stuff on there earlier.
 

ANDS!

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Those article links dont really address what I was talking about. In the examples linked he hasn't really overexposed the image, just has lost the blacks, which are eaiser to dial back in then non-existent overexposed pixels.
 

Bitter Jeweler

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I like this topic!
I tend to under expose, myself. I find this mainly to do with what the image looks like on the LCD screen, which is decieving. The instant feedback is nice, but not always "correct".
 

musicaleCA

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ANDS: A full stop on the street? Really? I usually just dial a third or two at most in similar lighting conditions (daylight, shooting on the street so not time to think much, you know...). Then again that may just be a difference in how your lightmeter and my light meter work.

Well said Rich about exposing for the scene. Always did seem counter-intuitive to me at first, but once you know how the light meter actually works, it gets a lot easier to wrap one's mind around intentionally "overexposing" a bright scene (just, not when one wants details in those bright whites...).

Oh, and light meters can fall out of calibration over time. I believe it's...what...every two or four years a camera manufacturer will tell you to send it back for recalibration? Probably sooner if you're shooting a lot.

Edit: I think Bitter here just illustrated the virtues of trusting our histograms.
 

LarryD

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I'm not fond of dialing in any compensation..unless your working on the beach or in the snow, etc, and know that the subject need more or less light...

I usually use spot or center weighted metering and pull the exposure from the areas that I think are brightest or darkest.......depending on the final scene...

If it's important, I shoot two or three metered on the brights, darks, and one in betwen......... for example, if you want defined puffy clouds, you need to expose for them..

If you're hoping that you're "dialed in", and you won't get back to the location or can't re-shoot, then you could be disappointed more than you might like...
 

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