Exposure question.....anxious to learn.

Discussion in 'Lighting and Hardware' started by ewick, Mar 31, 2012.

  1. ewick

    ewick TPF Noob!

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    I shot my cousins engagement shoot this morning at the beach using a nikon d90 1.8 50mm fixed. I shot at f2 and like 500. Due to conflicting schedules we met out there at 8 in the morning. it turns out it was over cast and and no warm colors out. Well I shot about 1 stop over exposed and plan on bringing the exposure down 1/3 of a stop or what ever is needed. So being somewhat of a beginner and anxious to learn my question is this: My goal is to get a very well exposed image but it doesn't always turn out that way. So is it better to over expose and bring the exposure down in post or under expose and bring the exposure up in post? what are the pros and cons of both? I looked at my photos and they are over exposed about half a stop. Will post pics later so every one can get a visual.


     
  2. SCraig

    SCraig Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    It is better to expose your images so that they are to the right side of the histogram however NOT overexposed, and then bring them back down in post processing. This preserves more of the details in the shadows. It is important to check each shot on your camera's histogram display to insure that you are not overexposing parts of the shot though.

    Read this: Expose Right
     
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  3. TimGilbertson

    TimGilbertson TPF Noob!

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    As long as you aren't pushing the ISO too high in order to overexpose, that's usually what I do. Overexposing by 2/3 of a stop tends to flatter people, I find. And it tends to help with a "wedding" feel (what 90% of our work is).

    On another note, without good shade or a low sun (morning would've been fine), overcast is a good thing. You'll have to bump the temperature up, but as long as you're shooting RAW, you're fine.
     
  4. ewick

    ewick TPF Noob!

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    I kept my ISO at 100 since I was shooting at f2 and it was in the morning. when you say to bump the temperature up, do you mean that in post or on the camera while i'm shooting?
     
  5. KmH

    KmH In memoriam Supporting Member

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    People over exposed 2/3 of a stop, is not the same as everything else being over exposed 2/3 of a stop.

    I look for caucasian skin highlights to be no more than 240 in the red channnel when checked post process.

    Overcast produces flat, gray lighting. The heavier the overcast the flatter and grayer it gets.

    The safest bet is to use off camera stobed light when it's overcast, and for most outdoor portrature. Your subjects then really 'pop' from the flat gray backgound caused by overcast skies, and/or you can use the camera shutter speed to control the ambient light exposure separately from the strobed light exposure. Outside I also often used a diffusion panel to create my own open shade, and gelled my of camera lights so I could set my camera white balance to then change the color of the ambient light.
     
  6. adichiru

    adichiru TPF Noob!

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    In my experience skin tones are many times hard to correctly meter by the camera. Nikon has an outstanding metering system, and the one used in newer models is even better. The D90 with the lens you mentioned should give you a relative good exposure depending on the metering settings. In portraits I use, on my D7000, center weighted with 8mm diameter (I am not sure that D90 can do that...). I always use EV +0.7 when shooting portraits for white or Asian like skin and +1.0 when shooting black skin.Of course, it's not a rule as other things like background can be important and wouldn't want to overexpose.

    To answer your question, assuming you shoot RAW: It is always better to dial down the exposure in LR (especially in LR4 where exposure control is much much better, protecting highlights a lot better) than to dial up. In darker areas there is less data than in white areas. The difference is considerable!
     
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  7. Mrgiggls

    Mrgiggls TPF Noob!

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    I agree 110% and this is exactly my MO for daylight shooting...I would rather err on the side of under exposure slightly than to blow out highlight information. If you are in a very contrasty situation with bright light and deep shadow, do a 3 shot bracket 1 stop apart (provided your subject is stationary). You can also take a single shot and make exposure adjusted coppies with RAW files in a pinch. Today's HDR tools let you have your cake and eat it with punch (pun intended). Remember HDR is quite a buzz word these days and it gets a lot of ooh and aahs when you see a shot that takes some of the values to extremes, but it can also be used to fix common problems in high contrast shots and make them look completely natural and unprocessed.
     
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  8. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It's probably because at /1500 you were most likely over your camera's xsync. What you should do is under expose the ambient and strobe for a correct exposure on your subject.
     

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