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Thread: Exposure Compensation

  1. #1
    MajaMolly's Avatar
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    Exposure Compensation

    Mostly, I shoot in Aperture Priority (Nikon) mode. Yesterday I was out and about late afternoon; the sun was out, but low in the sky and behind tall buildings. The images were coming out a bit dark so I bumped up the exposure compensation by .03 - .07. Are there any suggested guidelines as to when and how much to bump the exposure compensation - any standard rule of thumb?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Exposure Compensation

    Quote Originally Posted by MajaMolly View Post
    Mostly, I shoot in Aperture Priority (Nikon) mode. Yesterday I was out and about late afternoon; the sun was out, but low in the sky and behind tall buildings. The images were coming out a bit dark so I bumped up the exposure compensation by .03 - .07. Are there any suggested guidelines as to when and how much to bump the exposure compensation - any standard rule of thumb?

    Thanks.
    Check your histogram when you bump up the exposure compensation. If the peak moves to the right then you have increased the exposure to far. If you have the highlights feature you will also see flashing highlights.

  3. #3
    MajaMolly's Avatar
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    Re: Exposure Compensation

    Thank you, John... I had forgotten about the highlights feature.

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    Re: Exposure Compensation

    If memory serves me right, the histogram is based on the JPEG image. Which means, if shooting JPEG, if the peak to right moves TOO far, you are in danger of clipping. If the peak moves right but not to the extent where it lumps up at the edge, then you are okay and detail can be adjusted PP.

    HOWEVER, if you are shooting RAW, you have a little more latitude. Best way to get a good feel for it (not tried this myself, but read about it) is to take several test shots exposing a little more each time, even BEYOND clipping to right. Comapre RAW results to histogram and to EXIF data. once you get a feel for it, then you know how far you can exceed the histogram 'safely'.

    Graham
    (Alzheimers anyone?)

  5. #5
    PhotoRob's Avatar
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    Re: Exposure Compensation

    That's my recollection as well, the histo. represents the JPEG and not the sensor. Also that for a 12-bit sensor over 50% of the data is recorded in the top two stops (black to white = (128, 256, 512, 1024, 2048) so although the JPEG displayed on the LCD of the camera will look washed out / overexposed, you're still capturing the most data...

    There are 14 and 16-bit sensors now too (and higher) but here's a good 'expose to the right' writeup: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tu...exposure.shtml
    Last edited by PhotoRob; 6th December 2011 at 04:49 AM.

  6. #6
    Glenn NK's Avatar
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    Re: Exposure Compensation

    To get a JPEG on your LCD that approximates the RAW, it is recommended to set your Contrast to minus 2 (Canon). There must be a method to adjust a Nikon too.

    Of course these settings don't affect the RAW file at all (unless in the case of a Canon, you use DPP - which reads these values - but are reversible), but only affect the JPEG files. And once changed in camera, JPEG files can't be reversed. Which reminds me again why I only use RAW - it leaves me so many more options in PP.

    Glenn

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    Re: Exposure Compensation

    And, of course, take plenty of shots with a range of exposure settings, just in case.

    But there isn't really any fixed method of working out the exact amount of compensation, it is mostly down to experience. Although I often spot meter around a scene to find the maximum highlights and shadows which give a good clue as to what will be necessary.

    The problem comes with those single shots which start with 'Wow look at that' and you only have one quick shot available. The ability to get that scene perfect separates true professionals from the rest of us.

  8. #8
    allenlennon's Avatar
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    Re: Exposure Compensation

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn NK View Post

    Of course these settings don't affect the RAW file at all (unless in the case of a Canon, you use DPP - which reads these values - but are reversible)

    Glenn
    How do you do this

  9. #9
    MajaMolly's Avatar
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    Re: Exposure Compensation

    Thank you for the great info.

  10. #10
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Exposure Compensation

    Quote Originally Posted by allenlennon View Post
    How do you do this
    Allen

    Because DPP is Canon's own RAW processing package, it is specifically matched to Canon cameras. Because of this DPP does capture (read) any camera adjustments you make, and displays these when you look at the RAW file.

    For example, I have my camera set to Mono (I shoot for B & W 99.9% of the time). This is so that I can see a B & W JPEG on the back screen. I like doing that just to check what I'm doing as I go along.

    Now, of course, that is a JPEG I'm seeing on the back screen. The RAW file still has all the data saved in it.

    Now, if I open up that file on a computer in any other software, it will come up with all the data displayed, including the colour information. Because the raw processor shows all the information irrespective of what you did in the camera. But if I open it up with DPP, DPP will open up what I had set in the camera. So the RAW will appear with the colour information extracted. If I want to see it with the colour info back in, I have to go into DPP's edit window and change the Picture Style back to Faithful, Landscape, or whatever.

    And all of that is just because it is DPP - Canon's own package.
    Last edited by Donald; 6th December 2011 at 03:18 PM.

  11. #11
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Exposure Compensation

    Interesting. I wonder if Nikon has a similar feature to Canon's DPP?

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