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Author Topic: Exposure Compensation  (Read 4118 times)

Haydn1971

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Exposure Compensation
« on: August 28, 2011, 05:04:46 PM »
I'm away on holiday a the moment, so taking quite a few photos, but realised tonight that most of my photos in the last two days have involved me tweaking the exposure compensation.  Out of curiosity, is this normal ? Do others tweak all the time, much of the time or not at all ?   Do others tweak a little or a lot ?
Regards, Haydn

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Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Exposure Compensation
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2011, 05:34:30 PM »
In very bright light, or very dim light, I find that exposure often needs to be compensated, and night photos need manual exposure every time.

I've also found that I had set something wrong and caused the exposure issue, so check all your settings.

gferdinandsen

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Re: Exposure Compensation
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2011, 06:03:41 PM »
I have to change color temp and exposure compensation in ACR for most of my shots...but I do shoot RAW, which does require much more post-processing than JPG
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Lawliet

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Re: Exposure Compensation
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2011, 06:44:23 PM »
Lets keep in mind that almost all canon exposure meters are colorblind. Very red(undervolted tungsten, candles, Na-vapor) or blue(lots of sky, esp. if the direct sun doesn't contribute, think shadowy streets in summer) light leads unintuitive results. Sadly only few cameras have off center spot meters, so we have to deal with the more general metering modes and their unawareness of the actual image and your intent. Then there are the caveats regarding focus&recompose - aka random expose generator to those how read the manual entry regarding matrix metering.

jdramirez

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Re: Exposure Compensation
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2011, 07:23:17 PM »
The last time I took exposure into my own hands was during a snow storm.  It was early in DSLR career and I went the wrong direction so EVERYTHING was all kinds of white. 

I'll do some AEB for HDR, but I rarely try to under/over expose my image.
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Steve Todd

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Re: Exposure Compensation
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2011, 07:41:03 PM »
Interesting question!  If your images a grossly over/under exposed and you are having to use exposure compensation for most of your shooting, something may be a-miss?  If your exposures are close, then perhaps it's the choice of metering pattern you are using or the focus point used at the time of exposure?

I've always been amazed how well Canon SLR/DSLRs meter!   I am sure there are many other photogs out there that have found this to be true as well.  However, I don't think people really trust their camera's metering, which has always baffled me.    I don't think my experience is unique either.   Having owned over two dozen Canon SLR/DSLRs, I fully trust their metering.  That doesn't mean they are perfect.  However, for the majority of subjects and lighting, they have never let me down.  I have shot just about every kind of subject you can imagine over the past 31 years and never had to rely on a handheld meter or had to bracket to get the shot!  And that was about 26 years of using film, when you didn't get to "Chimp" (see the results instantly) your shots! 

As to what I have experienced with my cameras, I have found that my 5D and 5D Mk II bodies tend to underexpose by about 1/3 - 1/2  of a stop with most lenses. My 7D overexposed by about the same amount?   This is not a problem and if necessary, is easily corrected in DPP.   Both of my 1D Mk IVs are spot-on. My film bodies (EOS-1V and EOS-1n) both underexpose by less than 1/3 of a stop using slide film.   I believe Canon says that an exposure of +/- 1/3 stop is well within specs for their "Pro models" and +/- 1/2 stop for all others. 

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jdramirez

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Re: Exposure Compensation
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2011, 09:27:42 PM »
With AEB for my 60D, the camera when I use aperture priority will make in camera adjustments for either the ISO or shutter speed. 

I'm going to guess if you are adjusting exposure, the camera then adjusts ISO/shutter speed.  So I'm not sure that simply using the manual setting and adjusting it to the amount of light in the room. 

Maybe your camera is just screwy, because it shouldn't be that off.
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koolman

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Re: Exposure Compensation
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2011, 02:39:58 AM »
I'm away on holiday a the moment, so taking quite a few photos, but realised tonight that most of my photos in the last two days have involved me tweaking the exposure compensation.  Out of curiosity, is this normal ? Do others tweak all the time, much of the time or not at all ?   Do others tweak a little or a lot ?

I have a t2i which is in the same family as your camera. All my flash photography requires some level of manual intervention - as the camera cannot guess the exposure accurately.

Additionally, photos taken outside in bright light, that often has allot of contrast, will require tweaking if you want to get the exact right balance.
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Re: Exposure Compensation
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2011, 03:54:09 AM »
I'm away on holiday a the moment, so taking quite a few photos, but realised tonight that most of my photos in the last two days have involved me tweaking the exposure compensation.  Out of curiosity, is this normal ? Do others tweak all the time, much of the time or not at all ?   Do others tweak a little or a lot ?

There are times when I wonder if posters feel that they are in the security services and need to keep as much information secret as they possibly can!  Other than the fact that you are on holiday, and that you feel the metering might be adrift you have told us absolutely nothing!  So far as we know you are in the Antarctic, or in Kenya.  It really is impossible to give any kind of meaningful advice when you give away absolutely nothing!

Hillsilly

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Re: Exposure Compensation
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2011, 04:30:37 AM »
My experience with Canon cameras is that the automatic exposure settings are usually very good.  However, I sometimes have to take things into my own hands.  The typical cases have already been listed, but one that I am always wary of is photographing people wearing black, I will usually reduce the exposure slightly or photos tend to be overexposed. 

Some cameras do tend to over or underexpose.  If it is consistent, its not a problem - just dial in some exposure compensation and you're away.  But if the exposures are all over the place, then that can be a real nuisance. 

As mentioned, if you can explain what you are photographing and the adjustments you are making, we could probably be more helpful.

 
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Haydn1971

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Re: Exposure Compensation
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2011, 04:45:43 AM »
you have told us absolutely nothing!

There was no intention to give full details Flake....    Nor seek advice on my use of exposure compensation...    My OP said, out of curiosity !

You didn't have to reply to this thread, but you did and added absolutely nothing to the thread, thank you for your enlightend input !
Regards, Haydn

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motorhead

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Re: Exposure Compensation
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2011, 05:00:05 AM »
I tend to do minor exposure tweaks every time. I shoot RAW and make full use of the "expose to the right" phylosophy and to give myself the best material to work on in post processing I find I cannot trust the exposure meter.

Thats not surprising and I'm not being critical. But the exposure meter cannot interpret a scene like the human brain and cannot know what the photographer wants from a shot.

Haydn1971

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Re: Exposure Compensation
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2011, 05:25:31 AM »
I suspect the last two days have been full of contrasty type photos - typically a light coloured object like a tree or farm animal in front of a darker background....   I'm ranging generally to underexpose, generally just by -1/3 or -2/3rds but have had a couple of extreme -2, although looking back, this was capturing a sun drenched field from inside a dark wood
Regards, Haydn

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Edwin Herdman

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Re: Exposure Compensation
« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2011, 05:54:09 AM »
The T1i (at least mine) loves to completely change its mind on metering even when slightly moving the lens, and beyond that some scenes simply need to be dialed far back to effectively bring out tonal differences.  Usually exposure compensation is enough to overcome both problems (the T1i likes to assume every scene is a nice bright day scene and meters the scene very aggressively, usually resulting in terrible overexposure) at once.  If that's not enough I'll set everything manually.  I have ISO set manually all the time, as well.

So no, using exposure compensation is using the camera it was meant to be.  Anybody who isn't using exposure compensation is letting their camera do everything for them - taking exposure compensation into your own hands, even if only once as an experiment, is a great way to develop your skills and grow as a photographer.

Flake

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Re: Exposure Compensation
« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2011, 06:26:52 AM »
I suspect the last two days have been full of contrasty type photos - typically a light coloured object like a tree or farm animal in front of a darker background....   I'm ranging generally to underexpose, generally just by -1/3 or -2/3rds but have had a couple of extreme -2, although looking back, this was capturing a sun drenched field from inside a dark wood

And what metering are you using?  Full scene or centre weighted average will meter for the whole scene, spot metering in these situations might produce the results you are wanting.