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Old Jan 15, 2004, 4:56 PM   #1
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Default what is going on with my DR? (pictures inside)

what is going on here! This is starting to piss me off, I must admit... Look at the sky above the trees!! Its a bright day out, clear sky, bright sun.. this picture looks like its taken at dusk or on a really cloudy day... I took it in program mode... Can somebody possibly help to tell me what is going on? The second picture is even worse. Ah! Why are they so underexposed!


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Old Jan 15, 2004, 5:30 PM   #2
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It's basic photography and exposure metering... Camera whether a DRebel or a 35mm film camera will try to set it so all that nice bright white snow will come out gray.... A bright white subject like all the snow requires some thinking on the shooters part... need to learn to use exposure compensation when shooting extreme subjects either bright or dark... if the subject had been dark or black your picture would have been overexposed as the camera tried to make it gray...

hth...
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Old Jan 15, 2004, 5:32 PM   #3
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oh dear, never used a SLR before like this..

So then...

can u give me some advice, if i had wanted the snow to turn out brighter, like the clear sunny day it was?
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Old Jan 15, 2004, 6:14 PM   #4
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you could try getting an exposure reading of the buildings or darker areas and then recompose the picture and manually set the exposure to what the prior exposure reading said. or get a reading of the composed scene and manually set it to 1 f/stop wider and try that.

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Old Jan 15, 2004, 6:33 PM   #5
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Snow is typically 2 stops away from neutral tones. In P mode, your camera is using the evaluative matrix mode to meter, meaning it is taking an average reading over a matrix of 35 zones. While this metering is good for most neutral scenes, it will be WRONG when shooting in snow or in very dark areas. As said earlier, the meter tries to see the scene in an 18% gray tone. Snow is typically 2 stops more. If you must use the P mode, use your exposure compensation button to add 2 stops. If that is too bright, back it off some. Perhaps you could try bracketing using exposure compensations of 0,1,2 to see the changes yourself. Experiment. Learn about exposure. There is a TON of information available on the web. Do a search and READ READ READ, then experiment. It's digital ... it costs nothing to experiment. Once you understand exposure, you'll probably take your camera out of the program modes and take control of the camera instead of letting it control you. And most of all.........have fun!

A little quick and dirty work

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Old Jan 15, 2004, 9:51 PM   #6
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Thanks much for the advice, good to know! . I really wish I had more technical data on how the DR worked... Ive read the manual, but it doesnt seem to give me information about how exactly the camera is working and how that affects what I shoot.

Thanks much for the help
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Old Jan 16, 2004, 12:32 AM   #7
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Don't over expose though. If you do you lose information. If you underexpose you can typically correct your picture without information loss in PS or PSE.

Turn on the histogram feature in your camera. Take a picture, and look at the histogram. IF there is nothing on the right side (bright areas), take a longer exposure.. It'll make your pictures les dark. Also pay attention to over-exposed areas (the flashing white / black in the picture).

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Old Jan 16, 2004, 10:26 AM   #8
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[People should please correct anything I said below. Metering is something I'm not great at, so I could have said something incorrect without knowing it.]

ohenry is right, and I wanted to repeat something he said. When the camera takes a reading of the scene, it expects the meter to be reading the light off of 18% grey (or something simiarly reflective as 18% grey.) For example, I believe you hand has similar reflective properties as 18% grey. I seem to remember reading that here.

What that means is if you make the camera meter off of something very bright (snow, an egret, a white car,...) it will try to make the scene darker. It thinks that is 18% grey and puts that light value nearer to the middle of the light range it will capture. If you metered off of something dark (a black car, black pavement,...) it will make it lighter, think (again) that the black area is nearer to the middle of the light range it will capture.

This will happen with *any* camera with a built in light meter (I believe.)

barthold is right too. Enable the Histogram and use it. It's a life (picture) saver. You'll look the histogram and see that too much of the picture is dark and know you need to retake it, increasing the exposure.

And this type of picture (way off of average lighting) is not easy. So don't worry if you make mistakes. I know I do with that type of picture.

Another thing that makes the DRebel a little harder is that the metering mode is picked for you. In the 10D, you pick it independent of the "zone" or creative mode you pick. You'll need to learn what metering mode it uses when, or you'll get yourself very confused. If you expect a spot meter and then get a scene-wide weighted meter you'll get different exposures (and no single metering mode is always right, so this is another one of those dreaded "learning experiences" that life throws your way.)

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Old Jan 16, 2004, 11:03 AM   #9
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Just a comment on Eric's post. The palm of the hand (and the thumb rule was created for a caucasian palm for clarity here) is approximately one stop brighter than 18% gray.

Also, as pointed out, the type of metering is very important to know. My major discontent with the evaluative matrix mode is that we're not quite sure exactly how the chip is computing the scene and therefore not quite sure how to adjust based on what the meter reads. With partial, spot, and even center weighted average metering, we are a bit more confident in what the camera's meter is telling us and we can then adjust that reading accordingly. This is the main reason that I shoot almost exclusively in manual mode with the DRebel (so that I am shooting in center weighted mode rather than evaluative). It is also the reason that I will be upgrading my camera since the DRebel doesn't give you the flexibility to change metering modes. I'm waiting anxiously to see what Canon will be announcing at the February CES!

For anyone wanting to gain a better understanding of exposure, I can recommend the book "The Confused Photographer's Guide to Photographic Exposure and the Zone System" by Bahman Farzad. At times, it is a bit too simplistic, but it does clear up the muddle quite nicely.
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Old Jan 16, 2004, 1:29 PM   #10
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http://www.photoworkshop.com/canon/lessons_1-5.html

pretty good online source of information and it looks like it will have metering soon.
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