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Old Jul 6, 2006, 12:30 PM   #1
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We just came back from our honeymoon in Barcelona. Took my 20D of course :-) Took about 1887 pics :-) Loaded them up onto my computer and most of my pics are very dark, gray and gloomy It wasn't dark, gray or gloomy in Barcelona. It was hazy at the worsebut that's about it. I can't figure out why my pics came out so dark. I used 'AV' modewith the aperture wide open, ISO at 200, large jpeg format and theCanon 18-55mm kit lens. What am I doing wrong?

Here's 2 pics without any editing except for resizing.















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Old Jul 6, 2006, 1:00 PM   #2
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In the future, if you could post smaller images it would help the page load faster for people.
And it makes the page smaller so the text all fits on the screen at once.

On to your image. What metering mode were you using? Were you using auto-white balance? Either of these could cause you troubles similar to what I see.

You can easily fix this within a photo editor, just by increasing brightness, but I agree you would have expected it to be "more right" than this.

Eric
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Old Jul 6, 2006, 1:14 PM   #3
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Thanks Eric! Sorry about the large pics. I've reduced them so it will be easier to view.

Meter mode was set to pattern and the white balance was set to the sun icon. I got the same results with my Sigma 28-300mm lens BTW What's the best white balane setting for hazy/cloudy days?

BTW The first pic was taken at1/4000 sec f/3.5. The second pic was 1/3200 sec f/5.6.

Thanks again Eric!
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Old Jul 6, 2006, 1:37 PM   #4
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Check your Exposure Compensation settings. According to the EXIF (a header in the images that shows camera settings used), you were using a -EV setting (2/3 difference compared to what the camera's metering would have used by default).

IOW, you told the camera to expose it darker by using a -EV setting. ;-)

BTW, I wouldn't shoot with the aperture wide open unless you have to. Most lenses are softer at aperture extremes, and tend to be sharpest 2 or3 stops down from wide open. Your lenses would definitely fall into this category.

If you don't have anything to brighten them with, an easy to use editor to quickly brighten them would be something like Google's Picasa (you'll see a fill light feature that tends to work a bit better than just brightening):

http://picasa.google.com/

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Old Jul 6, 2006, 1:57 PM   #5
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P.S.

Just in case you're not familiar with it, Exposure Compensation lets you alter the way a camera's autoexposure/metering algorithms expose an image (brighten or darken it compared to the way the camera metered the scene). It's one of my most frequently used settings on most cameras.

A +EV value gives you a brighter exposure. The camera uses a slower shutter speed and/or larger aperture to get a brighter exposure, compared to what the camera's autoexposure/metering algorithms would have selected.

A -EV value gives you a darker exposure. The camera uses a faster shutter speed and/or smaller aperture to get a darker exposure, compared to what the camera's autoexposure/metering algorithms would have selected.

If you're in Av Mode (Aperture Priority) and use Exposure Compensation, the camera will vary the shutter speed (since you're setting the aperture). If you're using Tv (Shutter Priority) mode and use Exposure Compensation, the camera will vary the Aperture (since you're controlling the shutter speed).

If you're in Auto (or other similar modes), the camera may vary aperture or shutter speed when you use Exposure Compensation.

Correct Exposure comes down to the amount of light, the ISO speed, the shutter speed, and the aperture. A variety of combinations will produce identical exposure. You only need to use Exposure Compensation if you want a brighter or darker image compared to what the camera's metering would normally give you in the same conditions.

An example of when you may want to use a +EV setting is for a backlit subject, where the subject would normally be much darker than the rest of the image. Since the camera has a limited dynamic range, it doesn't know that you want the dark subject exposed properly (at the expense of the rest of the image). If you brighten the exposure for one part, the rest may be overexposed.

If your subject is much brighter than the rest of the image, you may want to use a -EV setting for Exposure Compensation so that your subject is not overexposed (making the rest of the image darker, too).

The camera has a limited range of bright to dark that it can capture. So, it makes choices so that most of the iimage is correctly exposed, depending on your metering mode. Sometimes that may not be what you want. That's where exposure compensation comes in.

In the case of your images, you were using a -EV setting with Exposure Compensation, telling the camera to expose the scene darker than it normally would have.

Here's a screen print I happened to have online already from a Rebel Manual. But, your EOS-20D should work the same way. Basically, just half press the shutter button to turn on the meter and release it. Then, press and hold the +- key while spinning a control dial to move the pointer in the scale.

If it's left of center (where it's probably at now according to the EXIF in your images, causing your darker exposures), it's a -EV setting.

Leave it Centered if you want the camera to expose the scene the way the metering thinks it needs to be exposed (where you'll probaby want to leave it most of the time unless you want to preserve highlights and post process your images using an editor). To the right of center will expose brighter than the camera's metering thinks it needs to expose (that's a +EV Setting).

Again, this a Screen Print from a Rebel manual that I happened to have already. But, your 20D (and most other cameras) will work in a similar way (hold down +- key and spin control dial).


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Old Jul 6, 2006, 2:40 PM   #6
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I was just about to ask where/who do I get to the exposure compensation mode :-) Thank you so much Jim! I'll play around with the 20D tonight :-)



BTW Do hold down both + and - while turning the dial?
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Old Jul 6, 2006, 2:49 PM   #7
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cmoy wrote:
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BTW Do hold down both + and - while turning the dial?
It should only be one button (likely labeled +- ). I can't tell from looking at our images excactly which one it is on the 20D.

Check your manual for Exposure Compensation if you can't figure it out from the screen print I posted from a Rebel manual.

added

I think I found it (and 20D owners please correct me if I'm wrong).

It should be the one on the top right in front the the display on top of the camera.

Go to your normal shooting mode (like Av Mode), half press and release the shutter button to turn on the meter, press and hold the +- button with your right forefinger, then spin the control dial on the back until the needle is centered in the scale for no compensation and release the button. You'll probably find that it's too clicks left of center right now (causing your darker images).



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Old Jul 6, 2006, 2:59 PM   #8
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Cool! Thanks again Jim!

Chris
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Old Jul 6, 2006, 3:13 PM   #9
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I didn't have a problem with manual mode...

Shot this with my Sigma 28-300mm. BTW Can I find the 20D manual on line?


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Old Jul 6, 2006, 3:25 PM   #10
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When you're shooting in Manual mode, you're setting both the Aperture and the Shutter Speed. So, your aperture and shutter speed settings are what control the exposure.

There is no Exposure Compensation shooting in manual mode. Instead, you use the scale as a guide to how your settings are impacting exposure (left of center is a darker exposure, and right of center is a brighter exposure).

You should find a link to a manual here:

http://alpha03u.c-wss.com/inc/ApplServlet?SV=WWUCA900

If not, try the Manuals link on this page:

http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/co...;modelid=10464



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