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Old Nov 22, 2002, 10:23 AM   #1
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Default Help wanted with metering and autofocus please!

Hi there, I hope you can help... I am needing to relearn everything I ever knew about photography, especially metering.
I am having problems with photographing dutymen wearing white plumes and shiny silver helmets. Many examples can be seen on http://www.hcmr-photos.org.uk but here is a typical example, a small, blown up segment of an image. I was using spot metering on my Minolta Dimage 7i.



I would be grateful for some advice please, what should I be aiming the spot at?
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Old Nov 22, 2002, 1:32 PM   #2
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I think you are seeing one of the limits of digicams - a fairly low dynamic range. If you want the detail in the black horse's mane, you are going to blow out (over expose) the highlights.

The next dirty little secret of digicams you are going to learn is that you have to do your own "darkroom" work. The problem you are having can (to some extent) be dealt with by adjusting your exposure to not blow out the highlights, and then using your photo editor to rescue some detail from the dark areas. Likely something like one stop less light would be about right for that shot.

A rough rule is "Expose for the highlights, process for the shadows". Often something can be rescued from the shadows, but once you have an area blown out to pure white there is nothing to rescue.


I don't know the details of your camera, but it does capture a 12 bit RAW image. That gives you more dynamic range than an 8 bit JPEG/TIFF, along with more work dealing with it.
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Do you have something against the front end of horses? A lot of them seem to have their heads cut off
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Old Nov 22, 2002, 3:42 PM   #3
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amcbryan

Try the WYSIWYG mode:
http://www.stevesforums.com/phpBB2/v...828&highlight=
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Old Nov 22, 2002, 7:16 PM   #4
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Pay attention to NHL and the other folks in the Minolta forum for camera specific features your camera has (auto bracketing? histogram? use of the LCD ....). Their suggestions to use manual settings with bracketing are really good ones.

But no matter what camera you use, editing can improve your photos.

Your photo is a great example of the limited dynamic range that all photography suffers from, beit digital or chemical. It is hard to deal with getting the details in both the black horse and the white glove. Take a lot of photos with that kind of situation, with lots of experimenting, and figure out what works. What works both in camera settings and in editing. Ideally as little editing as possible, but I am sure you will be able to improve almost all shots with some editing.

If you don't know how to read the EXIF data - figure it out. That will help a lot in knowing what the camera settings were when you look at the photos later.
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Old Nov 23, 2002, 12:25 AM   #5
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Thanks again for your excellent advice Bill. I am going to experiment with manual exposures and bracketing this weekend. And yes I can see the EXIF data if I use the Dimage Viewer software, I shall thoroughly digest that and continue to learn.

A lot of the dutymen have their horses heads cut off because they are most of the time wanting images of themselves on guard duty, and the website's first priority is to provide for the dutyman, or their horses are just plumb ugly or have even moved! I realise that the tourist wants complete images including the horse's head, but, I'm afraid the tourist's needs come last. But I shall wait around and see if I can capture some complete images!

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Old Nov 23, 2002, 8:38 AM   #6
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Hi McBryan

Just been to London for a few days. I've took some shots of the Dutymen as well - if you are interested I'll e-mail to you - you can watch the EXIF datas if you like the photos - maybe it will help you!
What a Town - London!
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Old Nov 23, 2002, 8:54 AM   #7
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Dear Klaus, the images at the website are a great inspiration, but at my age I don't think I will develop such a wide range of subjects.

I would be greatful if you could please send me your samples of dutymen, together with the EXIF data. I just need a standard to set my attempts to. My email address is [email protected]. If you want to zip up your images, I can handle that.

Many thanks
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Old Nov 23, 2002, 9:03 AM   #8
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Well, I'm not a teenager myself anymore! I just like to take photos
of most object I meet. The photos I'll send you were taken this week in your town - and is not photos I would edit and put in my gallery.

I'll post the the pics. There's just a few.
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Old Nov 23, 2002, 10:15 AM   #9
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Thankyou for emailing the images of your memories in London. When I served in the Royal Horse Guards/Dragoons, we wished we had got our hands on such good photographs taken by visitors to London. That is why the website exists today, to povide current dutymen with good images of themselves on duty.

Today it is so much easier with digital photography.

So, if anyone else has some photographs or images of The Queen's Life Guard, please email them to me and I will place them in a special section on the website. Please spread the word around that I am looking for such images, please do not send footguards though (the guys that guard Buckingham Palace, who wear funny black hats, or bear skins), I just haven't got the room!

Do you mind if I started with your images Klaus, and put them on the website. I will use them as they are if you don't mind?
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Old Nov 23, 2002, 10:58 AM   #10
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You may use the photos any way you like!

You will be able to view the exifs from the photos in a graphic editor/viewer, but to spare you the time, I'll mail them as soon as possible.
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