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Old Jan 31, 2014, 9:59 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Greg Chappell View Post
If you understand basic exposure rules, histograms are easy. If the moving histogram falls off the right-hand side of the graph, you have (overexposed) clipped highlights, if it falls off the left-hand side, you've (underexposed) clipped the blacks

I expose digitally the exact same way I used to expose slide film, for the highlights. I adjust my exposures until the right-hand edge of the moving histogram just starts touching the border to be sure and retain all highlight detail. E-M5 and E-M1 files are so mallable the shadows and blacks can be raised in post processing to just about whatever level you want.

My favorite way of controlling exactly where the exposure is going is to shoot in manual exposure mode and manually setting the ISO to what I want. Once you start setting all three manually, every setting change you make will affect the histogram and it's easy to see after a while what any change will do. If you open the aperture up or slow the shutter speed the histogram starts moving right. If you close the aperture down or increase the shutter speed, things darken and the histogram moves to the left.

If you leave ISO on auto, changing the aperture or shutter speed may not affect exposure at all as the camera may adjust the ISO to keep things equal. Ditto if you use program, shutter speed or aperture priority, and I don't particularly care to have to deal with constantly adjusting exposure compensation, locking exposure and changing metering patterns to get the results I want.
Ha, people have a way better grasp on these things than I do. My plan is to have it as bright as I can without angering the camera into giving me the orange blinking things.

I ought to try full manual mode again. I usually have enough to worry about just going aperture priority, and would never get a shot off if I had to deal with the other aspects as well.
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Old Jan 31, 2014, 12:54 PM   #22
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Thank you so much for posting it, very informative.

I'll do the update to my camera tonight.

Marcelo
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Old Jan 31, 2014, 2:10 PM   #23
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I'm not one to ever disagree with Greg; the success of his photos speak for themselves. But down here in Florida, with all the white birds that we have, I have found that you can not always depend on the histogram. I can have a perfectly exposed overall shot, with a histogram not touching the right side, but the white bird in the shot will still have no detail. In such situations, it seems that the histogram is only useful if it is a closeup shot and the white bird is the majority of the picture area.
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Old Jan 31, 2014, 2:47 PM   #24
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Steven, you are correct here that the histogram can lead to overexposed birds -- it is after all a reflection of the entire exposure. So a snowy egret against dark foliage will present a problem. I tend to use the spot meter to get a better read on the subject, and must admit that I tend to shoot slow moving objects so I can fuss about with the metering.
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Old Jan 31, 2014, 2:58 PM   #25
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Steven, you are correct here that the histogram can lead to overexposed birds -- it is after all a reflection of the entire exposure. So a snowy egret against dark foliage will present a problem. I tend to use the spot meter to get a better read on the subject, and must admit that I tend to shoot slow moving objects so I can fuss about with the metering.
Yes, I agree. I normally use the spot metering exclusively when shooting birds.
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Old Jan 31, 2014, 3:20 PM   #26
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The few times I've tried moving birds, neither spot metering or manual exposure mode would have worked well. The bird images I captured in the other post were shot in Shutter speed priority, auto ISO and -.7 exposure compensation. I'm doing well keeping the subject within a 6 AF box cluster to maintain focus.

The manual exposure-thing works for at least 95% of what other subjects I like shooting.
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Old Jan 31, 2014, 4:01 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Chappell View Post
The few times I've tried moving birds, neither spot metering or manual exposure mode would have worked well. The bird images I captured in the other post were shot in Shutter speed priority, auto ISO and -.7 exposure compensation. I'm doing well keeping the subject within a 6 AF box cluster to maintain focus.

The manual exposure-thing works for at least 95% of what other subjects I like shooting.
I would agree that shutter priority and auto ISO (with a cap) plus a preset exposure offset is a good way to shoot birds. In my snowy backgrounds I shoot 1/500, Auto ISO capped at 1000 and exposure offset of +.7 or +1 if it is sunny too.

Of course with the older E-PL2 I am using the single point AF with the target box set at 14x

Speaking of birding shots the new Olympus SP-100 superzoom looks pretty interesting with what they are calling an Eagle Eye Dot Sight apparently it is similar to something that has been used for anti aircraft guns since WWII but still a neat way to handle the tough time of keeping a distant moving object in frame.

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Old Jan 31, 2014, 8:19 PM   #28
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So, Greg.... or anyone.... a little help here. All the histogram talk inspired me to give it a try. I get what it's supposed to do but here's the rub. I want to use the histogram while in aperture priority because that's my standard mode. I would think that if the ISO is fixed, then the aperture is set where I want it, that dialing the exposure comp up or down would move the histogram left or right. Not so. Histogram stays in the middle while the shutter speed goes up or down. I guess I would expect the shutter speed to go up or down because with ISO and aperture fixed the only thing left for exposure compensation to affect is shutter speed. Thing is, even though the shutter adjusts when exposure compensation is tweaked the histogram doesn't move. What am I missing? Some setting somewhere? Brains?
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Old Jan 31, 2014, 11:12 PM   #29
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I see the histogram on my E-M1 doing the same thing, but only when I'm moving the dial that changes the aperture instead of exposure compensation. The histogram stays right where it's at because the camera is adjusting the shutter speed to match the aperture (program shift) as I change it. When I change the exposure compensation and leave the aperture set with a manually set ISO, the histogram does move from side to side depending on the way I adjust the compensation.
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Old Jan 31, 2014, 11:58 PM   #30
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Pulled out the G3 to see how it's histogram works. Using the same settings described above (fixed ISO and aperture) the histogram does shift right or left when adjusting exposure comp. It's histogram performs as expected and is useful when adjusting exposure in either A or S priority.

Test images with the EM1 prove exposure comp is working. You just wouldn't know it by looking at the histogram. It's not of much use in A or S priority.

There has to be a setting somewhere. Much as I hate to admit it, I guess it's time to RT*M.
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