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Old Jun 3, 2014, 7:24 PM   #1
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Default ...attempting to learn something new

I know pretty much how Greg C goes about it and I have tried in the past to deal with the procedure of 'exposing for highlights' then making the capture accordingly.

Quite frankly I never really knew exactly what it meant. I read this article http://tinyurl.com/muhj7c7 a while back and because for the past couple years I only shoot manual exposure mode I would again deliberately give it a go.

While Mr Morganti does not mention exact camera exposure mode I am assuming 'manual mode using the histogram' is different to his camera settings and the exposure steps are actually different depending on those settings. With the E-M1 full time histogram it seems fewer steps are in order to do the same.

Never the less I found the short article interesting and I decided to try my hand, my way.

Again, in manual mode and exposing to the histogram I did so in these files against the sky for 'wheel twisting' then without paying attention to the change in the viewfinder clicked off my composition.

In the field shot I exposed to the histogram where the super bright area is.

I do like how the images resulted but yet I am not certain I did this in the true process of exposing for highlights.

.......... what do you think, I will appreciate CC to this thread.

Thanks, Bob

For these the lens was the FT 14-54 on the E-M1 producing jpg files and PP in ASPro v1







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Old Jun 3, 2014, 9:42 PM   #2
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It sounds like the author on that site is using some sort of program mode because he has his camera set up to lock exposure on the half-press of the shutter release and focuses using another button on the back of the camera. If he were shooting in manual mode there would be no need to have a shutter lock setup since a manual exposure will not change unless you change it, but I read no indication as to what the exposure method actually is.

He calls his metering method "center-weighted spot", which makes no sense as that is two different types of metering for most camera brands. Using a program mode and locking on exposure of the highlights, I would assume he's using spot metering since that'd be easier to just point to one spot with the highest luminosity and then lock the exposure.

I just leave the camera set to multi-segment metering, normal gradation and set my exposure while watching the histogram, making sure the graph never, or just barely goes over the right-hand (overexposure) side. There's a little bit of wiggle room with the E-M1 or E-M5. If the red (overexposure) warning bar is just barely there, those are highlights you can almost always recover, keeping in mind certain types of overexposure, like light glistening off water or the sun are always going to register as overexposure and you just can't do anything about those.

I find dark areas/shadows impossible to judge outside in even the best type finder. Shadows can look completely devoid of detail when viewing the back LCD outside, but get in the shade inside your car or indoors and they always show more detail so I do not even try to judge shadows outside. I watch the histogram and pretty much know what I've got based on what the left-hand side of the graph is telling me. The finder is my method of viewing/framing and setting the exposure, not trying to judge how the final image is going to look. If it's exposed right and framed the way I want, there's little doubt you will get it right in the processor later.

One thing I seem to to always have make myself check is whether I have the brightness right for how sunny or cloudy it really was. Looking at the processing windows below in my example, I often wind up going back to the tone curve page and adding a positive amount of the "Lights" slider to brighten up a sunny/partly sunny day and keep things from looking too flat.

I mentioned normal gradation because a setting like auto gradation will make you do funky things with exposure as the camera is constantly fiddling with trying to "help you" keep things exposed properly. For instance, it can cause you to use shorter shutter speeds than you would with gradation set to normal to try and darken an image, which may work with the jpeg if you are shooting raw+jpeg, but can cause shadows too deep in the raw file to recover even using the best processor. Auto gradation is the worst possible gradation setting if you are shooting raw.

In the end, there is no one right way to do it. If the end results are what you want, you got it right, and those look good to me.

Last edited by Greg Chappell; Jun 4, 2014 at 6:08 PM.
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Old Jun 3, 2014, 10:34 PM   #3
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This is a typical example of how I expose and process an image. Here's a file when first opened in Adobe Camera raw. You can see the exposure of this particular file is bunched on both ends of the histogram. Had I used a program mode with no exposure compensation, the camera would have exposed more for the overall darker scene and completely blown the sky to the point no detail would have been recoverable.



Looking at the processing windows to the right of the image, you can see all the settings are on their default zero settings. The exposure settings are contained in the first two tabs in ACR, the basic and tone curve windows. The next two pictures are the same image, but the first shows the settings I used on the basic panel and the second what settings I used in the tone curve panel. Also, see how the final histogram changed..





And the final image..


Last edited by Greg Chappell; Jun 3, 2014 at 11:10 PM.
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Old Jun 6, 2014, 2:58 PM   #4
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Bob, I'm having a hard time with these because there seems to be no specific subject (or point of view) in any of 'em! Your exposure settings appear to have grabbed some good detail in the sky, but IMO that renders the greenery shadows too dark and gloomy. Note that I said "gloomy," not "murky" (as they might be if underexposed).

Maybe I'm missing the point, but I guess what I'm thinking is that this may not be the greatest exercise unless all you're trying to accomplish is "see what the camera does." It seems that, to make it a worthwhile test, you might want to stick a person, animal, or other object in the frames that would become a subject focal point. Then it would be a more informative exercise to evaluate the overall exposure _as it relates to that subject_.

Does that make any sense?

For example: in the final shot, the two plants in the foreground could become your subject for the photo. But as it stands, they're lost against the busy-ness of the rest of the background.

Then again, maybe I'm just not understanding what you're attempting to learn from CC of these pix.
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Old Jun 7, 2014, 10:47 AM   #5
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You're trying to make more out of what Bob posted than you should. Sometimes you just are experimenting/working on a different method of image capture, processing and want comments. That's all this was. No attempt was made in terms of subject matter. It was all about method and yes, it is very easy to produce a flat sort of dynamic range when you attempt to get the entire dynamic range of a scene into a one-frame exposure. I often find myself using the gradient filter in Adobe Camera raw as a post processing 2 or 3 stop graduated neutral density filter to retain the brightness of both the sky and landscape, or even the adjustment brush to burn-in or dodge an area.

I do a lot of experimental shooting like this at home so when I go other places, like Jackson Hole, Wyoming where I'm going next Friday for a week, I'll have a better idea for how I want to capture and process something with a little more subject matter to it.

Last edited by Greg Chappell; Jun 7, 2014 at 10:51 AM.
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Old Jun 7, 2014, 2:57 PM   #6
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Thanks for the great tips/tutorial both Bob and Greg. I have a tendency to shoot in aperture mode and dial down exposure compensation a bit. Not as scientific as what you guys are doing and I suspect not as successful either. Now where can I find that gradation setting? ;-)
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Old Jun 7, 2014, 3:25 PM   #7
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Super control panel. Right-hand side as you view the screen.

The Panasonic GX7 operates better in aperture priority mode than manual, so that's how I use it, often dialing in lots of compensation, depending on the subject.
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Old Jun 7, 2014, 3:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Chappell View Post
Super control panel. Right-hand side as you view the screen.
Thanks!
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Old Jun 7, 2014, 4:59 PM   #9
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Thanks for the conversation about how to properly expose for highlights. It took me a few tries to get the exposure to what I liked during the commencement ceremony at my daughter's high school last week.

In order to shoot at a fast enough speed with the 50-200 on the E-M1, I dialed down the exposure compensation to -2 or -2.3 in order to accommodate the rather bright spotlights and resulting dark background. In this case, there was one sole subject, and the black background works well to isolate the subject. His robe looks just about how it looked on stage, although in reality it was black, of course.

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