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Old Nov 6, 2006, 4:24 PM   #11
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Maw - Here's a link that might be of some help to you on histograms - Bruce

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Old Nov 6, 2006, 4:40 PM   #12
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hey again,

i'll start with the histogram- it's just a graph showing the tones in your image from left (dark) to right (light). the shape of the histogram is pretty much immaterial; it depends on the range of tones in front of you. it will tend to be "bunched up" in one or more hills. if the light is "flat" (not much contrast like on an overcast day) it may be flatter. there's not a lot you can do to modify it except you can move the "bunched up" part to the left or right either by

1. in av or tv using the exposure compensation (on my dl it's the +/- Av button on top by the shutter release). a positive number (read it at the lower right side in your viewfinder) will make the picture brighter (shift the histo to the right) and a negative darker. maybe you can do this in P (program) as well (?)

2. in manual (M) just use a slower or faster shutter speed or a smaller or larger aperture from what the meter suggests (or you get from the AE-L button.

the aperture chosen controls depth of field, or how much of the picture from near to far appears sharp. large ap (like f/1.4- f4 or 5.6) for a sharp subject but blurred backround/ foreground, small ap (16-22 or higher) for sharpness from near to far, med ap (8 or 11) if you don't need lots of depth and want maximum sharpness from the lens

of course your shutter speed changes as you change aperture and if you're hand holding you may have to compromise between a lot of depth of field and keeping the camera steady.

generally if you're "shooting to the right" you'll be trying to get the histogram to slope down to the right and just miss or just touch the right side. ideally the left side would look similar (reversed) but if it doesn't reach the left side it's not nearly as much of a problem to fix in post processing as the right side. like much in photography exposure is often a compromise because our equipment is limited in it's range (note the quote in robar's avatar) but we do the best we can with what we got.

i think you may be confusing focus method with the metering choices. the dl can focus on either a spot in the centre or wide (just 3 spots across the middle) i always use centre spot so i know where it will focus (although i've tried wide with moving subjects). also focusing can be either auto focus or manual. metering has three choices. itcan be "spot" (just a very small area in the centre of the frame) or "centre weighted" where the meter reads the whole picture but is biased to what's in the middle, or "multi segment" where the meter reads a number of sections of the picture and tries to come up with an exposure based on each one of them.

when you say the camera was set to auto do you mean on the mode dial (top left side of the camera)?

one thing you might try is using the program settings (the ones with icons) on the mode dial (like landscape and portrait and sports) for those kinds of shots and then later look at the settings the camera chose. you'll eventually want to go beyond what the camera wants you to do (no camera made knows what I am trying to communicate with a given picture) but it'll give you a starting point.

i'm afraid i've said too much but if any of it helps i'm glad.

oh, i like that last picture also, very interesting.

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Old Nov 6, 2006, 5:06 PM   #13
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hey again,

i'm way too slow a typer. (not good enough to be a typist)

a. spot focus is good for any type of picture

b. i'm not sure what choices you have in the ds but i wouldn't like any kind of focusing where the camera could choose among several points.

multi segment metering is good for landscapes as well as centre weighted. you can use spot metering if you can read the tones and choose a mid toned area to meter but the other two are easier (although some people don't like multi )

c. the focusing method has no effect on what is isolated or standing out in the picture. to do that you choose a large aperture (not necessarilly the largest) and focus carefully on the subject.

c.(d.) yes, yes(?), no

all the best and keep shooting. eric

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Old Nov 6, 2006, 8:20 PM   #14
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Everyone has responded with some great information. Of course I want to know EVERYTHING NOW!! But seriously I went back and reread those sections in the manual, and I think I've been confusing aspects of setting up exposure and focus. It's all starting to unravel and sink in. Thanks again.

Eric, I don't think you used to many words. It all helps, it's all good. I'm sorry you have trouble typing :-). I have a problem collecting my thoughts to put down here, HA! Thank you for the information.

Bruce, thanks for the LL link to the histo article. I read that sometime ago, and found it a good bit of information to revisit.

Best regards and many thanks to everyone,

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