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skmdcam Jun 2, 2009 1:09 PM

exposure
 
Hi Im new to DSLR, I am messing up the exposure on most of my photographs, even though I understand the triangle and how to basically arrive at the camera's correct exposure in manual or creative zones. I understand the theory behind it (have been reading up understanding exposure by bryan, a great book which opened my eyes to a lot of things and some basic stuff on youtube and the internet) yet it wasnt sufficient to help me master it in a creative space as such (i mean its a limited understanding or no understanding at all, i am not really in control most of the time),I would like to know if there is any video source that would actually help with understanding how metering, focusing and exposure lock can be combined in various situations such as a very bright object being in the same frame, too many shadows falling on someones face, shooting at home under incandescent light or whatever. watching someone do it helps a lot more than reading up on it for me. or any other online tutorial that would guide me through it? if there is no video, what is the best reading material I should get my hands on? thanks in advance

P.S. Am using a canon 40d with sigma 17-70 macro

Alan T Jun 3, 2009 4:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by skmdcam (Post 973979)
....would like to know if there is any video source that would actually help with understanding how metering, focusing and exposure lock can be combined in various situations....what is the best reading material I should get my hands on?...

You could learn a lot with experimentation, provided you keep good notes in a little notebook of what you did. The notebook would then provide very good "reading material" as you inspected the results on a monitor. This costs nothing but your time.

Try the various metering modes, and take bracketed shots i.e., with different exposures of the same subjects, to see what works best.

A useful tool in this learning process is the exif reader 'Exifer', still available free from http://www.exifer.friedemann.info/ though it hasn't been updated since 2002. There are many programs that allow you to read the EXIF data from your images, but to the best of my knowledge, that's the only one that allows you to select the thumbnails of a pair of images in a folder, and compare them, reading only those settings that were either different in the two shots, or the same.

Old Engineer Jun 3, 2009 10:41 PM

When I am in doubt, and I want to be pretty sure of getting a usable picture, on my Pentax K10D I set the mode on the green mode. The writer may not have such a facility on his Canon. Anyway, it works for me. When I am playing around, and want a special affect, or just want a series for my own comparison, I am likely totry most anything, just to see what happens. Some good surprises, and some bad. Fun, either way, and a great learning experience.
Old Engineer

VTphotog Jun 4, 2009 12:45 AM

Experience is the best teacher. Your camera's metering system will make some pretty good guesses, and it is best to start there. Use the auto exposure to get the camera's idea of correct shutter speed and aperture for the shot, then think about what you want to get from it. If you want to get separation of subject from back/foreground, you probably want a larger aperture. To stop motion, a higher shutter speed, or sometimes a lower speed, and pan the camera to keep subject sharp while showing motion blur of background.
I highly recommend shooting less and thinking more, especially when starting out. too many of us take way too many pictures without taking the time to plan them.

brian

Dark_Ansem Aug 8, 2009 2:42 PM

how can you increase exposure time on a compact cam? for taking night pics? I read that almost half an hour is needed to get a nice pic of the nightsky, is that correct?

VTphotog Aug 8, 2009 10:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dark_Ansem (Post 990052)
how can you increase exposure time on a compact cam? for taking night pics? I read that almost half an hour is needed to get a nice pic of the nightsky, is that correct?

It depends on the camera, of course. Some have sufficient manual controls to let you keep the shutter open for as long as you want (bulb setting), and others will close the shutter after some period of time (such as 30 seconds) no matter what you select. A tripod or other stable camera holder is necessary. The exposure time needed depends on the ISO setting and aperture. Some photographers who shoot star trails may keep their shutter open for half the night.
A high ISO setting, such as 1600 or more, combined with a fairly wide aperture, should let you get your shutter speeds to around 30 seconds or so, and have some reasonable pictures.

brian


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