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Old Dec 21, 2004, 9:58 PM   #1
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Seagull walking on ice and snow. Appreciate any exposure tips on these if you can spot something that could be better. I have a lot to learn about exposures.



Flying wigeon. Taken at 300mm. Very dark day, couldn't get a high enough shutter speed to freeze the motion. Hand held, iso 500 f8 with a couple points of + ev compensation.





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Old Dec 21, 2004, 10:24 PM   #2
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Hi zoomn, I'm sure you know that I once owned that lens so I'm pretty well versed on how it operates. Indeed you can get the sharpest shots at F8 but on a dimly lit day I'd always keep it at a lower F stop, especially for flight where the speed is needed. You did a real good job of freezing everything but the wings which shows me that you can handle that lens well and it's only a matter of waiting for a bit more light or purchasing a better beamer and use flash so you can increase your shutter speed.

As for exposure, the whites on the wing are a touch over blown but it's tough to set exposures in light like that. You might consider pre-setting exposure to something in the mid-tone grey area which may help to even out the differences.

Conclusion: it looks like you'll be able to tame that lens well with a bit of practice. It's a great lens and will serve you well once you become used to it and it becomes used to you :-)

I really like the blur in the last shot and I like the overall in the first one. Have fun!

PS- I just got my better beamer today in the mail, tried it out inside and it definitely expands the flash area and strength. I look forward to taking it outdoors. It's not expensive and I think it will serve me well. I'm sure that it would serve you well with that 50-500 too since the greatest limits of that lens is available light. Otherwise, it's a dynamo!


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Old Dec 22, 2004, 10:45 AM   #3
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Zoomn, "understanding expoure" is a good book. I also have one from Authur Morris, I think called "Art of Bird Photography". I agree with normcar, the whites on last 2 shots seem blown out to me. Did you shoot in manual exposure mode? I usually use aperture priority, just started using manual mode (for learning purposes) since this weekend. Use the histogram feature on your camera. Also are these shot in jpeg or RAW? with RAW you can change exposure during the RAW to jpeg/tiff conversion process.

Better Beamer is definitely a help. I am going to order one.
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Old Dec 22, 2004, 10:46 AM   #4
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Normcar wrote:
Quote:
PS- I just got my better beamer today in the mail, tried it out inside and it definitely expands the flash area and strength. I look forward to taking it outdoors. It's not expensive and I think it will serve me well. I'm sure that it would serve you well with that 50-500 too since the greatest limits of that lens is available light. Otherwise, it's a dynamo!


Normcar, which flash bracket you use for your setup (if you use one)?
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Old Dec 22, 2004, 11:06 AM   #5
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Thanks bobbyz.

I saw a very good book on exposure I am going to get as soon as I a couple bucks. I have nine year old twins who have their birthday on Christmas eve so you can imagine there is quite a financial stretch around Christmas.

Been using aperture priority for the most part. Only had the camera couple weeks and lots to learn about how to use it. I can dial in the A with my front dial and the ev compensation with the main dial on the back very quickly.

Isn't the histogram only available after you take the picture?

Do you use M mode to do your exposure and put in your ev compensations when you are metering on some area of the photo other than your main subject? If you are metering on your subject isn't it easier/faster to use A mode?

One of the main reasons I went to the dslr was to be able to take photos quicker when I get an opportunity, so I want to use the fastest exposure/focus mode available that will yield me the best quality photo.










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Old Dec 22, 2004, 3:35 PM   #6
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Most of the cameras yes, I believe that any dSLR won't have
one, but some prosumer cams with an EVF might.

You could try to get a pocket exposure calculator. I am
probably going to get one, and more or less memorize it.
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Old Dec 22, 2004, 5:47 PM   #7
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Re: exposure - For what it's worth,I shoot 99% of the time in full manual mode. I usually pre-meter 2 different areas from where I stand, the darker areas (usually in the bush or thickets) and the skyward area. For action shots I set my shutter at the fastest speed possible in the darker area and then check to see how much I need to shutter up to get proper exposure in the skyward area. Then it's a matter on my Mark II of simply riding the shutter wheel back and forth depending on where my subject is. This method has been successful for me and I use shutter only to adjust exposure. I've found that using the priority modes restrict me somewhat and don't give me maximum freedom to go where I want. If in aperture priority I inevitably lose a shot to a slow shutter and in shutter priority I sometimes have a greater DOF than I want (I like a nice blur in the back). In M mode I can set my aperture to what I want and ride the shutter wheel.

My ISO setting is dependent on what my goal is, if action then it's set high all the time and if not then it's set as low as possible. My greatest frustration is when I shoot a really nice still shot and realize that my ISO was way up (unnecessary grain).

Bobby, not exactly sure what you are asking but I attachedthe Beamer to my 550with 2 strips of velcro on the sides of the flash head, then slipped the supplied band around the head. It's sturdy and works nicely but I don't like the idea of putting velcro on my flash. I'm looking at other options before accepting the velcro method outright.
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Old Dec 22, 2004, 10:20 PM   #8
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hey zoomn! congratulations on your new lens

GREAT first shots with it too! i really like the dark ice he's walking on

Vito
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Old Dec 23, 2004, 8:26 AM   #9
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Normcar can't thank you enough for the info you just provided.

I have been trying several different combos between the M and A modes trying to come up with a good system. I will try yours, as it sounds well thought out and is a proven in the field method for birding.

I see that as you change your shutter speed the ev compensation changes on the in viewfinder meter.

My biggest problem is back lit subjects (birds). What is your method todetermine how much ev compensation is required (shutter speed adjustment) for correct exposure on the bird? I have just been guessing by how dark the bird looks in comparison to the sky, I am sure you have a more consistent way. This is the biggest problem I am having at present.

With my fz1 what you saw in the viewfinder was exactly what the picture would look like as far as exposure. I just set it on spot meter and moved the bird around in the viewfinder till it looked right and then clicked.

It is hard to get a routine until you settle on a method of managing exposure, and until you get a routine you can't be as fast as required for those quick bird shot opportunities.

I am going to print your info off and read it a few more times and work on it. Really appreciate the assistance, again!!






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Old Dec 23, 2004, 9:47 AM   #10
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Yes, Norm, the description of your technique here is very valuable advice. I am going to be sure to try it out this next week when I can start using my new 300mm f4 lens with my 20D for birds.

Thanks!
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