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Digital Exposure Question -- Middle Gray vs Exposure At Highlights

 
 
S. S.
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      06-23-2004
Hello, DigiFotoers,

I am taking photos with a Canon G3 camera. I think there is a tip out
there suggesting that when taking digital photos, shoot by exposing at
highlights (which will make photo underexposed), and then bring up the
brightness using softwares afterwards. So I usually take pictures by
Spot Metering at the highlights. This works under normal light
condition, but when I tried to do it when doing sunrise, sunset, or
waterfall, spot metering at the highlight always makes the dark area
lose details greatly.

I wonder, in both normal light condition and abnormal light condition,
how about one just spot metering at the area that is close to middle
gray? Does any of you have experiences with doing that? Thanks!

SS
 
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Chris Brown
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      06-23-2004
In article <(E-Mail Removed)> ,
S. S. <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>Hello, DigiFotoers,
>
>I am taking photos with a Canon G3 camera. I think there is a tip out
>there suggesting that when taking digital photos, shoot by exposing at
>highlights (which will make photo underexposed), and then bring up the
>brightness using softwares afterwards. So I usually take pictures by
>Spot Metering at the highlights. This works under normal light
>condition, but when I tried to do it when doing sunrise, sunset, or
>waterfall, spot metering at the highlight always makes the dark area
>lose details greatly.


Spot meter on the highlights and use +2 stops exposure compensation. Without
the compensation, you're essentially pushing your sensor by two stops,
something digital sensors are really bad at.

>I wonder, in both normal light condition and abnormal light condition,
>how about one just spot metering at the area that is close to middle
>gray? Does any of you have experiences with doing that? Thanks!


That would work, but you risk blowing the highlights. The reason for
metering off the highlights, with exposure compensation, with digital is the
same as for doing it with slides - neither handle overexposure well.

With the Canon DSLRs, you can generally get away with +3 stops on the
brightest highlights (and RAW mode), but with the G3 you may want to leave
it at +2.
 
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MikeS
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      06-23-2004

"Chris Brown" <(E-Mail Removed)_uce_please.com> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> In article <(E-Mail Removed)> ,
> S. S. <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> >Hello, DigiFotoers,
> >
> >I am taking photos with a Canon G3 camera. I think there is a tip out
> >there suggesting that when taking digital photos, shoot by exposing at
> >highlights (which will make photo underexposed), and then bring up the
> >brightness using softwares afterwards. So I usually take pictures by
> >Spot Metering at the highlights. This works under normal light
> >condition, but when I tried to do it when doing sunrise, sunset, or
> >waterfall, spot metering at the highlight always makes the dark area
> >lose details greatly.

>
> Spot meter on the highlights and use +2 stops exposure compensation.

Without
> the compensation, you're essentially pushing your sensor by two stops,
> something digital sensors are really bad at.
>
> >I wonder, in both normal light condition and abnormal light condition,
> >how about one just spot metering at the area that is close to middle
> >gray? Does any of you have experiences with doing that? Thanks!

>
> That would work, but you risk blowing the highlights. The reason for
> metering off the highlights, with exposure compensation, with digital is

the
> same as for doing it with slides - neither handle overexposure well.
>
> With the Canon DSLRs, you can generally get away with +3 stops on the
> brightest highlights (and RAW mode), but with the G3 you may want to leave
> it at +2.

Is this the same a compensation for snow scenes increasing exposure or
under exposing for coal(dark) scenes because the exposure meter is trying to
render all to 18% grey scale. as Ive been underexposing by 1 stop to prevent
highlight blow outs and have got very underexposed shots on my D70.
MikeS


 
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Dave Martindale
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      06-24-2004
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) (S. S.) writes:

>I wonder, in both normal light condition and abnormal light condition,
>how about one just spot metering at the area that is close to middle
>gray? Does any of you have experiences with doing that? Thanks!


I thought the whole point of spot metering is that you could make
multiple readings and thus gather more information about the scene.
For example, you can meter the brightest area you care about
reproducing plus the deepest shadow you want to hold detail, and get an
idea whether it's even possible to get both in the same image. If not,
you can decide to expose for shadow detail or highlight detail, or any
other exposure in between.

If you're only going to make one reading off a grey card, why not just
use an incident meter, or the camera's built-in meter in averaging mode?

Dave
 
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