Digital Exposure Question -- Middle Gray vs Exposure At Highlights

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by S. S., Jun 23, 2004.

  1. S. S.

    S. S. Guest

    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
    S. S., Jun 23, 2004
    #1
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  2. S. S.

    Chris Brown Guest

    In article <>,
    S. S. <> 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.
    Chris Brown, Jun 23, 2004
    #2
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  3. S. S.

    MikeS Guest

    "Chris Brown" <_uce_please.com> wrote in message
    news:...
    > In article <>,
    > S. S. <> 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
    MikeS, Jun 23, 2004
    #3
  4. (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
    Dave Martindale, Jun 24, 2004
    #4
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