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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EOS Digital Cameras
Thread started 27 Jul 2017 (Thursday) 13:12
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Getting a good exposure with Manual settings

 
Alveric
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Aug 12, 2017 16:45 as a reply to post 18426079 |  #16

The sky is not a good reference for middle tones. Its exposure value changes with time of the day, season, latitude and angle, amid other factors. For your 'rule of thumb', you aim the spot at the blue sky ~30° above the horizon. But again, you won't get the same exposure value in Florida than in Winnipeg. At my latitudes (~50° N), I don't have to compensate at all: the blue in the clear sky 30° above the horizon in the summer, in the late afternoon is middle blue.


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PhotosGuy
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Aug 12, 2017 19:01 |  #17

Leigh wrote in post #18426079 (external link)
For out-doors, Not "too" techno, but perhaps a bit quicker:

Start by setting the SP, AV, & ISO for getting the desired speed, DOF, & ISO (Or set Auto ISO).

Aim at green grass, foliage, weathered wood, or gray rock which are all close to neutral-gray.

Use any MODE that covers the "gray" object, and center the Meter.

Take a test shot of your subject, & view the exposure, & Histogram.

Compensate with either SP, AV, or ISO based on the results of the test shot.

Against a Blue sky background; Center the meter on a "patch" of the sky, and increase one stop, as a starting point.

Inside, for me: Flash

FYI, step #5 above is faster & easier.


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Leigh
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Aug 13, 2017 08:51 as a reply to Alveric's post |  #18

My reference to metering off the sky + 1 stop, was for a starting point for shooting objects" in the sky", such as BIF or Aircraft.




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kat.hayes
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Aug 22, 2017 14:29 |  #19

Thank you for all of your answers and patience!!!!!!!

My summary understanding of everything I have read is:

When metering on a subject, the camera will always think you are pointing at an 18% gray card, and suggest an exposure based on this, which is what the camera thinks is the proper exposure. Based on this, you need to make adjustments to the exposure based on what you are really photographing. Is this correct?

1. If you use one of the other metering modes besides spot and it factors in other zones and averages them, isn’t this potentially bad for getting good skin tone exposure if there is lots of green in the photo or maybe blue from water, etc?

2. If the whole idea of aiming at something gray in the environment is to simply properly tell the camera what is gray, why not always bring an accurate gray card, and meter off of this before shooting? Is this what the pros always do?

3. Does it make a difference if I use the gray card to meter off before I take photos, OR if I simply take a photo of the gray card at the photo shoot in the light being used, and use this in Lightroom to calibrate all of my photos?

Thank you!!!!!!




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Aug 22, 2017 15:01 |  #20

kat.hayes wrote in post #18434258 (external link)
3. Does it make a difference if I use the gray card to meter off before I take photos, OR if I simply take a photo of the gray card at the photo shoot in the light being used, and use this in Lightroom to calibrate all of my photos?


You may be thinking of a white card for color correction in post. Using a grey card in post doesn't help anything if you screwed up on proper exposure of available light at time of the shot. You want to be as close as possible to correct exposure of your subject when you take the shot to minimize work in trying to save/correct in post.


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Pippan
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Aug 22, 2017 15:16 as a reply to kat.hayes's post |  #21

Hi Kat, this is what I do if I have time to set manual settings and the light level is fairly constant. I use raw, spot meter off the brightest part of the scene and add 3 stops. This results in optimum ETTR (for my camera, an 80D, though the exact number of stops may vary with different cameras). It works well if the brightest part of the scene is even across the spot meter area (the centre circle). If that area is not evenly bright I reduce the exposure by a click or two, or three (1 click = 1/3 stop), just to make sure I am not clipping important highlights. If the resulting photos are too bright for desired skin tones, just reduce brightness in post (and as a bonus, reduce noise). I also set the camera to bracket 5 exposures at 1/3 stop intervals, so I have a range of images to choose from later (and of course delete all but the best expressions and/or exposures). I use FastRawViewer, with Overexposure Display turned on, to evaluate images before processing or deleting. Once your manual settings are set, you can concentrate on chasing your kids around.




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Wilt
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Post has been last edited 1 month ago by Wilt. 2 edits done in total.
Aug 22, 2017 15:28 |  #22

kat.hayes wrote in post #18434258 (external link)
When metering on a subject, the camera will always think you are pointing at an 18% gray card, and suggest an exposure based on this, which is what the camera thinks is the proper exposure. Based on this, you need to make adjustments to the exposure based on what you are really photographing. Is this correct?

Based upon research done long ago by Kodak engineers, it was determine that an 'average scene' contains brightnesses which cumulatively average to a 'midtone' ...the 18% gray card is that 'middle tone'. So if your scene -- or the area read by a spotmeter -- is not 'average' (midtone, or 18% gray) you have to adjust the meter reading, often via using the EC control.

kat.hayes wrote in post #18434258 (external link)
1. If you use one of the other metering modes besides spot and it factors in other zones and averages them, isn’t this potentially bad for getting good skin tone exposure if there is lots of green in the photo or maybe blue from water, etc?

Keep in mind that the 18% tone is an EXPOSURE setting aid, first of all. Green vegetation is often (not 'always', but 'often') 'about 18% midtone' even though it is green.
Do not mix in the second factor, of White Balance...which is what you are mixing into via your concern about green or blue!

kat.hayes wrote in post #18434258 (external link)
2. If the whole idea of aiming at something gray in the environment is to simply properly tell the camera what is gray, why not always bring an accurate gray card, and meter off of this before shooting? Is this what the pros always do?

Yes, if color balance is desired, the professional approach is to take a photo 'in the same light' as your subject, so that it serves as a postprocessing target for 'neutral color balance' when precise replication of color is desired...but it is not always necessary to achieve such precision. If you look at someone outside during sunset, although the color is NOT 'NEUTRAL', it can be very pleasing to your eye and brain, nonetheless!

kat.hayes wrote in post #18434258 (external link)
3. Does it make a difference if I use the gray card to meter off before I take photos, OR if I simply take a photo of the gray card at the photo shoot in the light being used, and use this in Lightroom to calibrate all of my photos?

Taking a reflected light reading BEFORE you take photos allows you to get an accurate exposure, rather than risk underexposing or overexposing which lose details in your photo.
As for White Balance, keep in mind that you do not always want accurate skintone...if you shot someone on stage in blue stage lighting, you want the face to be represented AS SEEN, and not as fleshy tones!

What Pippan suggests is an alternative technique to use, when light levels are constantly changing on stage performers and the 'details in the highlights' are to be preserved in the photos, and you cannot have a gray card visible in each shot at each light level!


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Getting a good exposure with Manual settings
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