How do you expose yourself?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by gmaker1, Nov 16, 2005.

  1. In looking through old threads, I have not found many which talk about how to expose for an image. I am wondering what you do when you are looking at an image you want to take. I try to use Ron Reznick's method: evalutaing the differnet hues to come up with the proper histograh. What are other techniques do you use for exposure?

    Thanks,
    Gil

    PS: And if you want to talk about other types expourse please do.:rolleyes: :smile:
     
  2. JeffKohn

    JeffKohn

    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Depends on the type of shooting and circumstances. If time isn't a factor I'll slow down, spot meter elements of the scene, and determine how I want to expose. In more dynamic situations where that's not an option, I tend to rely on the matrix meter and just keep an eye on the histogram.
     
  3. MontyDog

    MontyDog

    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
     
  4. JeffKohn

    JeffKohn

    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Yeah, me too. The thing I don't understand about this approach is, if the D2x uses "pre-conditioning" as part of the WB processing to improve the S/N ratio, wouldn't you lose that benefit by using the "flat" WB coefficients?

    As to exposing to the right; I do this sometimes when shadow detail is really important. But in general I don't use this techinique because I've found that getting the midtones back where they should be during raw conversion or post-processing is not always as easy as I would like. Using a "correct" exposure in the camera seems to give me better overall tonality. But maybe that's just a shortcoming in my conversion/processing technique.
     
  5. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    Whether correct or not, I've gotten into the habit of trying to expose about 1/6 to 1/3 stops under 'what I see' when I have a subject in good light that has significant white areas. I hate blown highlights. If I were better at channel mixing in PS, I'd probably get a little more aggressive in these instances. For dark subjects (with little of no light areas), I try to expose about 1/3 stop over (i.e., push to the right) to minimize noise.

    As to how I control exposure, I always shoot in M mode, and then adjust the shutter speed, aperture, and / or ISO settings as the lighting incidence on the subject changes. I use the histogram, but also set my metering for spot to get an idea of how close I am before making final tweaks.
     
  6. I do it the way I did it with film. I use spot metering most of the time and I will meter on something, knowing the camera will attempt to make it "neutral", I will add or subtract light (shutter or aperture as appropriate) to insure that the item is light or dark as I want it to be. If there is something neutral in the scene I am shooting that is in the same light as the main subject, I will simply take my meter reading on that.
     
  7. rsimms

    rsimms

    89
    Apr 30, 2005
    Redondo Beach, CA
    Good Topic.
    I shoot digital the same way I shot film. I try to find an area in the scene I "recognize" (e.g. grass, a neutral tone, etc.) and base my exposure on that. I've found that the Matrix meter in my D2x is usually within 1/2 to 1/3 a stop of what I'm looking for, it has actually made me a bit lazy as I find myself trusting the matrix more and more.
     
  8. zone system...

    I find the spot in the image I want to come out 18% gray, then I meter for it. I make some decisions about post processing and may over or under expose accordingly. Most of my shooting allows enough time for planning so this works just fine for me.

    Dave
     
  9. Same as film. Spot meter and use the knowledge gained over 45 years to know where to out the spot and how to evalutate the highlghts and the shadows. In other woeds a GUT REACTION/FEELING.

    As regarding exposing myself then I can safely say, 'Not much in this weather!!!'

    Bob F.
     
  10. cwilt

    cwilt

    Apr 24, 2005
    Denver, CO
    It depends on subject and lighting. Most of my stuff is portraits so I use spot meter most of the time. I will also use spot for certain landscapes if the light conditions warant it. Its not often that I trust matrix metering as it has let me down in the past.
     
  11. Iliah

    Iliah

    Jan 29, 2005
    nowhere
    Let's start with a simple question. Suppose you expose the same scene setting same ISO, aperture, and shutter speed - but varying WB manually. Is it correct that you will see different histograms?
     
  12. JeffKohn

    JeffKohn

    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    OK I can see this benefit for setting the exposure. But then once you've determined the actual exposure would you not want to use a more accurate WB setting for the final shot to take advantage of WB preconditioning?

    Let's say you're shooting under a warm light source, and using the 1.0 WB coefficients you determine the best exposure and that has the red histogram in the right half but not quite clipping, and the blue histogram in the bottom half. If you shoot like this and then correct the WB at the time of raw conversion, the blue channel is going to be getting a boost which will increase noise in that channel. But if I understand the way WB works in the D2x, setting a more accurate WB in-camera will cause the blue channel to get amplified in the analog stage, which should help some with the noise.
     
  13. JeffKohn

    JeffKohn

    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Of course.
     
  14. Iliah

    Iliah

    Jan 29, 2005
    nowhere
    That is the case for latest Nikon scanners.
     
  15. I never really understoon all this. I expose right in camera or bracket a couple. Underexposing a shot heavily for not blowing a red channel is beyond me.
     
  16. I use matrix metering and shoot in M mode using the correct wb give me some nice pictures. I have in the past use auto wb but recently the picture taken of my son was done in auto wb when it should have been set in shade. I think that it would have given me a much better picture if I had sent the correct wb.

    I don't rely on histograms at all. I don't feel they are 100 percent accurate.
     
  17. JeffKohn

    JeffKohn

    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Not sure how scanners entered into the dicussion. :) Are you saying it's not the case for the D2x? If so I must have misunderstood some of your previous posts here or on the RML list.
     
  18. That's a simplistic explanation of the zone system...that's how I learned to take pictures (I still have a spotmeter-V with a zone card stuck to the dial). I still use that idea "mentally" although I haven't researched what zone spread (dynamic range) my Nikon will actually give me, but it's ballpark for me.
     
  19. Iliah

    Iliah

    Jan 29, 2005
    nowhere
    As an example that the method actually has its place.

    Currently not as far as I can see. Nikon seems to be undecided how to use the mechanism they put into the D2X hardware. You can see "pure" per channel histograms in CurveSurgeryPro v.2

    [​IMG]
     
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