Question about Exposure Compensation

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Hi, I have a question in Exposure Compensation that I can't remember. First it does not work in Manual Mode if I'm correct or I didn't notice a difference???

I used to know this but can't remember either, don't you use a minus # to expose for a wedding dress, just an example?
 
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First question. Yes and no. The camera still meters which you can see in the lower center part of the display. So if you put in an exposure compensation the meter will read different than if it had no compensation. Exposure compensation does not change any settings at all though because you are doing everything manually.

Second. You can minus to keep all the details in a scene, under the principle that it is easier to recover shadows than it is to recover highlights. The wedding dress is notorious for extreme details in white. The details can accidentally be blown out because true white really isn't a color but is reflecting all lightwaves back to the camera. A bright sky is another example. Meter for the sky or try and make a compromise between the sky and ground.
 
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First question. Yes and no. The camera still meters which you can see in the lower center part of the display. So if you put in an exposure compensation the meter will read different than if it had no compensation. Exposure compensation does not change any settings at all though because you are doing everything manually.

Second. You can minus to keep all the details in a scene, under the principle that it is easier to recover shadows than it is to recover highlights. The wedding dress is notorious for extreme details in white. The details can accidentally be blown out because true white really isn't a color but is reflecting all lightwaves back to the camera. A bright sky is another example. Meter for the sky or try and make a compromise between the sky and ground.
If I understand your second comment correctly, I am not in agreement. When taking a shot of a bride in a white wedding gown, she will usually be a major part of the scene and the camera's meter will be metering off of that white dress. The camera will want to make that dress gray, and, therefore, you need to increase the exposure to keep the dress white. The amount of exposure adjustment, of course, varies with different situations, but a bride in a white wedding dress is likely to need 2/3 or even full stop of exposure increase. If the composition has the bride as a small part of a larger scene (and you meter for the entire scene), then the chance of blowing out the highlights in the bride's dress becomes more of an issue. But, generally, when relying on a camera's meter, you want to add (+) exposure compensation for a light subject and decrease (-) exposure for for a dark subject.
 
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If I understand your second comment correctly, I am not in agreement. When taking a shot of a bride in a white wedding gown, she will usually be a major part of the scene and the camera's meter will be metering off of that white dress. The camera will want to make that dress gray, and, therefore, you need to increase the exposure to keep the dress white. The amount of exposure adjustment, of course, varies with different situations, but a bride in a white wedding dress is likely to need 2/3 or even full stop of exposure increase. If the composition has the bride as a small part of a larger scene (and you meter for the entire scene), then the chance of blowing out the highlights in the bride's dress becomes more of an issue. But, generally, when relying on a camera's meter, you want to add (+) exposure compensation for a light subject and decrease (-) exposure for for a dark subject.
Why would you do that? In a wedding dress shot it's imperative to expose to get all the detail in the wedding dress. Because that will be the highlight (generally) of the scene. If you increase the exposure you will run the risk of blowing out the details on the dress. You can fix gray and WB and underexposure in post processing. You can't fix blown out details. However where the wedding dress takes center stage in a photograph, I don't use exposure compensation at all. I rely more on spot metering. Matrix metering can make the dress come too underexposed because the 3d matrix is looking at the entire scene and trying to squeeze everything into it's visible color gamut. It ends up having all this great detail in the dress but the colors get, as you say gray, and flat.
 
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Cliff is correct. Andy you ask why he would do that and then go on to explain why he would do that :smile:

Quote "Matrix metering can make the dress come too underexposed "
 
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During outdoor wedding photos, I under expose the scene by 1/3 to 2/3 of a stop using Matrix metering and fill flash TTL BL. This gives the background a better look and highlights the bride.

To answer your question Deb, Exposure Comp (EC). in manual mode moves the meter in the viewfinder. Let's say you have EC set to -.03, when the meter is at 0 in the viewfinder, it actually under exposed -0.3
I don't use it in manual mode, I simply under expose using the meter in the viewfinder.

During a wedding I use spot metering 90% of the time. My only use of Matrix metering is for outdoor fill flash.
 
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I agree that without flash and in Aperture Priority, +0.3 or +0.6 Exposure Comp is best when the dress is a large part of the scene.
 
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Why not just learn to use the histogram? It's a marvelous tool which solves all exposure problems, not just wedding dresses. :smile:
That is the practical answer. From a basic photographic technique standpoint, you increase exposure when metering a light subject and decrease exposure when metering a dark subject. Getting to the modern day practical, Pa has the correct response. With whatever metering mode or technique being used, check the histogram and then, if necessary, adjust exposure and reshoot. Of course, this only works for static subjects. We probably should leave the STTR technique out of this conversation.
 
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Why would you do that? In a wedding dress shot it's imperative to expose to get all the detail in the wedding dress. Because that will be the highlight (generally) of the scene. If you increase the exposure you will run the risk of blowing out the details on the dress. You can fix gray and WB and underexposure in post processing. You can't fix blown out details. However where the wedding dress takes center stage in a photograph, I don't use exposure compensation at all. I rely more on spot metering. Matrix metering can make the dress come too underexposed because the 3d matrix is looking at the entire scene and trying to squeeze everything into it's visible color gamut. It ends up having all this great detail in the dress but the colors get, as you say gray, and flat.
I would do that because I find it much preferable to get the exposure right in the first place than to rely on "fixing" it in post processing. You may be lucky enough to have a camera that works well this way; but, my D300 is extremely unforgiving of underexposure.
 
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I would do that because I find it much preferable to get the exposure right in the first place than to rely on "fixing" it in post processing. You may be lucky enough to have a camera that works well this way; but, my D300 is extremely unforgiving of underexposure.
Interesting - I always found my D300 to be quite forgiving of underexposed images, and, as I routinely image theatrical productions with rapidly changing lighting, I have shot many underexposed images! Not as forgiving as my D800 mind you, but very respectable.

I suppose "forgiving" is a subjective term and relative to our individual experiences...
 
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I would do that because I find it much preferable to get the exposure right in the first place than to rely on "fixing" it in post processing. You may be lucky enough to have a camera that works well this way; but, my D300 is extremely unforgiving of underexposure.
Um, your comments a bit crude when I asked a question seeking information.

When you shoot RAW, as you should if your being paid anything but a pittance at a wedding, everything needs "fixing" in post processing. And your D300 may be unforgiving of underexposure but your D300 is useless when you clip highlights.

I understand you are trying to get the exposure correct, but a member asked a question and you're giving her advice that will sure fire blow out dress detail on a regular basis. It's always a balancing act between keeping detail in a wedding gown and keeping the proper exposure across the entire frame.

Like I already said spot metering is the way to go when you need fine details of the dress.
 
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Um, your comments a bit crude when I asked a question seeking information.

When you shoot RAW, as you should if your being paid anything but a pittance at a wedding, everything needs "fixing" in post processing. And your D300 may be unforgiving of underexposure but your D300 is useless when you clip highlights.

I understand you are trying to get the exposure correct, but a member asked a question and you're giving her advice that will sure fire blow out dress detail on a regular basis. It's always a balancing act between keeping detail in a wedding gown and keeping the proper exposure across the entire frame.

Like I already said spot metering is the way to go when you need fine details of the dress.
Andy:

I had no intention of being crude. I think that you are reading intentions into my post that were not there. I was merely stating a that I use a manner of shooting that differs from your own.

I am not sure how giving someone advice as to a means of obtaining a proper exposure would lead to blown highlights. A correct exposure does not contain blown highlights. As a matter of fact, in most of my photography, I take a "get the highlights correct and the shadows be damned" attitude.

I agree with you about spot metering for the highlights. It is because of spot metering that I shoot Nikon digital. After decades of having used Canon film cameras, I purchased a D70, my first digital slr, mainly because the equivalent Canon did not have spot metering. Though I commonly spot meter for the highlights, I still do not want to under-expose those highlights. I use that metering information to adjust to what I believe to be the correct exposure. It may be that your post-processing skills are superior to mine, but I find that I obtain better results when I don't have to increase exposure, brightness or open up shadows in post.

Have a good night, Andy.
 
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First question. Yes and no. The camera still meters which you can see in the lower center part of the display. So if you put in an exposure compensation the meter will read different than if it had no compensation. Exposure compensation does not change any settings at all though because you are doing everything manually.*
*except if Auto ISO is on. In that case, exposure comp will change the exposure by changing ISO.


Nikon really needs to add another mode to their cameras. It should be P, A, S, M-AutoISO, and M. M should be fully manual as you'd expect, and M-AutoISO would let you select aperture and speed but give the camera control over the exposure via AutoISO.

You can of course get the same functionality today by turning AutoISO on and off through the menus, but I'd like to see it as a completely separate exposure mode, because it is. At least give us an external, easily visible switch for AutoISO.
 
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Hi, I have a question in Exposure Compensation that I can't remember. First it does not work in Manual Mode if I'm correct or I didn't notice a difference???

I used to know this but can't remember either, don't you use a minus # to expose for a wedding dress, just an example?
Basically using exposure compensation in manual mode doesn't change any of your settings but if you watch the meter you will notice that if the meter was in the centre [on "0"] and you added "+1" exposure compensation without making any other changes the meter would suddenly move across to show you that "you are 1 stop underexposed at the present settings if you want the image to be 1 stop brighter"

Why not just learn to use the histogram? It's a marvelous tool which solves all exposure problems, not just wedding dresses. :smile:
I totally agree with this since there are many variables with metering and lighting conditions. :smile:
Weddings are one place where spending money on gear is worth the investment. The time saved in post is a huge advantage.
I also agree very much with this. When you read books by someone like Joe McNally you get the sense that he has never really had to deal with the jumpy metering systems of budget cameras, one compensation setting seems to do it for him.
I also had someone doing the same tests I did with TTL vs TTL-BL flash and matrix metering and he reported that his D3 gave almost exactly the same exposure with both modes while the D90 and D300 results varied considerably.

Nikon really needs to add another mode to their cameras. It should be P, A, S, M-AutoISO, and M. M should be fully manual as you'd expect, and M-AutoISO would let you select aperture and speed but give the camera control over the exposure via AutoISO.
I mentioned this a while ago too, "manual" should be just that for iso as well. It would be good if they could introduce a "MA" button for "manual plus auto iso", as you suggest :smile:

Now on the topic of Matrix metering and exposure compensation, I have done some studies on the subject :smile: Nobody can make a blanket statement that "matrix metering at +/-x compensation will do the job" because the perfectly consistent matrix metering program has not yet been invented.[and never will be]
Matrix metering is a computer program that varies between models much like the difference between windows XP [Reasonably stable like a D90] and Vista[As awkward and annoying as a D80]. The response of Matrix metering also changes in exactly the same scene depending on where the active focus point is by up to two stops
Since the D90 that 'cap' seems to be set at two stops maximum while the D80 didn't seem to have a limit, if there was something dark in the scene it would blow the highlights. The D70 seemed to favor keeping detail in highlights to the extent of severe under-exposure.
What about shooting in snow? My D90 will actually totally blow the highlights if it 'sees' a black rock in the picture.
As mentioned the more expensive cameras [which are mini-computers] seem to give more stable results with a greater freedom to set one compensation value and get reasonably consistent results- those of us on a budget have to battle a bit more, though since the D90 I would say things have improved greatly.

What I'm basically trying to get across is the fact that we should simply learn what correct exposure looks like [via the histogram as mentioned] and understand how our camera reacts to various situations, because there is no one 'magic' setting that covers all variables, and advice given about matrix metering settings that work in a given situation only apply to that one camera model [and scene].
There are far too many variables to quote one compensation setting for all shooting situations.
 
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*except if Auto ISO is on. In that case, exposure comp will change the exposure by changing ISO.


Nikon really needs to add another mode to their cameras. It should be P, A, S, M-AutoISO, and M.
A very good point. Because of this I have U1 on my D7000 set to aperture priority with Auto ISO (how I most often shoot), U2 set to manual without Auto ISO and M (and therefore the rest) set with Auto ISO.
 
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Maestrodawg1, I don't understand your arguments with the advice by CliffB, which is supported by others like Electromen and Mark101.
... However where the wedding dress takes center stage in a photograph, I don't use exposure compensation at all. I rely more on spot metering.
I presume that you are referring to the exposure compensation function (button) and not general exposure compensation in regards to the in-camera meter reading. Because if you spot meter using the dress as the target, then shoot the scene at the setting recommended by the meter, and "don't use exposure compensation at all", you would clearly be underexposed by a significant amount (usually 1+ stops, depending on how white and reflective the dress is and how direct is the light on the dress). In order to capture the dress and other aspects of the scene correctly, using spot metering, you will need to manually increase the exposure (+) settings over what the meter says. While I would agree that you are not using "exposure compensation" via the camera function, you will have to compensate for the meter reading given when using spot metering of a white target and you do not make that clear in your posts. Spot metering expects the subject to be a middle grey tone. It is calibrated for that. Using a white target with spot metering requires exposure compensation of some sort, or else serious underexposure of all subjects will result. Just as CliffB suggested.

Don't take my word for it, as the brilliant wedding photographer, Neil van Niekerk states:
"What many new photographers have trouble coming to grips with, is the concept of :
1. adding exposure compensation when the scene / subject is light in tone,
2. and decreasing exposure compensation when the scene in front of the lens is darker in tone.

The reason for doing so, is that your camera’s meter tries to expose for everything as a middle grey tone."


Here are excerpts from Neil's very well explained web page on metering for wedding dresses. here
"It is no use looking at the histogram to determine exposure if there are bright patches of sky or highly reflective surfaces .. for this will skew the histogram display in making it appear like we are over-exposing, when it fact, we might very well have correct exposure."
...
"There is another way to approach this, and that is to spot-meter off only the relevant white area, and place it around 1.3 stops over the zero mark on your camera’s meter display." Note that the value he is using is not the spot metered zero value, but a positively compensated value +1.3 stops above the metered value.

Neil also states:
"In my experience, I get an optimally exposed image, if I have the edge of the histogram just barely not touching the corner of the histogram display … for the brightest relevant tone. (... It’s an important distinction.)" neilvn.com/tangents/using-the-histogram-to-determine-exposure

The important distinction mentioned at the above web page and in some of his other pages on weddings and portraits refers to the fact that he may at times let highlights blow out, if they are significantly brighter than the relevent tones of the critical subject. This is important to remember, because a shot of a bride outside with a bright sun or highly reflective object at her back may require overexposure of the background objects to obtain the best exposure for the critcal subjects, (bride and dress). In other words, don't expose for highlights or shadows, get as perfect an exposure as possible for your critical subject and let the highlights/shadows fall where they may.

I strongly encourage all who are interested in optimal exposure techniques in general, for weddings, and creative flash exposure, to read the many excellent tutorial pages at Neil van Niekerk's site. Scroll way down on the right, and you will find a list of exposure and flash tutorials. http://neilvn.com/tangents/

As already mentioned, use of the exposure compensation function with Manual exposure and Auto-ISO enabled, the exposure compensation button value has an effect on the meter reading and on the Auto-ISO value used in the exposure. Thus, EC does affect exposure with manual metering, if Auto-ISO is enabled. This is important to me, as I use Auto-ISO with bounce flash for my event shooting and many other projects. It is significantly easier to use bounce flash and get proper exposure when Auto-ISO is enabled. For an event, I will fire off a couple of test shots using bounce flash at the scene and then use EC to fine tune, based on the ambient and subjects. Once set, I can spend the rest of my time composing and shooting, not doing mental math.

I seldom disagree with Desmond, but I do disagree that an M-Auto-ISO mode is needed. Either turn ON or OFF Auto-ISO. Put it in your Recent Setting Menu. Otherwise, I also suggest that those who are interested in learing a lot about flash exposure and iTTL versus iTTL-BL see Desmond's web blog and examples of this at: http://desmond-downs.blogspot.com/2010/07/flash-direct-flash-ttl-bl-vs-ttl.html
See also his in-depth explanation of what iTTL=BL does at: http://desmond-downs.blogspot.com/2010/07/flash-nikons-new-ttl-bl.html
 
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I seldom disagree with Desmond, but I do disagree that an M-Auto-ISO mode is needed. Either turn ON or OFF Auto-ISO. Put it in your Recent Setting Menu.
I said 'it would be good' [for my style of shooting], not necessarily 'needed' :smile:
My camera's don't have a 'recent setting' menu so it would certainly be convenient to be able to flip over to a setting that instantly turns off auto-iso.
 
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