Exposure Compensation on Nikon D50

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by jrblack10, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. jrblack10

    jrblack10 Guest

    I recently had the opportunity to be front row at a concert and
    thought what a great opportunity photograph something new in differing
    light situations. I started by shooting with the flash on, but it
    looked like I was getting some sort of haze (flash lighting up the
    smoke and haze in the air). Also noticed two crew photographers
    shooting with out a flash. So I began experimenting and found the
    wonderful benefits of the Exposure Compensation button +/- button by
    the shutter release. So I set the ISO to 200 and the shutter speed
    priority at 80/sec overexposed from 2 to 4 or so depending on the
    picture and I was quite surprised and pleased with the results.

    My question... what exactly is the over exposure button doing? It is
    not adjusting the shutter speed. Does it over-ride the ISO? Or does
    it do something else to make it more sensitive to light?

    You can view some of the pictures here via FLASH gallery exported from
    LightRoom. There are a few that I adjusted by adding black to darken
    them to make the subject stand out more and limit the haze lit up by
    the lights.

    jrblack10, Feb 26, 2008
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  2. jrblack10

    jrblack10 Guest

    So, does that mean I am not limited to aperture settings or values of
    the lens? If the lowest aperture on my lens is 4.5, the exposure
    compensation setting of 2 will make the camera act as if my lens is
    actually has a low value of 3.5?
    jrblack10, Feb 26, 2008
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  3. jrblack10

    jrblack10 Guest

    Silly me... in LightRoom, In the Metadata it shows the settings of the
    camera for every picture. It adjusted both the aperture and ISO
    depending on the available light. Thanks for the help though.

    I did see some interesting F stops and ISOs... f/4.2 with ISO 1100,
    but I could not manually set that value with my lense nor could I
    choose an ISO of 1100 from my menu.
    jrblack10, Feb 26, 2008
  4. jrblack10

    Dudley Hanks Guest

    This is one of those technical questions where the answer often depends on
    what make / model of camera you are using.

    In its simplist form, the answer to the question is in the question itself.
    The "over-exposure setting" merely causes the camera to over-ride meter
    evaluation and set the shutter / aperture / ISO trilogy of settings so that
    the film plane / sensor will receive more light than is theoretically
    necessary for proper exposure.

    From my experience, it seems that most cameras use a progressive approach to
    this issue.

    First, if possible, the aperture is opened the required amount.

    If the aperture is at full diameter, then the shutter speed is slowed down.
    Finally, in some cases, but by no means all cases, if the shutter speed
    reduction will result in too slow a shutter speed for the mode chosen, the
    ISO speed is bumped up.

    In some cameras, or in some modes, the first two steps may be reversed.

    Obviously, in a simple answer one cannot possibly address all the factors,
    nor anticipate all means programmers and hardware designers employ. But, I
    think that's the basics in a nutshell.

    By the way, the next time you try shooting a concert, try setting your meter
    to center weighted and / or spot metering and the exposure compensation to
    slightly under-expose.

    These two metering modes work well in concert situations, since you are
    often shooting subjects that are spot lit, and which are much brighter than
    the background. Thus, as you noted, the evaluative metering method tends to
    under-expose the overall picture. By going to center-weighted or spot, the
    meter gets to focus on the part of the image you actually want captured most

    Special effect filters can also be a lot of fun at a concert. Those cheesey
    filters that can "stack" several copies of the same image side-by-side can
    result in some really neat images if you are shootting a rock concert and
    you get the lead singer or guitarist framed properly.

    Also, slowing down the shutter can result in some really good implied motion
    shots by blurring things like the neck of a guitar, drummers sticks, hand /
    fingers moving over strings / keys while the rest of the body remains
    relatively motionless.

    Have fun, and good luck,
    Dudley Hanks, Feb 26, 2008
  5. jrblack10

    Dudley Hanks Guest

    No, your camera is physically limited to the maximum and minimum
    specifications you can find listed in your manual.

    If you are shooting in shutter priority and your meter decides that normal
    exposure results in your cameras widest aperture, then the only way to
    over-expose would be to bump up the ISO speed, which it might do.

    In some cases, the camera may run out of options, and no over-exposure will
    be possible, so your camera will just do its best by setting evrything wide
    Dudley Hanks, Feb 26, 2008
  6. jrblack10

    jrblack10 Guest

    Thank you all for your input.

    "By going to center-weighted or spot, the meter gets to focus on the
    part of the image you actually want captured most faithfully. "
    Thanks for the reminder on that one. I had planed on trying such
    thing, but for got about it. Also, I was quite pleased with what
    little I would see in the LCD display after the shot, that I forgot
    about the other light metering. Not sure when I will get the
    opportunity to be front row at a concert like that again, but it was
    fun and I learned a lot.
    jrblack10, Feb 26, 2008
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