Exposure Compensation

Discussion in 'Photography' started by PandaBear, Dec 14, 2003.

  1. PandaBear

    PandaBear Guest

    Hello. My camera's manual says to use the exposure compensator when
    there are very bright or very dark objects in the frame. I've also
    read that you should use a grey card. Which method is best? Or do they
    achieve the same results?
    PandaBear, Dec 14, 2003
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  2. Yes, they're both best. The grey card isn't the be all and end all of
    exposure determination, either - at least, I don't think so. Scenes with
    extremes of contrast in one image will sometimes have to lean a little more
    one way than the other, for example, and the let the opposite extreme
    blacken or whiten. The grey card won't tell you that. Extremely dark scenes
    might have to be brought up a bit from a grey card reading, to get usable
    content, and vice versa. Using the grey card properly takes a little
    knowledge - the same light has to fall on it as on your subject. I don't
    think the standardization of grey cards is all that great, at least not the
    inexpensive ones that I've seen.

    You can use one method to check that you're "close" with the other.

    And still bracket.

    Do I take it that you're not thinking of a specific composition when you ask

    And, slide, print or digital? They'll be handled a bit differently.


    Charles T. Low
    - remove "UN"
    www.boatdocking.com/Photos/ - gallery
    www.ctlow.ca/Photo/ - essay

    Charles T. Low, Dec 14, 2003
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  3. PandaBear

    lohort Guest

    A grey card will give you the middle of the road exposure. It would
    probably be the best for most photos. If you are shooting long
    exposures (ie. 1 second or more) then you will still want to use
    exposure compensation. If shooting with B&W film, a good rule of thumb
    is to expose for the shadows and develop for the lights. In other
    words, overexpose to bring out the details in the shadows, and
    underdevelop so the light areas are not "blownout", to just be a white
    area void of detail.
    lohort, Dec 15, 2003
  4. PandaBear

    Slingblade Guest

    Your best bet is to take a metered reading off your subject, be it via
    the camera's own internal meter or a hand held meter.

    Many cameras offer spot metering...which allows you simply point the
    center of your frame at your main subject, then meter...you can then
    frame the photo however it pleases you best. With some cameras you
    can walk up to a subject (say a person for instance)...take a reading
    off them and press a metering select button, then back away and shoot
    your photo with the same metered reading off the subject rather than
    the entire scene.

    Same thing holds true, say you want the sun IN the picture of a scene
    with something else. You'd need to meter off the "something else"
    without getting a reading off the sun, then include the sun in the
    image...otherwise, it'll turn out way too dark.

    Other times, like when you're shooting dark scenes...such as Xmas
    trees, you're not going to get much more than the lights in the photo
    unless you make a proper exposure off the "tree" itself, or atleast
    use a flash or some fill-in lighting to help bring out the details of
    the tree.
    Slingblade, Dec 17, 2003
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