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Old 09-20-2009, 08:04 AM   #1
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Learn how to nail your exposures

I found these great tutorials on using your digital cameras histogram to help get more "keepers". The members here at WG turn in many great photos. I usually take 50 or more to get a few "great" keepers. I'm hoping this will help me get more.

While John Mireless presentation uses wedding photos in his examples, the principles are similar for all photography.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

While John doesn't go into detail, what I've gathered is the following:

If your histogram is bunched up to the left, it's usually underexposed. You can correct by opening your apeture (maybe from F5.6 to F2.0), lengthing your exposure (say from 1/60 to 1/30) or increasing your ISO, maybe from 100 to 200. Each situation may call for a different action, as you may not be able to change your exposure (object moving to fast) or change your apeture (different from desired DOF or depth of field) so changing your ISO might be the easiest fix.

If your histogram is bunched up to the right and clipped, it's usually overexposed. You'll need to close your apeture a bit (Maybe from F5.6 to F8.0), or reduce your exposure (say from 1/60 to 1/120 for example) or change your ISO, for example from ISO 800 to 400. Again, the situation will determine which variable(s) you'll want to change.

Sadly, there will always be exceptions, like moon shots, etc. So the general guidelines should be applied with good judgement.

I'm sure they are members (like Dave Stiles!) that already know this, but perhaps this will benefit some of our other members.

Take care!

Quietman
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Old 09-20-2009, 03:29 PM   #2
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Thanks, Quiet! Exposure is the issue very often!
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Old 09-20-2009, 11:26 PM   #3
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Nice YouTubes. The guy has some great black and white photography on the walls. I need time to watch all three of these again. Already I have a better understanding of bar graphs and how they relate to tone. I need to figure out how to display that bar graph on my LCD display so when I watch these a second time I can try a few things. These YouTubes are a good find.
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:38 AM   #4
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In many programs you will see the bars in the menu command "Levels."
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Old 09-22-2009, 12:43 AM   #5
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Crap!!! I didn't mean to open this thread. I wanted to save it so I could find it to watch the videos again. Xena... hold that thought. I have to watch the videos again. Some of the information is sinking in but not all of it.
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Old 09-22-2009, 09:42 AM   #6
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Equilibrium, if you tell me what program you use, I can probably help you find where to do the adjustments. I work with photography as part of my job.
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:02 AM   #7
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I was thinking more along the lines of using the histogram on your camera seconds after the shot, adjusting if necessary before subsequent shots.

I don't have anything against post processing, it can make a good photo look great and a great photo look spectacular. But it can't do much to cover lost highlights (over exposed) or shadow detail (underexposed).

Take care!

Quiet
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:16 PM   #8
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Xena> I use Microsoft's Paint. I don't know how to do more than basics with that. Psst... I was given a velbon tripod. Quietman> I have the manual for my camera. It's thick and small print. I didn't find where the histogram was in it... I'm working on it.
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Old 09-23-2009, 09:33 AM   #9
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Excellent on the tripod. I'm sure it will work great for you. (If it doesn't ... keep that Bogen in mind )

I don't think there is any way to adjust Levels (or brightness/contrast) in Paint.

There is a free program called Gimp that you can try. It will enable a much broader range of editing (correction/enhancement).

GIMP - Downloads
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Old 10-05-2009, 11:43 PM   #10
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You are going to flip but I was given another tripod for free. This one is a Kenlock. It seems nicer than the Just in time for my camera to crap out on me. Time to buy a new camera. I'll download that Gimp to play with. Thanks for adding that.

adding. quick question for you. If I have a photo that is tilted would that gimp be able to level it for me? Sometimes I have to take photos from strange angles and I'd like to be able to level them out somehow. Does this make sense to you?
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