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07-15-2016, 04:00 PM   #1
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Auto bracketing exposure coming out too dark?

I just received my K50 a few days ago and I've been playing around with the auto bracketing feature. I went outside in the evening, set up auto bracketing for -1,0, and +1 and started shooting the sky with some trees at the bottom of the frame.
When I looked back at my shots, the trees at 0 EV would be very under exposed, at -1 even more so (which I understand is the point) and at +1 it looked okay.
How do I set up the camera to take three proper exposures when there are dark trees and a very light sky? I tried spot metering and pointing at the trees but that didn't seem to work very well. Is there a way to hold the spot metering to one point whole I recompose the shot? Will spot metering change the exposure between shots if I auto bracket?

07-15-2016, 04:25 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by polishdude20 Quote
How do I set up the camera to take three proper exposures when there are dark trees and a very light sky?
Welcome to the Pentax Forums!!

Auto-bracketing as you set it up will provide three photos, the meter indicated exposure and two more with the first being one stop under and the last being one stop over exposed. Your results reflect your settings. I think you might be interested in the auto-HDR function where the camera will merge a bracketed series to retain both highlight and shadow detail (user manual page 151).

As for spot metering with recompose...the AE Lock button is your friend. Another option might be M mode.


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07-15-2016, 04:36 PM   #3
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You have 3 metering modes - Spot, Center weighted and multi-segment.
  • Spot - meters only for that one spot in the center and does not consider the rest of the frame
  • Center Weighted - meters across the entire frame with most of the weight on the center point
  • Multi-Segment - considers the entire frame equally
It sounds like you would want to consider more of the frame than just the center point, so you could change to either center weighted or multi-segment.

You can also use the exposure compensation and dial in a +1 bias, so rather than shooting -1, 0 ,+1, you would be shooting 0, +1, +2

07-15-2016, 06:56 PM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by polishdude20 Quote
How do I set up the camera to take three proper exposures when there are dark trees and a very light sky?
The point of bracketing is to take multiple exposures hoping one of them is 'proper'. SO in your case this worked as designed, you got one good exposure.

Now if you want to combine those exposures later into an HDR image in software then you would want one exposure 'proper' for the sky, one for the dark trees and one for the middle tones. Bracketing will do this, but generally you should be on a tripod for this to work correctly. You should meter, perhaps take a test shot and adjust so your 'zero' exposure is correct for the mid tones. Then turn on bracketing and take your shots.

If your brackets are shifted too dark as you describe, then use the exposure compensation button to add 1 stop positive compensation. That will move your -1 to 0 and your 0 to +1 and your +1 to +2.

Now why you are getting 1 stop too dark is more of a metering question and I think that has been answered above.

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