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09-13-2009, 06:58 AM   #1
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using the histogram?

I see people say suggest to overexpose just a tad when setting up a shot, by looking at the histogram. My question is, is there a way when you are metering for a shot to see the histogram? Or do you have to take the shot, then check the histogram and then re meter if need be?

I'm always shooting a very active one year old for practice and by the time I would take a pic, then check histogram, she's off and running and in a dif. location that I have to re meter for.

09-13-2009, 04:43 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by BethC Quote
I see people say suggest to overexpose just a tad when setting up a shot, by looking at the histogram. My question is, is there a way when you are metering for a shot to see the histogram? Or do you have to take the shot, then check the histogram and then re meter if need be?
Beth,

On my K20D, I hit "review" to view the last picture, then I hit Info one or two times to show the histogram.

You can also set things in the Menu so that (a) you see a picture automatically after you take one and (b) the histogram is automatically displayed. You may have (a) setup already but if you don't have (b), go to Menu > Playback...

As for how to expose: You don't want to overexpose. I think you've misunderstood the "expose to the right" idea.

What you normally want to do is expose your shot so that the histogram is pushed as much toward the right side of the graph AS POSSIBLE. The words "as possible" are the tricky part here. You don't want to lose important highlights.

Now, at this point, I would suggest that you consider skipping the histogram and trying instead the feature in your camera that displays blown highlights and lost shadow detail by blinking these areas on review. I call this the "blinkies" feature. I find this a more useful quick way to assess a shot. You can't say that a histogram that bangs up against the right side of the graph represents a "bad" exposure. You need to know whether the blown highlights are important. That's what the blinkies will tell you. I don't actually have my camera set to show me a picture after I take it, but when I do review photos, I want to see the blinkies first. If the photo looks satisfactorily bright and I see just one tiny bit of highlight blinking - say, a bit of reflection off the fender of a car - then I feel I've probably nailed the exposure.


QuoteQuote:
I'm always shooting a very active one year old for practice and by the time I would take a pic, then check histogram, she's off and running and in a dif. location that I have to re meter for.
Right. That's why you can't review every shot. As I said, I don't usually review my shots at all, once I've established my exposure settings.

Shooting a child, I would recommend that you put the camera into a shooting mode that you're comfortable with, and then just shoot. Worry about focus and composition. If you shoot manual - and you're not shooting with flash - then of course you have to think about exposure too. But if you switch to Av mode, you can set the camera for an appropriate amount of depth of field (say, f/3.5) and look in the viewfinder to confirm that your ISO is set high enough to give you a reasonably fast shutter. I think you'd need a shutter no slower than 1/125th sec at a minimum, preferably faster.

Will
09-13-2009, 04:47 PM   #3
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Beth, once you get savvy with the camera and lens combo, you'll find you no longer need to review the histogram after every shot. Exposures will be as you expect them to be because you've checked your settings and married them up with the first few shots you checked...
09-13-2009, 06:17 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by BethC Quote
I see people say suggest to overexpose just a tad when setting up a shot, by looking at the histogram. My question is, is there a way when you are metering for a shot to see the histogram? Or do you have to take the shot, then check the histogram and then re meter if need be?
I'm sorry - I see that I misread your question. You want to know if you can see the histogram BEFORE you take the shot.

No.

:-)

Will

09-13-2009, 06:40 PM   #5
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Thanks guys for the responses.

Will....how would I set it up so I can see the "blinkies"? I'd look it up in my manual, but for some reason I doubt there is a section called the "blinkies feature"
09-13-2009, 07:06 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by BethC Quote
Thanks guys for the responses.

Will....how would I set it up so I can see the "blinkies"? I'd look it up in my manual, but for some reason I doubt there is a section called the "blinkies feature"
Menu > Playback > Bright/Dark area CHECKED (on)

At least that's how it is on my K20D.

*

Now, back to your original question (which I misunderstood at first).

I suggest that you set your camera to matrix metering. On the K10D and K20D (and probably on the K-7), the dial for this sits underneath the mode dial. Matrix metering will allow the camera's pretty impressive brain to weigh ALL the light from the scene and make a good guess about the right exposure.

If you find that your shots are a little underexposed, you could, if you're shooting in P, Av or Tv, move the EC to +1/3 or +1/2. That's not the best way to deal with this - not by a long shot. But it's the easiest one.

Will
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