Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
01-03-2012, 05:38 PM   #31
Veteran Member
Anvh's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 4,616
QuoteOriginally posted by Markbrumbaugh Quote
Dudes...I am just trying to get a picture of a white duck. I did not ask if he was 12 or 18 percent grey.
Just looking for practical experience.
Very interesting stuff here on this thread, but it has gone off to the milky way.
I believe it's already explained and how to deal with it.

But here goes.

- why is the duck blown out.
Well here comes the 12.3% that we were discussing.
Light meter are pretty dumb, the don't know what is black or white, they simply average everything out to a value the standard says 12.3% reflective grey.
That means if you photograph white snow it turns grey for example because the meter doesn't know any better, so you need to over expose to compensate in that case.
Alright next step. You had set the metering to center average, that means it looks the most at the centre, so what is there will influence the meter the most and the further away you get from the centre the less important the meter finds.
You're lucky you have a white duck in the center or else it would blownout the highlights even more.
The meter would also have seen the duck with the blown highlights but since that's only a small part of the whole frame and you've quite a darker background where it also looks at it simply average things without thinking further.

- Tips to prevent burned out highlights are already given by others.

- If you question about meter modes.
Spot metering would have make little difference unless you metered the blown out duck, if you for example meter the darker background the duck in the middle would also have been blown out.
So don't use spot metering with any auto mode!
Spot metering is useful if you use M-mode and use the green button to take a "one-time" metering.

For automode either chose Matrix-metering or if you want more insight and predictability use centre weighted.


QuoteQuote:
My personal preference is to use "Spot Metering" with "A/E Lock" - you can give that a shot also but it can get a bit tricky...
That works also, forgot about that one.

01-03-2012, 06:05 PM   #32
Forum Member




Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 77
Original Poster
I think I'll just go back to Catholic Answers forum to precipitate more debates. Whoops, can't, been banned there.
The discussion was helpful. Thanks to all that answered. Good theoretical and practical advise. I really feel sorry for folks that didn't grow up on a manual film B&W, Developing their own negatives.
It must really be impossible for them to take something a little different like a white duck in sunlight with AE and AF and all those knobs. Manual is simpler.
01-03-2012, 06:19 PM   #33
Veteran Member
westmill's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Stoke on Trent
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,146
QuoteOriginally posted by Anvh Quote
It's still about light metering though.
You did got your answer i hope. =]


The question mark is there because i didn't understand what you mean and so i asked you, that's what question marks are for right?

You can believe what you want but the standard is 12.3%, i'm very sorry but you nor i can change that, you've to live with.
The good news is it's like this already for years so just keep doing what you always do.

Nothing to do with the duck but everything to do with lightmetering though and i believe we were blaming the lightmetering right so we aren't that far off from track
Wrong !!!!! its 18% ! Cant say as Im sorry you or I cant change that though. ? just getting weird now lol
I keep telling you... I dont care... i never asked.... I have no intrest in your opinion.... this is not my thread.... Im sick of talking about it.
What do i need to say to you lol
01-04-2012, 07:22 AM   #34
Veteran Member




Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Chicago Area
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 366
Back to the duck...

You could have switched to spot meter, measured duck, do AE-L or do manual, and added 1.5 exposure compensation to compensate for white vs grey 18 or 12%). In the mean time the duck would probably have gone off to greener pastures ;-)

Seriously - on my recent canoe trip where I ended up with a similar issue on a lot of my shot, there is NO way I could spot meter and compensate, getting the perfect exposure quickly enough. Canoe was floating, birds flying off etc, plus I would miss that perfect composition while floating pass...

During this particular shoot, I realized about half way through that I was blowing some highlights and started to just underexpore a stop or so when shooting white/light birds - that takes a just a second or two.

In hindsight I would do the same - use central metring (not comfortable with matrix metring), and do manual +/- as guesstimated. More importantly I need to check for blow outs more frequently, and compensate accordingly. Also I would probably use my exposure bracketing a little more judicously (I have it assigned to the fx button on my K-5).

In terms of using Manual - I think I ONLY use it for some tripod shots or panoramas. I much prefer selecting an appropriate program line, and using HYPER overrides to get my apperture OR my shutter speed where I want it. I frequently use exposure compensation and or AE-L (set to 30 secs). This IMO provides me as much control as pure manual when I have time, but when needed to react quickly, will give me a reasonable setting 90% of the time, while allowing me focus more on capturing the shot and doing composition.

01-04-2012, 09:31 AM   #35
Forum Member




Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 77
Original Poster
Thanks DK
01-04-2012, 02:19 PM   #36
Veteran Member




Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Chicago Area
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 366
For whatever it is worth (not much, but its free ):

I find that I consistently screw up something when taking a picture.

If you think about it, you need to get the exposure right, right aperture/shutter speed for the situation, focus correctly, frame correctly, compose correctly, make sure there are not weird things coming out behind the subjects heads, no distracting branches, the background looks pleasing etc. Sometimes I have the time and still I forget something. A lot of times you only have a few seconds before the image is gone. I believe one difference between a great photographer and a mediocore (like me) is the ability to consider and adjust for all of the things above, and do it quickly - in other words it should all be second nature. That takes LOTS of practice, but like anything is great when it all clicks!

I think I am trying to say that getting the expsoure roughly right (i.e. just using -1 exp comp on the white bird) would be more than satisfactory as long as I am able to get all the other things right. Using RAW/K-5 certainly helps...
01-08-2012, 09:27 AM   #37
Pentaxian
Marc Sabatella's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Denver, CO
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 10,686
There is no "correct". i mean, who would define it? There are just different standards for how meters can possible work. And for better or worse, the ANSI standards - which are what most manufacturers tend to care about - call for more like 12%. it's neither better nor worse as a standard that 18%, just as the kilometer is neither better nor worse as a measure of distance than the mile. Just different. There are valid reasons for preferring 12, valid reasons for preferring 18, but you can design and use a camera either way and it will work just fine.
01-08-2012, 09:51 AM   #38
Pentaxian
normhead's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Near Algonquin Park
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 25,877
How to avoid blasted highlights? Chimp...and compensate. ON any high contrast shot, your camera can't cover the whole dynamic range or the scene.. you're going to have to tell it what to clip. If your subject is high in the range, you may have to under-expose, if your subject is low in the range, you may have to over expose... that's one decision you camera can't make for you. Spot metering helps, but then you have to keep your subject in the centre of the frame. Given that the rule of thirds is pretty well known, it's amazing that your camera doesn't look at the four " crossed thirds" points for something in focus instead of in the middle. That's something camera makers could correct. The fact that there is more contrast in the world (as much as 5000/1) than you can capture with a camera is just one of those things a photographer has to work with. At least until we have a sensor that can actually capture the full range of bright sunlight and shadow. In the meantime, do what most pros do. Do a lot of shooting at sunrise or sunset. The lower angle of the sun means less harsh shadows, and the lower contrast leads to fewer blasted highlights. You're probably dealing with contrast of 1000-2000/1 , much more manageable. Attack the source of the problem, the lighting, rather than trying to compensate for bad lighting. One light source high overhead is simply bad lighting, especially if it's the sun. You wouldn't do it in the studio, why do you think you can get away with it outdoors in real life?

I'd love to give the guys talking grey cards some airplay but, grey cards are for studios. I used to use an incident light reading on my light meter, all the time, but since coupled metering, I don't even carry a light meter anymore. To me, it's not even a reasonable part of the solution. You can obtain great results without using a grey card, or an incident light reading. Chimping a test shot will tell you way more than any meter reading from a grey card, or an incident light reading. I'm not saying the grey card doesn't tell you anything. I'm just saying a chimped test shot tells you more, and requires less equipment and interpretation.

I would also suggest that if you do choose to bracket, start at one stop steps... the DR range of modern equipment makes the half stop pretty pointless in most situations. I've done brackets at .5 EV increments that didn't get to the exposure I wanted. Sometimes I've even gone to 1.5 stops as in -3. -1.5-0-1.5-3.0 ev. (Warning.. when you bracket, you are usually altering your shutter speed or your f-stop the resulting changers in DoF and motion blur will change the picture such that the picture with the best exposure, is not necessarily the best picture aesthetically, there's a difference between the best picture in theory and the best picture you can get with existing light... and that tends to be very subjective as to what is the "best".) The odds of your camera's DR matching up with the Contrast range of the subject is pretty rare. I'm not saying it doesn't happen. There have been lots of times when I ended up using a half stop increments on my way to a proper exposure and lot's of times when I wished my camera was set to 1/3 ev steps instead of 1/2, but the situations where that happens in landscape or wildlife photography definitely don't warrant such a low EV gradient being the default.

But long story short, how do you avoid blasted highlights? Check your curves (by pressing the info button while chimping) and make sure your brightest highlight is about a third of the way from the far right of the window. You are very unlikely to have a blasted highlight with an image thusly exposed.


Last edited by normhead; 01-08-2012 at 10:31 AM.
01-08-2012, 11:37 AM   #39
Veteran Member
westmill's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Stoke on Trent
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,146
QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
There is no "correct". i mean, who would define it? There are just different standards for how meters can possible work. And for better or worse, the ANSI standards - which are what most manufacturers tend to care about - call for more like 12%. it's neither better nor worse as a standard that 18%, just as the kilometer is neither better nor worse as a measure of distance than the mile. Just different. There are valid reasons for preferring 12, valid reasons for preferring 18, but you can design and use a camera either way and it will work just fine.
A mid tone grey will surfice lol
01-08-2012, 12:23 PM   #40
Pentaxian




Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Nelson B.C.
Posts: 3,268
Markbrumbaugh: Be comforted that you are trying shots that are tough. Anyone who has pursued waterbird pictures has failed thousands of times and probably can show you the evidence.

You don't have time to adjust things, a scene presents itself and you want to capture it. So what do I do? I find that in sunlight on water I have to have my exposure compensation -1/3 ev. That got rid of overexposure blown highlights. But then if I do a shot of a bird sitting in a tree with that setting, I get low exposure blown sections and have to notch the exposure up a bit.

Try doing exposure bracketing. -1/3 0 +1/3 or even wider. You will end up with thousands of photos. Examine them and see what works best at what light levels, subject contrast, etc. Then start changing the adjustments on the fly; with the K-5 it can be done easily without taking your eye from the viewfinder. You will end up with thousands of duds until you get the hang of it.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, dslr, photography
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Blown highlights vs. lost shadows, film vs. digital dj_saunter Photographic Technique 2 03-30-2011 12:28 AM
Wedding photography supposed to have blown highlights? Copyright Photographic Technique 17 01-08-2011 10:56 AM
Landscape Blown Highlights - Is HDR the Only Solution? Tamia Photo Critique 16 08-22-2010 01:10 PM
PP Challenge #15 Blown Highlights & Glass Reflection matiki Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 16 01-20-2010 10:05 PM
*istDS and blown highlights? kuuan Pentax DSLR Discussion 11 04-30-2008 05:47 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:59 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top