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my new year resolution is to take control of my camera and just use manual but i seem to be underexposing by 2 stops when taking pics ive got a 350d help!!!!
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How are you metering?
In manual just adjust the shutter speed and aperture until you get an accurate reading. A slow shutter speed and a large aperture will allow for more exposure and vice versa.
An insulting question but do you know how to use the camera on manual to set aperture and shutter speed and how to read the meter properly?
On the top lcd you see how the capture will be exposed with the selected settings, the meter should be in the middle to get a proper exposure.
If you're constantly underexposing, you could open up the aperture (use a smaller f/number), set a longer shutterspeed, or bump the iso. All of which will allow more light to be captured.
I have the same camera - my first venture into SLR. I have
purchased Andy Rouse's Digital SLR Handbook to help me understand the basics. RE exposure he says the following:
"The basic rule when interpreting histograms is always to strive to get a reasonable colour spread (covering at least two thirds of the histogram) and with its average slightly to the left of the mid tone point. This latter point is vital shooting an overexposed image is a waste of time, unless of course you intend to do so. Once an area in an image is overexposed no amount of clever digital darkroom fiddling can replace it. However, shooting a slightly darker image picks up extra detail, doesnt burn out the highlights and allows enough latitude for simple brightening in the browser or photoshop. Also, an added bonus of shooting slightly darker is that you gain extra shutter speed."
He recommends a snapshot mode of F5/6 Exp - 2/3.
Hope this will be of some help. Good Luck Jane
Theres a link about here somewhere, (cant find it at the moment), that explains that there is a lot to be gainded from pushing the exposure up so that the bulk of the histogram is towards the right side, as long as the highlights are not burned out.
This means the darker areas are also further up the scale and thus will capture more detail in the shadows.
Once in Photoshop, levels, curves etc can be used to get the right exposure level.
I've tried it and it definaltery works.
But to be honest, all a newbie should really be worried about it getting the exposure right, ie deciding what is important about the shot they want to take, freezing or blurring movement, shallow or deep depth of field etc, and adjust shutter and apeture and possibly the iso where not practical to use a desirable low setting, until the meter indicates its all ok.
Of course Manual mode is there to also help the photographer bend the rules a little and to help out when the meter just doesnt come up with the goods.
Rememeber, M,TV,AV,P etc are all just using different priorities in order to gain an acceptable exposure from the same two elements, shutter and apeture. You just need to decide what your priority is for a given shot and go from there.
Jane's got some usefull info there on the histogram. It's important to get that right, you can have it display with your preview too so it's worth it.
I think what Chrisfroud ment what metering mode are you using, when he posted how are you metering. The 350D has selectable metering modes:
. Evaluative metering (linkable to any AF point)
Partial metering (approx. 9% of viewfinder at center)
Center-weighted average metering
You could try and see which mode gives you the best results for each situation. I had a 300D and it had a problem with underexposing in manual and I attribute this to it being locked into centre weighted (300D did not have selectable metering modes). My theory was that if the subject was surrounded by light areas such as sky it over compensated sometimes by more that 2 stops. This is where viewing the histogram straight after is handy and you can see how the data is spread.
An additional point about histograms I learn't from the Adobe site is that the data is skewed. So, you know that if you overexpose the data is lost. Well frustraitingly the right hand side of the histogram (the highlights) has significantly more data in it than the left, or better put more space for data, I can't explain it very well and I'd have to look it up again (it was in an early CS2 tutorial). The upshot is that if you underexpose too much and don't use the right hand side of the histogram you can loose a lot of colour depth, and I think this is what I saw 'cause my images went flat very fast when I tried to recover them, and it may be what you are seeing too.
Experiment with your metering modes and try metering for different areas of your frame i.e. what is the exposure for just the ground or just the sky giving, expose for one or the other or in between and ignore what the meter says for the actual composition, like a zone system only with less zones.
You may find that it's just the metering mode that you are in is not suitable for the subjects you have been shooting so try experimenting with switching metering modes first. If that doesn't work well enough then switch to the partial metering and try some of the above.
Hope this is a help.
Thanks for the tips on metering. I looked it up in a 350D manual and noted this comment which might help someone reading this forum.
Note: With Evaluative metering, after autfocus has been achieved, exposure values are locked as long as the shutter button is partially depressed. However, meter readings cannot be locked in this matter if the lens is set for Manual Focus. You must use the AE lock button * in that case.
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