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Thread: EDUCATIONAL TOPIC #7- EXPOSURE COMPENSATION ILLUSTRATED (images only)

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    Default EDUCATIONAL TOPIC #7- EXPOSURE COMPENSATION ILLUSTRATED (images only)

    We've had a fair bit of discussion regarding this topic in the "metering modes" thread and its something that is often hard to explain so I thought I'd start a thread specifically for image examples of exp. compensation at work.
    If you have an image where you have used exp. comp to get the right exposure then please add it to this thread along with the compensation value you used and why you needed to use it. If you could highlight this information with a bigger font or a different text colour (as I have done below) then that would be great.
    I use aperture priority mode most of the time so exposure compensation is absolutely necessary for me. For those who use manual mode this will be mostly irrelevant but I think it will be extremely helpful for many members.
    I've also started a secondary thread for questions and comments only, please leave your comments, questions and tips there as this thread is just for images with exposure comp values.

    The main thing to remember is that when you are shooting birds (even if they are full frame) you will often be competing with the tone of the background versus the colour/tone of your subject. Water, grass, sand, mud....all of these settings will have some effect on the exposure depending on whether they are well lit or in shade. Couple that with the fact that you may be shooting a bird that is the exact opposite tone to the surroundings it inhabits. Its also worth noting that you may have to compensate when a bird is the same tone as its surroundings.....confusing isn't it

    These illustrated examples should go a long way to explaining how compensation works...so lets begin. Feel free to add as many images as you like, as long as they are clear examples of the concept with clear information then they will greatly appreciated. If I feel that any example does not clearly show the concept at work then I will delete so please don't be offended. I would like to keep this thread and its examples as clear and explicable as possible.

    In the image below I knew I would have to add light to the image as the background was fairly light and the bird of course was mostly black. The cameras metering system would have been tricked into shooting too fast (shutter speed) because of the brightness of the surroundings and the bird would have been underexposed.
    I added +1 stop of compensation to achieve the exposure below.
    The shutter speed I used was 1/320th, without exposure compensation the camera would have chosen 1/640th (one stop faster than what was necessary).

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Dave Pastern (20-08-2014)

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    Heres another example of the same sot of situation.

    Because the bird is mostly black and the surroundings are quite light, the cameras metering system (all of my examples are using CW metering but this will also apply to EV metering) would have been tricked into underexposing the subject leaving the black parts of the bird much too dark.
    I added + 2/3 of a stop to counteract this. The image was taken at 1/640th of a second. Without compensation, the camera would have taken the shot at 1/1000th of a second.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    smylie (06-11-2013)

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    Here is an example of where I have had to subtract light.

    The sky background is quite close to a mid tone but the bird is bright white and lit up very well by the sun. The bird only takes up perhaps 30% of the frame and even with CW metering the camera still gets tricked into thinking the scene overall is a mid tone one.
    ​For this image I subtracted -2/3 of a stop of light with the shot taken at 1/2500th of a second. Without compensation it would have set 1/1600th of a second and the whites of the bird would have been totally blown.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    smylie (06-11-2013)

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    Here is a shot that is an example of an image that needs no compensation at all. This is one of those shots that your cameras metering system (whether EV or CW metering) will get right nearly every time. There are no bright white parts on the bird (apart from the eye and flank but they are fairly miniscule in relation to the entire image) and there are no dark elements to the image either. Everything is a nice mid tone which means the camera will expose this spot on with out any help from me.

    ​In this image there was no need for compensation as the scene captured is overall a perfect midtone with no overly bright or dark elements

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here is an example of where I have had to add light to get a good exposure. "Adding light to a bright scene with white birds"????? I hear you say. "Why on earth do you need to do that???" Well, the fact is that the camera sees the scene as very bright and wants to use a very fast shutter speed...so fast that it would leave the birds very under exposed.

    In this image I have added + 1 stop of light so that the image is not underexposed due to the camera being tricked by the overly bright scene. The image was taken at 1/1600th of a second, had I not added light then the camera would have taken the shot at 1/3200th of a second and the bird would have looked way too dark.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    smylie (06-11-2013)

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Intermediate egret to illustrate whites against a mixed BG. Neutral exposure would be about 1/1250 @ f9, the camera picked 1/1000 @ f9, about 1/3 stop under daylight neutral. Image is about a 50% crop, so bird fairly small in frame.
    Image imported into ACR and only adjustment was a highlights adjustment of 19 which bought the highlights under control.
    Chris Ross
    Helensburgh NSW
    www.aus-natural.com
    Instagram: @ausnaturalimages

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    Default ship at LHI

    I had to add 1 1/3 in exposure comp to get the whites in this shot. just pushed it until the highlights started to flash.Taken yesterday Jack. 7d 17-40mm iso 100 f7.1 1/320 +1 1/3
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails _MG_4578.jpg  
    Jack Shick
    Sea to Summit Expeditions

    www.lordhoweislandtours.net

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    Tony Hansford Guest

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    moved to other thread
    Last edited by Tony Hansford; 23-10-2011 at 10:41 AM.

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    I don't think it is strange at all Tony I was trying to illustrate it for people new to photography and I know when I started out I would have thought a bright scene needed negative compensation...not light added. This thread was meant for images only too so please comment in the discussion thread.

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    Dave Pastern (20-08-2014), John Gunning (07-02-2015)

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