For the zillionth time, there is no “exposure compensation” when you are working in Manual mode. So Many Manual Mode Misconceptions as to be Mind-boggling. Please, please, pretty please study and learn this stuff … « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

For the zillionth time, there is no “exposure compensation” when you are working in Manual mode. So Many Manual Mode Misconceptions as to be Mind-boggling. Please, please, pretty please study and learn this stuff ...

Stuff

It is quite amazing that I am pretty much back to normal as far as sleep and jet-lag are concerned after returning from Scotland, five time zones ahead, just two days ago. Tomorrow I fly to Alaska to get four times zones behind. My poor body 🙂 I worked on this blog post while heading for my airport hotel on Saturday afternoon.

The Streak

Just in case you have not been counting, today makes 28 days in a row with a new educational blog post 🙂 There may be few or no new blog posts for a week while I am in Alaska as we move the BAA Blog to a new server.

Backlit Incoming Puffin Save

Check out my repost of Mike Poole’s spectacular backlit landing puffin in the BirdPhotographers.Net (BPN) thread by scrolling down here. Amazingly, everything that I did to repair the mega-overexposed part of the bird’s head is detailed in the new BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II), an instructional PDF that is sent via e-mail. Learn more and check out the free excerpt in the blog post here. Just so you know, the new e-Guide reflects my Macbook Pro/Photo Mechanic/DPP 4/Photoshop workflow.

Booking.Com

I could not secure the lodging that I needed for the UK Puffins and Gannets IPT in Dunbar, Scotland, so I went from Hotels.Com to Booking.Com and was pleasantly surprised. I found the rooms that I needed with ease at a hotel that was not even on Hotels.Com, and it was a nice hotel that I had seen in person. And the rates were great. If you’d like to give Booking.Com a shot, click here and you will earn a $25 reward.




Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of folks whom I see in the field, and on BPN, are–out of ignorance–using the wrong gear especially when it comes to tripods and more especially, tripod heads… Please know that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

Please Don’t Forget …

As always–and folks have been doing a really great job for a long time now–please remember to use the BAA B&H links for your major and minor gear purchases. For best results, use one of our many product-specific links; after clicking on one of those you can continue shopping with all subsequent purchases invisibly tracked to BAA. Your doing so is always greatly appreciated. Please remember: web orders only. And please remember also that if you are shopping for items that we carry in the BAA Online Store (as noted in red at the close of this post below) we would of course appreciate your business.

puffling-dark-water

These two baby puffin images were created late on our last landing on Inner Farnes after I got permission for our group to stay late. 🙂 I used the
Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 2X III, and my favorite bird photography camera body, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 800. Evaluative metering -1 stop: 1/250 sec. at f/9 in Manual mode. WB: K5200.

LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment: -7.

AI Servo/Expand/Shutter button AF was active at the moment of exposure. For the left-hand image it was one AF point up and one to the left of the center AF point. For the right hand image it was simply one AF point above the center AF point. In both cases the selected AF point was on the bird’s face.

DPP 4 Screen Capture of Atlantic Puffin “puffling” swimming in dark water

Be sure to click on the image to see a larger version.

Puffling in Dark Water …

I first photographed the baby puffin in the dark water at -2/3. I had a few blinkies on the bird’s breast so I upped the shutter speed from 1/200 to 1/250. From that moment on I knew –with the constant light — that the correct exposure for the bird with it’s white breast was ISO 800, 1/250 sec. at f/9. End of discussion but keep reading 🙂

This image was created at 16:07:06.

Note the RGB Values!

To create the DPP 4 screen captures above and below I placed the cursor roughly on the same spot on the baby puffin’s breast. In the dark water image the RGB values were 233, 235, 240. In the light water image the RGB values were 233, 238, 241. The values were nearly identical. This is 100% proof that the correct exposure for the puffin’s white breast in the dark water image and the correct exposure for the puffin’s white breast in the light water image were pretty much identical as well.

Note the two histograms!

If you take a close look at the two RGB histograms you will note the bulk of the data to the left in the first image. This represents the dark tones of the water (and of parts of the puffin). In the second image the bulk of the data is to the right representing the light-toned water. But note that on the right each of the channels end at pretty much the same spot. Why? Because you have properly exposed for the highlights.

puffling-light-waterA

These two baby puffin images were created late on our last landing on Inner Farnes after I got permission for our group to stay late. 🙂 I used the
Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 2X III, and my favorite bird photography camera body, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1 2/3 stops: 1/250 sec. at f/9 in Manual mode. WB: K5200.

LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment: -7.

AI Servo/Expand/Shutter button AF was active at the moment of exposure. For the left-hand image it was one AF point up and one to the left of the center AF point. For the right hand image it was simply one AF point above the center AF point. In both cases the selected AF point was on the bird’s face.

DPP 4 Screen Capture of Atlantic Puffin “puffling” swimming in light-toned water

Be sure to click on the image to see a larger version.

Puffling in Light Water …

This image was created four seconds later at 16:07:11. Note that in those four seconds I moved the AF point one to the right. Note that the manual exposure settings remained exactly the same.

For the Zillionth Time!

For the zillionth time, there is no “exposure compensation” when you are working in Manual mode. Note in the dark water image that when I say “Evaluative metering -1 stop: 1/250 sec. at f/9 in Manual mode” that I did not enter any exposure compensation. So where does the -1 stop come from? All good photographers (myself included) understand that when you are working in Manual mode that you can note the “exposure compensation” when you point the lens at something. If you are set up for a bird and you point the lens at the dark ground, it will show off scale minus, ie.e., a huge underexposure. With the puffling in dark water I noted that the analogue scale in the viewfinder was at -1 stop (as compared to the exposure that I had set manually, 1/250 sec. at f/9). When the bird swam into the very light water, I noted that the analogue scale in the viewfinder showed +1 2/3 stops (as compared to the exposure that I had set manually, 1/250 sec. at f/9).

Please notice and understand that the exposure settings never changed from ISO 800, 1/250 sec. at f/9. But as I followed the swimming bird by panning the lens to my left, the indicator on the analogue scale swung from -1 to + 1 2/3rds. If I had pointed the lens up to the sky it would like have showed something like +2 1/3 or +2 2/3.

If you are confused by the stuff above try this. Put an intermediate telephoto lens on your camera. Work in Manual mode. Point the lens somewhere with a large area of a single tone. Now null the meter by choosing an ISO, a shutter speed, and an aperture that results in the indicator on the analogue scale resting on the 0 (zero) mark. This indicates the suggested or the metered exposure. Now point the lens at something darker and note what happens to the indicator. It will move to the minus side of the scale. Now point the lens at something lighter and note what happens to the indicator. It will move to the plus side of the scale. Remember, that even though there is no “exposure compensation” when you are working in Manual mode; you can, however, always note the position of the indicator to determine where you are in relation to the metered exposure.

Which is the best mode when working in constant light with backgrounds of changing tonalities?

The best mode when working in constant light with backgrounds of changing tonalities is Manual mode. Once you determine the correct exposure for the subject you simply set it and forget it until the light changes. Working in Av mode would be nearly impossible as you would need to vary your exposure compensations often and drastically. In Manual mode you would be fine even if the puffling were in half white water and half dark water. Why? Because in constant light the right exposure for the bird is the right exposure for the bird. No matter the background.

So Many Manual Mode Misconceptions as to be Mind-boggling

As you can plainly see after studying the material above, the answers to the three questions that I posed in the original Puffling Exposure Questions blog post here two days ago, were straight-forward. I wrongly assumed that everyone who responded would nail each of the three questions. I was wrong. Way wrong.

I was buoyed when the first two folks to comment gave reasonable answers. But after that, it was pretty much downhill all the way. Below are some of those replies. The names of those who made the comments have been omitted 🙂

Huge Misconception #1:

With the dark bird and dark water I don’t see how you could be at minus.

The dark water causes the meter to open up, to go to a slower shutter speed. That would burn the whites on the puffins breast. You need minus exposure compensations in such situations, even in low light. Had the sun been out, I would have started at -2 stops … As early as the original The Art of Bird Photography I wrote often, sun out, white bird, dark blue water: -1 stop.

Huge Misconception #2:

Assuming it was cloudy day and the light did not change answer for both exposures would be +1/3..

It was cloudy and the light was constant but the above makes no sense at all as the background in one image was very dark and the background in the other image was very light …

Huge Misconception #3:

If you were in manual the exposure and compensation should have been the same for both.

Well, I was in Manual mode but the statement above shows zero understanding of how the indicator on the analogue scale works when you are in Manual mode …

Selling Books/Learning Exposure …

Do I like selling a few books? Absolutely. But there really is no reason for folks to struggle so much with digital exposure. If I have said it here once I have said it one thousand times, I can teach you to get the right exposure ten times out of ten in two minutes if you are working in constant light. All you need to do is work in Manual mode and adjust your settings until you have some data in the right-most box of the histogram. I have long recommended that serious photographers take the time to study and learn exposure theory. The best way to do that is to study the section on exposure theory in the original The Art of Bird Photography. Whether or not you wish to put in the time and the effort to do that, I would recommend that everyone study and master the section on Exposure Simplified in The Art of Bird Photography II (APB II: 916 pages, 900+ images on CD only or by download). You can save $10 by ordering the pair here.

Your Favorite?

Which of the two swimming puffliing images do you like best? Please let us know why and feel free to comment on the positives and negatives of each image.

If In Doubt …

If in doubt about using the BAA B&H affiliate link correctly, you can always start your search by clicking here. Please note that the tracking is invisible. Please, however, remember to shoot me your receipt via e-mail.


desoto-fall-card-a-layers

Obviously folks attending the IPT will be out in the field early and stay late to take advantage of sunrise and sunset colors. The good news is that the days are relatively short in October. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

The Fort DeSoto 2017 Fall IPT/September 22 (afternoon session) through the full day on September 25, 2017. 3 1/2 FULL DAYs: $1649. Limit 8.

Fort DeSoto, located just south of St. Petersburg, FL, is a mecca for migrant shorebirds and terns in fall. There they join hundreds of egrets, herons, night-herons, gulls, and terns who winter on the T-shaped peninsula that serves as their wintering grounds. With luck, we may get to photograph two of Florida’s most desirable shorebird species: Marbled Godwit and the spectacular Long-billed Curlew. Black-bellied Plover and Willet are easy, American Oystercatcher almost guaranteed. Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Great Blue Heron, and Tricolored Heron are easy as well and we will almost surely come up with a tame Yellow-crowned Night-Heron or two. We should get to do some Brown Pelican flight photography. And Royal, Sandwich, Forster’s, and Caspian Terns will likely provide us with some good flight opportunities as well. Though not guaranteed Roseate Spoonbill and Wood Stork would not be unexpected.

Folks who sign up for the IPT are welcome to join us on the ITF/MWS on the morning of Tuesday, September 26 as my guest. See below for details on that.

On the IPT you will learn basics and fine points of digital exposure and to get the right exposure every time after making a single test exposure, how to approach free and wild birds without disturbing them, to understand and predict bird behavior, to identify many species of shorebirds, to spot the good situations, to choose the best perspective, to see and understand the light, and to design pleasing images by mastering your camera’s AF system. And you will learn how and why to work in Manual mode (even if you’re scared of it).

There will be a Photoshop/image review session after lunch (included) each day. That will be followed by Instructor Nap Time.

This IPT will run with only a single registrant (though that is not likely to happen). The best airport is Tampa (TPA). Though I have not decided on a hotel yet — I will as soon as there is one sign-up — do know that it is always best if IPT folks stay in the same hotel (rather than at home or at a friend’s place).

A $500 deposit is due when you sign up and is payable by credit card. Balances must be paid by check after you register. Your deposit is non-refundable unless the IPT sells out with ten folks so please check your plans carefully before committing. You can register by calling Jim or Jennifer during weekday business hours at 863-692-0906 with a credit card in hand or by sending a check as follows: make the check out to: BIRDS AS ART and send it via US mail here: BIRDS AS ART, PO BOX 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL 33855. You will receive a confirmation e-mail with detailed instructions, gear advice, and instructions for meeting on the afternoon of Friday, September 22.


desoto-fall-card-b

Fort DeSoto in fall is rich with tame birds. All of the images in this card were created at Fort DeSoto in either late September or early October. I hope that you can join me there this October. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

BIRDS AS ART In-the-Field/Meet-up Workshop Session (ITF/MWS): $99.

Join me on the morning of Tuesday September 26, 2017 for 3-hours of photographic instruction at Fort DeSoto Park. Beginners are welcome. Lenses of 300mm or longer are recommended but even those with 70-200s should get to make some nice images. Teleconverters are always a plus.

You will learn the basics of digital exposure and image design, autofocus basics, and how to get close to free and wild birds. We should get to photograph a variety of wading birds, shorebirds, terns, and gulls. This inexpensive afternoon workshop is designed to give folks a taste of the level and the quality of instruction that is provided on a BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-tour. I hope to meet you there.

To register please call Jim or Jennifer during weekday business hours at 863-692-0906 with a credit card in hand to pay the nominal non-refundable registration fee. You will receive a short e-mail with instructions, gear advice, and meeting place at least two weeks before the event.


fort-desoto-card

BAA Site Guides are the next best thing to being on an IPT.

Fort DeSoto Site Guide

Can’t make the IPT? Get yourself a copy of the Fort DeSoto Site Guide. Learn the best spots, where to be when in what season in what weather. Learn the best wind directions for the various locations. BAA Site Guides are the next best thing to being on an IPT. You can see all of them here.






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As always, we sell only what I have used, have tested, and can depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know what you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And please remember that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

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Typos

In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors. Just be right :).

35 comments to For the zillionth time, there is no “exposure compensation” when you are working in Manual mode. So Many Manual Mode Misconceptions as to be Mind-boggling. Please, please, pretty please study and learn this stuff …

  • avatar Andy

    A few ISO thoughts:

    If you manually set f stop, shutter, and ISO and then later change the ISO, to me you have just modified your manual exposure, not dialed in compensation.

    That is correct but only 100%.

    If you manually set f stop and shutter and use auto ISO, to me you are working in auto, not manual (despite the camera being set on manual). If the camera has the freedom to change an exposure setting by itself (ISO), you are not working in manual.

    That is correct but only 100%.

    The value of working in 100% manual is the camera won’t do anything without your permission. In the images posted in this blog, I assume Artie was panning with the bird as it swam from the dark to light water. Had he been in auto anything, the meter would have measured the changing overall tonality and improperly exposed the bird in the later shot.

    That is correct but only 100%.

    with thanks and love, artie

  • avatar Phil Kelly

    Artie,

    I am surprised at how much confusion and argument on various sides of the issue re Manual mode still exists. The above blogs ram home the point.
    Where is best to go to for a ground up understanding of working in manual mode? Preferably for this who do not have your ability to look at a scene and go straight to the correct settings?

  • Hi Artie,

    Thanks for the clarification.

    Is there a typo regarding the Evaluative metering on your second image. It reads Evaluative metering -1 2/3 stops. Should it be +1 2/3 stops

  • avatar Glen Fox

    Artie and David Policansky,
    Thank you both for your persistence. This post and discussion has clarified a number of misunderstandings of mine. I suspect I’m not alone!

  • avatar Anthony

    Artie, there is a typo in your second image….it reads Evaluative metering -1 2/3 stops. It should read +1 2/3 stops.

  • avatar Mark

    Artie, Thank you for today’s lesson. The referenced exposure compensation posted with your pictures had me confused. I’ve been reading up on exposure settings and techniques but there are so many varying opinions. You’re explanation was a real eureka moment for me. Thanks!

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      YAW. And thanks. I just got an e-mail from Stu Hahn with regards to my confusing folks with the term exposure compensation. It is 3:5am here in Kodiak, AK and I am just getting started on Monday’s blog post that should help even more.

      with love, artie

      ps: there are no opinions with regards to exposure, just facts 🙂 Or dummies (that referring to those who believe that real photographers work in Manual mode 100% of the time.

  • avatar Jim Babbitt

    Would spot metering on the breast of the bird give you the same results?

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Why try to spot meter a tiny part of a moving subject? Even worse, if you could spot meter the white breast what would you do next?

      with love, artie

  • avatar byron prinzmetal

    Arnie,
    Actually, ec does change when in manual and I am using auto iso. My camera has an ec dial on the top so if I increase or decrease ec changes the iso (same on all advanced canon cameras even with out an ec dial). Most of the time auto iso works great, but sometimes one needs to adjust it. Since most modern cameras sensors have wide latitude changing the iso up or down does not for my photography (maybe yours) make much of a difference. So if I am going to not have the perfect settings, being off a little on the iso for me anyway is the best I can do. So (sfb) me, I take the easy way out. I set the f-stop depending upon what I want or not want to see in the background or how much of depth of field I want or at the lens maximum sharpness (usually two steps up from the widest f-stop), I set the shutter speed depending upon what I expect to see and auto iso. I hike a lot and see a lot of different things where what I see can disappear very quickly so I try to be ready for no matter what might appear. Most of the time I do not have time to figure out the best settings. Same happens with my street photography or my sports photography. My mind (mostly) and hands are not quick enough to change settings for that fleeing shot that is gone in a flash. As you say, better to snap (and not have the perfect setting) than not to snap at all.

    Very much enjoy your class I took and your blog. Keep it up.

    Bp

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Byron,

      As I have said here before, using EC in Manual mode makes no sense to me. And if you add in Auto ISO it makes far less sense 🙂

      I read what you say above but if you do not know how to compensate for various subject/BKGR combos you are up the creek without the paddle 🙂 i prefer to keep things simple. When I am face the unexpected I simply put the camera in Av mode ….

      with love, artie

      • avatar K.G.Wuensch

        It may not make much sense to you – but for me it has been invaluable to have EV in Manual mode when trying to take pictures of F1 cars while they changed from sunlit to shaded areas of the track in one of the best areas to get really good panning shots. I simply dialed in the aperture and shutter speed, activated auto ISO and let the camera metering handle most of the changes. And whenever I knew that a Williams F1 (white car) or a Force India (mostly black car at the time) I dialed In EC as needed… Sorry, just because you don’t get to grips with the concept doesn’t mean that it’s useless. In fact auto ISO was mostly useless when there wasn’t a way to set exposure compensation but the new generation of cameras remedied that shortfall and now M+auto ISO has become a third shooting mode next to Av and Tv…

        K.G. I am glad that it works for you. with love, artie

        • avatar MikeH

          It is also important to realise that the phrase ‘exposure compensation’ came about because you were compensating for the camera’s limitation compared to your vision as a photographer – you had to allow for a bright/dark background but the camera metered for the whole scene.

          In Av you set two of the three variables for exposure (aperture and ISO) and let the camera set the shutter speed based on its metering.
          What you are describing is no different: you are setting two of those (aperture and shutter speed) and letting the camera set the ISO based on its metering.
          In neither case are you in fully manual mode.

          Artie is describing a different situation – he is in fully manual and is setting every parameter himself. There is no compensation [for the camera meter misunderstanding the scene]

          When you look in the viewfinder, you will both see the same thing – ISO 800, 1/250 f9. And both of you will have a meter that shows -1.2/3 stops. You have got there by overriding (compensating) the camera metering system whereas Artie has got the by setting them himself. He has overridden (compensated) nothing.

          One other thing to add is that if the bird moves across different backgrounds you will have to apply different compensation levels because the camera will apply different ISO according to the background. Artie will not and that is the key difference.

          • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

            Thanks Mike. You wrote, “One other thing to add is that if the bird moves across different backgrounds you will have to apply different compensation levels because the camera will apply different ISO according to the background.”

            The situation is even worse than you imply above because it would be impossible to keep track of the Auto ISO changes and to keep up with the changing background tonalities.

            In addition, I have found that pretty much every person who is in favor of using exposure compensation in Manual mode with or without Auto ISO has no idea as far as getting the right exposure in even the simplest situations in constant light 🙂

            with love, artie

  • avatar Glen Fox

    Artie,
    For years I have questioned the significance of your including the “Evaluative Metering +/– x stops” when you report your Manual Exposures. Its really a useless piece of information that is quite confusing when reporting manual exposures, but critical when reporting exposures in automatic modes. You are not reporting how you arrived at your manual exposure settings nor are you implying that you compensated your exposure by x stops, as would be the case for an exposure in Aperture or Shutter priority modes.

    Hi Glenn, I will do my best here 🙂 It is not at all useless, in fact, the EC is the most important stuff in each blog post for those who understand 🙂 And it is not confusing if you study the info in the blog post above. Furthermore, as I have written here before and often, Manual mode is exactly the same as Av mode. How? If you are in Av mode at +1 stop you simply switch to Manual mode and adjust the shutter speed and aperture until the analogue scale shows +1 stop. Until folks understand that they will remain lost 🙂

    And I always explain how I arrived at my manual exposure settings with phrases like +2 2/3 stops off the sky or –1 stop as framed.

    with love, artie

    • avatar David Policansky

      Forgive me, all, for jumping in here, but, Glen Fox, it seems to me that Artie’s information is useful. At least it is to me, and Artie is reporting exactly how he arrives at his settings. He points his camera at a subject and sees what the meter says the exposure should be. Then he adds or subtracts light by increasing or decreasing the exposure so that the bird (or other subject) he is photographing will be correctly exposed. Alternatively, he points the camera at the sky and sees what the meter says the exposure should be, and then adds light (I can’t think of a case where he has pointed the camera at the sky and then SUBTRACTED light from what the meter says, but maybe it has happened). Why is this information not useful? If nothing else, one learns that if the background in general is darker than the bird, then reduce exposure from what the meter says to get the bird exposed correctly. If the background is lighter than the bird, then increase exposure to get the bird correctly exposed. And once you’ve got the correct exposure and if the light is constant, then the bird can move from a light to a dark background and back and you don’t have to change the exposure.

      Thanks Dr Fish. You are of course. David has been on several IPTs 🙂 with love, artie

      • avatar Glen Fox

        David,
        Maybe I still don’t understand it. IF indeed Artie IS reporting exactly how he arrived at his settings, then it is indeed valuable information. Thank you for your response!

        • avatar Anthony

          Glen, Artie knows that in evaluative metering the camera’s meter takes the whole scene into consideration, so if the majority of the scene is dark, the camera’s meter will think more light is needed. For example, in Artie’s 1st shot above at 1/250, f9, ISO 800, the camera’s meter says, no way man, that’s going to be underexposed (dark picture) by -1 stop. Artie says, not so fast camera metering system, I know if I follow your settings my bird will be overexposed, even though the whole scene would be correctly exposed.

          Notice that both images of the bird are exposed exactly the same to your eye. Take a look at them (1st and 2nd image). Cut the bird out of both pictures and ignore the backgrounds. They are the same exposure. Even though the bird is the same to your eye, the camera’s eye sees it differently. The camera does not care that your subject is the bird, it only cares the whole scene is correctly exposed (subject and background). So the camera sees the 1st scene as dark (even though the bird is correctly exposed) and tells the photographer you are underexposed (-1 stops) on the viewfinder meter.

          On the 2nd scene the camera sees the scene as light (even though the bird is correctly exposed) and tells the photographer you are overexposed (+1 2/3 stops) on the viewfinder meter. The viewfinder’s meter is only giving you feedback; it is not controlling your exposure at all. You are controlling the exposure in manual mode.

          So let’s assume Artie was a beginner, just starting to take pictures, and he followed the camera’s metering advice and set his settings for the 1st scene at 1/80, f9, ISO 800……bingo the camera says, you hit perfect exposure. The meter in the viewfinder shows zero. Artie is happy and goes home only to find the bird is blown out on the computer screen (overexposed whites and what have you). He shot in jpeg, doesn’t know a thing about RAW, Lightroom, PS, or DPP. He thinks his camera is junk and plans to buy an upgraded model to make his photography better.

          • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

            Anthony, Many thanks for your explanation. It gave me goose bumps. Your understanding of exposure is quite excellent. With love, artie

            ps: you killed it!

            pps: more coming on Tuesday.

  • Hi Artie, thanks for clearing this one up for us. I prefer the image in the light water I think that the green dark areas in the ripples are good however the reflection is not so clearly identifiable as in the image with the dark water.
    Jake

  • avatar Jack D Waller

    Artie, thanks to you I am now shooting a lot in manual. It’s the bird darting into and out of shade, say in a tree, that is challenging – the exposure needed for the bird itself changes. What do you recommend?

    And what is your comment for folk who have clamored for exposure compensation while in Manual with auto ISO (I agree with the observation that this is not really a manual mode)?

    Jack

    Good Jack. If a bird is flying or moving rapidly from sun to shade you have yourself a pretty much impossible situation whether you are in Av, Tv, or m, or anything else. You need to pick one or the other lighting condition and set up for that in Manual mode.

    with love, artie

  • avatar Anthony

    Artie, how do you remember the reading that showed on camera’s analog meter? I know I am purposely pushing the meter up or down (or left and right on some models) of zero to get desired exposure, but I would never be able to recall exactly what the reading was after taking 1000 images.

    Is it in the metadata somewhere?

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Anthony, That is an excellent question that I have answered before on occasion but it raises a relevant point. Having done this for 33 years now, I can simply look at an image, judge the light, and figure the EC within 1/3 stop 95% of the time. Many times I simply glance at the analogue scale and file it away in my brain, especially in cases like the puffling in the dark and light water. Do understand that as I swing the lens while following the bird that the EC will change a bit as the bird gets closer or farther away and as the water goes from dark to light or some combination. So the values above are sometimes fudged just a tiny bit. But be assured that with puffin small in the frame in dark water you are gonna need to subtract light and when it is in the light water you are going to need to add a good amount of light. Whether it turns out to be +1 1/3, +1 2/3, or + 2 at a given instant is pretty much irrelevant. What is important is to know whether you need a little or a lot of plus or of minus depending on the subject/BKGR combo.

      That is why I recommend that folks need to buy the two suggested books and study and practice 🙂

      with love, artie

  • avatar David Policansky

    Artie: thanks again for your persistence in teaching us about exposure. I like both images equally; they make a nice pair. To Andre Nel: if you are letting the camera choose the ISO (auto ISO), then you are not really working in manual mode, just as if you let the camera choose the aperture (Av) or shutter speed (Tv). Even though ISO (sensitivity) isn’t technically “exposure” (to light), changing the ISO affects the image in the same way that changing the exposure does.

  • avatar Eugen J. Dolan

    In the First Image : ISO 800. Evaluative Metering -1 stops: 1/250 sec at F9 in manual mode.

    In the Second Image: ISO 800. Evaluative Metering +1 2/3 stops: 1/250 sec at F9 in Manual mode
    ….
    Note that the Manual exposure settings remain exactly the same.

    Am I mis-reading this – -1 and +1 2/3 stops to me are not the same?

    What am I missing Artie?

    Hi Eugen, You are missing a lot 🙂 First I fixed your typo: -1 2/3 should have been +1 2/3. (Update: I just learned that the original typo was my error. It has been corrected. My bad and sorry to adding to your confusion.)

    The point of the article is that the exposure is set manually and you make all the images at those settings. The only thing that changes is the position of the indicator on the analogue scale in the viewfinder as you point the lens at light and dark areas. Please go an re-read and try the exercise that I suggested 🙂

    with love, artie

    • avatar Andy

      The ISO, shutter spead and aperature are identical in the two images and set for proper exposure of the bird. All that changes is the position of the meter as it responds to the changing background.

      Andy, Thanks for understanding 🙂

      with love, artie

      • Because this image was taken with evaluative metering the camera’s metering system is accessing the luminance of the whole scene (horizontal and vertical) and then creating an average of how bright the scene is, then it computes what exposure would be necessary to make the overall scene 18% grey. It then displays where the exposure you have chosen is in relation to the exposure it computed, on an analogue scale, with 0 being the exposure that the camera’s metering system computed. Hope this helped,
        Jake

  • avatar Andre Nel

    I think you are assuming that the ISO is set. Exposure compensation works just fine in Manual Mode with Auto ISO.

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