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PeterD
10th November 2008, 01:59 PM
The problem I have continually come across is getting all white subjects to be clear enough without darkening the background too much. Its this compromise I wanted to overcome with the lightness levels determined by the camera and not fiddled in PP (I still am no good in PP:o).

I found a subject that was not disturbed too much by my presence and experimented using the camera's highlight guide after each shoot. What I found was that centre weighted average metering provides a very good balance. Up until now I have been using spot metering as most of us do for wildlife photography. Shooting with this setting and checking the exposures actually gave me exactly what I wanted to achieve. Detail and light backgrounds. Below are a few images using this setting.

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/506/3B094902_filtered-2.jpg

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/506/3B094907-3.jpg

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/506/3B094917_filtered-4.jpg

and just to test the setting on another coloured bird, the Grey wagtail shot below

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/506/3B094920_filtered-5.jpg

What I noticed was the whites were no longer burnt out. Does anyone have any comments to take my experiment further? I wasnt to avoid having to do the corrections. I only shoot RAW but want to get the best image quality to minimise the work in Lightroom.

Cheers

Peter

theMusicMan
10th November 2008, 03:11 PM
Hi Peter

I too use center weighted metering as I agree with what you have found, it does provide you with slightly better exposure control - I think because the area of the viewfinder that is used to evaluate the exposure is better suited to the size of the bird as it appears in the viewfinder - thus giving perhaps a more accurate meter reading.

I only tend to use spot metering when aiming the camera at the sky for birds higher up in trees where the sky would offset the exposure.

I think you have nailed the Egret in #2 there Peter, that's a corker.

Ellie
10th November 2008, 03:16 PM
It's an interesting experiment Peter, I've learned something. Thanks.

Would it work, do you think, with predominantly dark areas where the reverse is the problem?

PeterD
10th November 2008, 03:23 PM
It's an interesting experiment Peter, I've learned something. Thanks.

Would it work, do you think, with predominantly dark areas where the reverse is the problem?

Ellie,

I think it shall for the reasons John has said above. This is also the conclusion I came to during the experiment.

It's been raining all day:mad: and so I have not gone out with the camera. Tomorrow I shall give dark birds a go. Cormorants and crows I think:D

If I do, I shall update this thread rather than starting another.

Peter

PeterD
10th November 2008, 03:26 PM
Hi Peter

I too use center weighted metering as I agree with what you have found, it does provide you with slightly better exposure control - I think because the area of the viewfinder that is used to evaluate the exposure is better suited to the size of the bird as it appears in the viewfinder - thus giving perhaps a more accurate meter reading.

I only tend to use spot metering when aiming the camera at the sky for birds higher up in trees where the sky would offset the exposure.

I think you have nailed the Egret in #2 there Peter, that's a corker.

John, Thanks for your reply and comments. I fully agree with you. I have tried all three exposure modes and only the centre weighted average is reliable.
I shall be trying this out on all dark birds (Crows, Cormorants etc) tomorrow and shall post an update then.

Peter

Barr1e
10th November 2008, 09:51 PM
It's an interesting experiment Peter, I've learned something. Thanks.




Me too - thanks.

Regards. Barr1e

PeterD
12th November 2008, 11:49 AM
It's an interesting experiment Peter, I've learned something. Thanks.

Would it work, do you think, with predominantly dark areas where the reverse is the problem?

Ellie,

I got just the opportunity today to test your question. I found two Cormorants sitting next to an Egret on a barrier. It was full sun so it probably was an extreme condition. I think the camera handled it well - what do you think?

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/Comorants_and_Little_Egret-125108.jpg

Peter

Ellie
13th November 2008, 11:48 PM
The picture seems to have vanished from your post, but I found it in your gallery. (Three Wise Monkeys (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/9866/size/big/cat//ppuser/468))

In a picture of that size I think it's worked well with both the cormorants and the egret, although there might be some loss of detail on it's shoulder I can't really tell. The middle bird is something of a problem too, because part of it is in such deep shadow. I can't imagine anybody being able to get a better shot of that grouping.

Hmm, it's certainly worth experimenting t-up

PeterD
14th November 2008, 12:24 AM
Ellie,

The difficulty is that there is no way digital cameras could cope with the range of lightness level in this image. The problems you have identified are those which I found too when processing the image. There is more detail in both the Egrets and Cormorants but the dynamic range constraints make it imposible to get both sets of detail out in the one image. You end up compromising as I have done here.
What I am now looking at is a circular polarising filter which will cut down reflections. This may be the reason for not seeing more detail in the Egret. Its going to be expensive but I think that if I am being serious with my photography, I have to consider it. Landscape and other photography is far more tolerant that wildlife photography. With wildlife, we are looking constantly for detail - get it wrong and almost anyone can see it.
I do not know what happened to the image but here it is again:

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/506/Comorants_and_Little_Egret-125108.jpg

Peter

crimbo
14th November 2008, 06:55 AM
excellent images
so let me get this right ... you are using centre weighted and not evaluative metering

PeterD
14th November 2008, 07:46 AM
excellent images
so let me get this right ... you are using centre weighted and not evaluative metering

Firstly, thank you for you comment on this series. I have tried all three metering modes and this one (centre weighted average) gives me the most consistent result. I seem to have far more control in Lightroom to adjust exposure and balance the image without having to use the WB control.

Peter

crimbo
15th November 2008, 03:25 PM
well i agree with you.
White balance was off but easily corrected in OM2
and that and the resize is all I have done

http://www.paddle.shetland.co.uk/PB150081.jpg

PeterD
15th November 2008, 03:35 PM
Nice shot Chris. A great background too.

Peter

Barr1e
16th November 2008, 10:32 PM
Hi Peter -

Tried out your centre weighted average setting today at the Chasewater Country Club meet - what do you think?

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/Formation_web.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/10083)

Regards. Barr1e

PeterD
16th November 2008, 11:19 PM
Hi Peter -

Tried out your centre weighted average setting today at the Chasewater Country Club meet - what do you think?

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/Formation_web.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/10083)

Regards. Barr1e

Barrie,

It seems to have worked out quite well. The sky is not overly bright despite the birds being very dark. The chest plumage graduates well from light to darker. A good test would be to get a closer shot but the indications are good.

I do like your shot here. The composition is very good.

What is important, what do you think? I have seen some of the images from today and it looks as though you had a great time from an uncertain start. I would love to come to these get-togethers but do not have the time despite having retired:(. I have to fit photography in with the hours daily dog walk.

Peter

Barr1e
16th November 2008, 11:35 PM
Just another to add to the previous shot which shows them landing.
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/Formation_Landing_web.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/10100)

Anne and I thought it turned out to be a fantastic day - so much to see and do.
I rather like the setting as some other pix have shone through.

Regards. Barr1e

PeterD
16th November 2008, 11:41 PM
Just another to add to the previous shot which shows them landing.
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/Formation_Landing_web.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/10100)

Anne and I thought it turned out to be a fantastic day - so much to see and do.
I rather like the setting as some other pix have shone through.

Regards. Barr1e

Terrific shot Barrie. This is what I was hoping you would produce. I have to confess to being anxious all day and hoping you would get the opportunity to try out the setting. Not only have you had the opportunity - you have taken it and brought in the results.

Well done

Peter

joeletx
17th November 2008, 12:00 AM
I had a chance to tackle this difficult task on my new 70-300mm lens shooting wild water chickens on a very sunny day. I have been lucky so far using center weight metering with insects so I reduced the EV value to -0.7 due to the dark feathers of the bird. I found the combination worked with about 85% of the pictures shot. I would have tried EV -1.0 but did not. This attached picture received no post process and I though the bird's beak, that has given me blown out problem before, is now nicely under controlled.

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/S155195.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/9972)

PeterD
17th November 2008, 12:16 AM
I had a chance to tackle this difficult task on my new 70-300mm lens shooting wild water chickens on a very sunny day. I have been lucky so far using center weight metering with insects so I reduced the EV value to -0.7 due to the dark feathers of the bird. I found the combination worked with about 85% of the pictures shot. I would have tried EV -1.0 but did not. This attached picture received no post process and I though the bird's beak, that has given me blown out problem before, is now nicely under controlled.

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/S155195.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/9972)

Thats a superb shot. Lovely and sharp and with good balance throughout. This is a difficult image in bright sunlight and I too have always ended up with burn-out on the beak when using centre spot exposure. IMHO you have applied the exposure offset value that I would have done for this subject. I don't think I would go a full -1EV as this could create too much noise in the blacks. Its always a compromise, if you set the exposure too high then highlights are burnt out and if you set it too low you get too much noise in the shadows which can be the devil to remove. I think this explains why spot metering is fine but it does have its limitations. It's safer to use centre weighted.

Peter

Ellie
17th November 2008, 05:04 PM
I used the centre-weighted setting for my pictures at Keyhaven/Hurst Castle on Saturday. The weather wasn't brilliant, but I'm pleased with the way they came out. I could have taken two sets to compare, but I didn't think of it at the time.

I have to fit photography in with the hours daily dog walk.
If you ever feel like walking your dog over this way please let me know. The sea wall/Keyhaven etc is very popular with dog walkers. :)

PeterD
17th November 2008, 06:26 PM
I used the centre-weighted setting for my pictures at Keyhaven/Hurst Castle on Saturday. The weather wasn't brilliant, but I'm pleased with the way they came out. I could have taken two sets to compare, but I didn't think of it at the time.


If you ever feel like walking your dog over this way please let me know. The sea wall/Keyhaven etc is very popular with dog walkers. :)

I am pleased to hear that you and Barrie have tried the exposure setting and clearly have been happy with the results. Mind you, just about all the shots taken are superb and it's a pleasure to view them.

Thanks for the offer Ellie, I might just go over and see whats there. The images are great from your trip but Blade (my dog) would not fit in with the crowd. He is good with me and lets me take pictures without much bother - lays or sits down when I have the camera out shooting. I would be afraid though to spoil the fun for everyone else nervously checking that he does not mis-behave.

Peter