Too much light in my photos while shooting in manual mode

Started Jun 30, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Frank George III
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Too much light in my photos while shooting in manual mode
Jun 30, 2012

Having used a Pentax K1000 for taking my photos all of my life, I'm used to manually setting my exposure. Being new to digital SLR's I'm really confused about the level of light I'm getting in my photos on my canon 60D EOS with an 18-200 mm zoom as my only lens so far. I set the mode to manual, set my ISO gently depress the button for metering, and adjust my shutter speed and aperture until the index indicator is in the middle of the scale, which according to what I know and the manual should produce a correct exposure. However, when I take the shot and look the photo is much brighter than the actual light present in my scene. For example, taking a photo at dusk in my yard of my vine leaf maple, I have relative low light with a lot of shadows, however the recorded image looks like I took it around 3 or four in the afternoon, while I know it is over exposed, the high lights are not blown out and the photo is reasonably clear, but lacks true to eye contrast levels, it's like if I post processed and hit the brightness button a time or two or three. If I compensate to almost the extreme left of center with the f stop, the light in the recorded image is correct and the picture does not appear under exposed at all. I turned off the auto lighting optimizer and have tried every thing I can think of, but nothing really seems to correct it. If I put the camera into Av, Tv or P and make my adjustments, the center position on the scale always produces a more correct level of light in the photo. It's only in manual exposure and it doesn't matter which settings in the exposure triangle I adjust and give priority to, when i take the shot with the indicator in the middle, it always records the image as though there is two to three times as much light as what there really is and the contrast is far too low. Not sure what I'm doing wrong, but as you can imagine, when trying to make a creative exposure it's difficult to gauge my beginning point to base the exposure triangle on for a creative exposure. I'm thinking there is something wrong with the camera, but am not sure if I'm missing something, especially since when in the other creative modes, center is almost always correct. What am I doing wrong?

Canon EOS 60D
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