Using Histograms when shooting RAW

Started Feb 28, 2013 | Discussions thread
PhilPreston3072
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Re: Using Histograms when shooting RAW
In reply to henk05, Mar 5, 2013

henk05 wrote:

Hi,

I have a question about histograms in combination with shooting in RAW mode. I have always thought when I started using a dslr that I don't have to pay too much attention to the histogram on my camera when I shoot in RAW mode. My idea was that I can always correct images which are over- or under exposed in my software when back home.

You're referring to the Exposure slider in Lightroom right?

My usual topic for photography are fat jets at airshows. I a lot of cases when the aircraft is shot with a gray sky behind it, I always end up with a histogram (in Lightroom) which only has a smallish peak in the middle of the histogram (neutral gray). I have noticed that it is almost impossible to correct this, because the peak is too narrow. It doesn't come close to the whole width of the histogram.

I think what you're looking for is the Contrast control.  If you increase the contrast, you stretch out the histogram wider.  Having said that, it's not really necessary that all your shots need to have the histogram to stretch across the full spectrum.  If your scene has very even brightness and colour, then naturally the histogram will all bunch up close together, which is nothing wrong.

Left and right I hear that I don't have the exposure set properly. But now I ask how I can change that in the above situation? For the fast jets I need a fast shutter speed, and when the weather is dull gray, I will need my large aperture as well. I usually shoot in Tv mode (1/1000th -1/1600th) with the lens stopped down 1 or 2 stops (300mm/F2.8). ISO is set to auto.

Are you using a Manual Aperture lens?  Normally you can't select the aperture in Tv mode.  The camera automatically selects the aperture for the appropriate exposure.  In Tv mode, if you want to make the shot brighter you increase the Exposure Compensation.  So if you want the sky to look more brighter than middle grey, set Exp Comp to a positive value.

Make sure you haven't hit the aperture limit or the ISO limit. Once you hit the limit, exposure compensation won't work properly.

Does it help me if I overexpose such a scene with a few stops while shooting? Or would I do the same in thing when I add a few stops in Lightroom?

Exposing to the right can help you reduce noise.  When you lower the exposure in post, you also lower the noise, and the opposite also applies.  For action shots in low light though, exposing to the right might not be practical.

Henk

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