Problems with Manual exposure on D-800

Started Nov 9, 2012 | Questions thread
bigpigbig Senior Member • Posts: 1,726
Re: Problems with Manual exposure on D-800

Chair Mike Adams wrote:

The reason I shoot theatre with manual (and RAW) is that I like to underexpose by several stops because in stage lighting there is often a great contrast in the lighting, some characters too hot, others in the shadows, so underexposing allows me to bring it up to a decent level.

a sample of the result, lightroom 4:

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Hello Mike,

I like what you are doing!

I am a photography teacher at an international school in Bangkok. Nice to hear from other educators.

I teach my students that underexposing is strictly relative. There is NEVER a correct exposure, only the exposure you want. Typically, people refer to underexposure as "less than what the camera automatically would have chosen" but even the camera would be wildly different in your situation depending on what metering mode you had chosen and what color (tone) was near the center of your frame. The best way (only way in my opinion) to shoot theater is in Manual mode and chimp your shots. Avoiding blown highlights is the name of the game (especially on faces) and turning on highlight warning ("blinkies") will speed up the chimping. Quickly checking the histogram, or using a live histogram is very helpful as well. Don't be afraid to get creative with shutter speeds and put a bit of motion into your shots. Otherwise, your shots might start to look like a wax figure museum.

Anyway, keep up the great work, and if you are ever interested in a collaboration, or are passing through Bangkok, let me know.

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