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Monday, January 11, 2010

Understanding the histogram II (or color me stupid part II)

Rrrrrrrrrrrr -- I hate the fact that I don't take my time to read things (I skip to the pretty pictures!!). Yes, my name is Frances Knowles, and I'm a skim reader. I always have been and always will be. Give me a book -- I'll find the good stuff, get to the "uh, this is putting me to sleep" stuff and flip pages until the book picks up again.

How does this all tie into yesterday's post on understanding the histogram? Well -- color me stupid -- I didn't pay attention to the fine print. Actually, there wasn't any fine print -- I just didn't pay attention to everything in the article.

Today, I was going to try out using the EV button (+/-) to improve on what my camera is indicating as a correct exposure. First of all, I shoot in manual 99.9% of the time (I started out shooting in manual and never think  about the other modes). Ok, so my camera is in manual, I take a picture, look at the histogram, notice that it could be pushed some, so I start increasing the EV button. Hmmmmmmm, not working out like I thought it should. I try it again. Still not getting the right results.  What's up??????

So, I go out to the Digital Photography School's website and search for exposure compensation.  Now the light bulb starts to glow  ever so softly! The EV button does not work in manual mode, because duhhhhhh, I'm in manual mode (I control everything!!!!).   So basically, I was doing the same thing yesterday (manual, setting the aperture, decreasing the shutter speed --- as I would have if I was shooting in aperture priority mode and increasing the EV compensation (comes out in the wash the same).  Basically, when in Aperture mode, increasing the EV will adjust your shutter speed (see  shutter/EV changes as noted in the image below).

Here are my results from today's experiment using exposure compensation.  Image #1 is the starting point (camera indicated this as the correct exposure).  Note -- I've lost details in the shadow areas as indicated by the histogram running off the left hand side (dark side).  I knew I was going to crop for the vase only and wasn't concerned about the area to the far right of the vase.

The winner of today's experiment is #2

Since I don't normally shoot in aperture, shutter or program modes -- I'll watch my histogram and make adjustments to my shutter speed as I did in my previous blog post (quite honestly, I think I'd probably forget to set the EV back to 0).

Now -- for pictures of the Stromboli I made last night!!!!


I had to mark Rick's with the red pepper flakes -- because his had Italian sausage in it and mine didn't (!I used pepperoni instead of Italian sausage)    The recipe came from the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day book.  Rick ate every bit of his Stromboli, I saved half of mine for brunch today.  So far I'm batting 100 with this book. 

Well, enough of my ramblings. I hope I've enlightened you. I feel like my light bulb is at least a 40watt bulb now (I'm shooting for a 100 watts)!

Have a great week!

;~D Frances


  1. Thank you for posting this explanation. You make learning fun.

    I'm going to the grocery store to buy the ingredients for the recipe.

  2. Glad you enjoyed it! The recipe calls for Italian Sausage. I used Italian Sausage and Pepperoni in Rick's -- and Pepperoni only in mine. The Five Minute Bread book makes making bread waaaayyy to easy --- and the outcome is always fabulous!!!


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