Recent Learnt Lesson on Photography

After ignoring Histogram for a while, I finally did a bit of reading about it and was pleasantly surprised to learn a tip on "Exposure Compensation" along the way.
I read DPS: Understanding Histograms and Mark David's article too.
Both good, well written; one simpler than the other, which is where I gladly started with and it works! Especially for someone who's been avoiding it (i.e. me!) thinking that it is way TOO complicated. :)

But - now I know!
"Left is black, right is white."
If the graph is too much on the left side, it indicates possibility of an underexposed image while if the graph is too much on the right side, it's an overexposed image.

How does this relate to Exposure Compensation, you might ask?

Hmm - I know when to use the +/- button, BUT I've always struggled to remember how to use it (i.e. whether to do a '+' or a '-' to correct my next shot).
So I ended up gambling on the next shot, try a '+' and see if the image is corrected, if not, I go the '-' way.
Which isn't a bad thing for casual shots I suppose, but I'm sure I've missed "moments" because of this (thankfully NOTHING significant yet - or as far I know).

Anyway - every time I mentioned this to Eddy (my Visual Weekly partner), he always said it's because Nikon is silly, it does it the other way.
But I never quite get it.
What does he mean by Nikon doing it the opposite way?
Now, I FINALLY understand!!! :D

If the graph in the shot's Histogram is too much to the left, the Exposure Compensation we would do as a logical photographer (who read Histogram...) is to turn the dial to the right, because we want to move the graph towards the right side.
But, on Nikon SLRs, if you underexposed an image (i.e. graph mainly on the left side), you need to actually turn the dial to the left (hence the opposite of a natural logical thinking way!).
Whilst turning the dial to the right with +/- button pressed down actually darken the next shot (moving the graph a bit towards the left side (the black area)!).

It is such a relief to finally understand this! :)
Whether or not it makes me a better photographer, I don't know - but hey, I'm learning!
Plus, I really have to wait till the next time I take shots which needed Exposure Compensation to find out whether this is sticking in my brain (I have extreme selective memory issue).
I hope it does! (If it doesn't, I can just keep on reading this until it sticks.) :P

Then, while being contemplating whether or not I should:
- get a Monitor Calibrator (I did! Come to think of it, perhaps more because of peer pressure that I created myself than actual knowing why I need them.),
- get an external flash (Not yet! I'm going to try out DIY Pop Up Flash diffuser first, see link 1 and link 2),
- get a reflector (I probably will - I do like the resulting photograph from using this, the trouble is - I need someone else to hold this for me!),
- get a tripod (Probably? When I earned enough $ from photography!);
a guy at Digital Photography School Forum pointed me to a post by David duChemin from Pixelated Image.

Photographers - (amateurs or professionals) - make sure you read the "Confessions of a So-Called PRO" and then JUST!: "I'm only an amateur".
They are really well written and refreshing!
It makes me realise that I love photography (i.e. taking photos and making them look nice), everything else comes 2nd (especially how I go about doing it and what gear I have!).

Have a good day, peeps!

2 Response to "Recent Learnt Lesson on Photography"

Simon Food Favourites Says:

thanks for sharing. it's always good to know as much as possible about the equipment you're using. i've learnt something from your post :-)

ms s loveridge Says:

yay! :) thanks so much for the comment. i'm VERY glad you've learnt something from this post.

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