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Exposure Compensation Question
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Apr 6, 2019 11:36:46   #
MikeMck (a regular here)
 
I am shooting a variety of monologues on stage. The background is all black and the actor is bright because of the stage lighting. I am going to set my exposure compensation value to the minus side to underexpose the subject. Is my rationale correct? I also am using 'spot" focus to concentrate on the face of the actor. Thanks for your help.

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Apr 6, 2019 11:40:42   #
BebuLamar (a regular here)
 
Yes set the compensation to minus side. However if the spot light shining on the actors is rather constant I would do a rough spotmetering. Set the camera on manual. Take test shot. Make necessary adjustment and keep the same setting through out.
Unless the there is a lighting operator who changes the light for effect or the actor may walk out of the light the lighting is the same so in this case manual works best.

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Apr 6, 2019 11:42:35   #
MikeMck (a regular here)
 
BebuLamar wrote:
Yes set the compensation to minus side. However if the spot light shining on the actors is rather constant I would do a rough spotmetering. Set the camera on manual. Take test shot. Make necessary adjustment and keep the same setting through out.
Unless the there is a lighting operator who changes the light for effect or the actor may walk out of the light the lighting is the same so in this case manual works best.


Thank you!

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Apr 6, 2019 12:02:18   #
Ched49 (a regular here)
 
Yes, you can either do that or use a faster shutter speed to bring your exposure graph (in your vu finder) a little to the minus side.

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Apr 6, 2019 12:04:45   #
TriX (a regular here)
 
Yep, meter and chimp very carefully - it’s easy to blow out facial highlights when the subject is illuminated by a spot (found this out the hard way 😡).

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Apr 6, 2019 12:08:20   #
imagemeister (a regular here)
 
You could also set your camera for SPOT metering and make sure the metering area just covers the subject - then no compensation needed - unless the SUBJECT goes significantly dark or light in reflectivity.

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Apr 6, 2019 12:12:46   #
jak86094
 
I recently shot a high school dance recital. Simple staging but a great variety of lighting challenged me. Using a Tamron 70-200 zoom and Nikon D500, I set the shutter speed to 1/800 and aperture to f/3.5. Compensation (EV) was set at -1. Auto-ISO and Auto Focus were turned on. No flash was allowed. I took approximately 300 shots, chimping periodically and adjusting EV as the lighting changed. I only had to discard about 20 shots...usually due to bad focus, bad composition, or uninteresting subject. Not all of the photos are exceptional, but I kept them because it was a very large cast and I thought many of the dancers were like to see themselves. There were only a few shots where lighting or shutter speed was a problem. Hope you find good settings for your project. I think the AutoISO was the real critical setting. Good luck.

jak

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Apr 6, 2019 12:33:04   #
MikeMck (a regular here)
 
Ched49 wrote:
Yes, you can either do that or use a faster shutter speed to bring your exposure graph (in your vu finder) a little to the minus side.


Thank you!

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Apr 6, 2019 12:33:35   #
MikeMck (a regular here)
 
TriX wrote:
Yep, meter and chimp very carefully - it’s easy to blow out facial highlights when the subject is illuminated by a spot (found this out the hard way 😡).


Thank you!

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Apr 6, 2019 12:33:55   #
MikeMck (a regular here)
 
imagemeister wrote:
You could also set your camera for SPOT metering and make sure the metering area just covers the subject - then no compensation needed - unless the SUBJECT goes significantly dark or light in reflectivity.


Thank you!

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Apr 6, 2019 12:34:17   #
MikeMck (a regular here)
 
jak86094 wrote:
I recently shot a high school dance recital. Simple staging but a great variety of lighting challenged me. Using a Tamron 70-200 zoom and Nikon D500, I set the shutter speed to 1/800 and aperture to f/3.5. Compensation (EV) was set at -1. Auto-ISO and Auto Focus were turned on. No flash was allowed. I took approximately 300 shots, chimping periodically and adjusting EV as the lighting changed. I only had to discard about 20 shots...usually due to bad focus, bad composition, or uninteresting subject. Not all of the photos are exceptional, but I kept them because it was a very large cast and I thought many of the dancers were like to see themselves. There were only a few shots where lighting or shutter speed was a problem. Hope you find good settings for your project. I think the AutoISO was the real critical setting. Good luck.

jak
I recently shot a high school dance recital. Simpl... (show quote)


Thank you!

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Apr 6, 2019 13:57:57   #
rgrenaderphoto (a regular here)
 
MikeMck wrote:
I am shooting a variety of monologues on stage. The background is all black and the actor is bright because of the stage lighting. I am going to set my exposure compensation value to the minus side to underexpose the subject. Is my rationale correct? I also am using 'spot" focus to concentrate on the face of the actor. Thanks for your help.


Will work. Also, try bracketing your shots, +- 2 stops to see which is best.

Assuming you shoot in RAW, it is far easier to correct underexposure vs a blown out image.

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Apr 6, 2019 13:58:58   #
MikeMck (a regular here)
 
rgrenaderphoto wrote:
Will work. Also, try bracketing your shots, +- 2 stops to see which is best.

Assuming you shoot in RAW, it is far easier to correct underexposure vs a blown out image.


Thank you!

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Apr 6, 2019 14:34:04   #
PHRubin (a regular here)
 
BebuLamar wrote:
Yes set the compensation to minus side. However if the spot light shining on the actors is rather constant I would do a rough spotmetering. Set the camera on manual. Take test shot. Make necessary adjustment and keep the same setting through out.
Unless the there is a lighting operator who changes the light for effect or the actor may walk out of the light the lighting is the same so in this case manual works best.


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Apr 6, 2019 15:44:55   #
crazydaddio
 
BebuLamar wrote:
Yes set the compensation to minus side. However if the spot light shining on the actors is rather constant I would do a rough spotmetering. Set the camera on manual. Take test shot. Make necessary adjustment and keep the same setting through out.
Unless the there is a lighting operator who changes the light for effect or the actor may walk out of the light the lighting is the same so in this case manual works best.


Ditto.
This is what I do....
If the lighting on the speaker is multiple stops away from the backdrop (ie extremely high dynamic range), don't let the camera decide in any mode as even slight framing difference could swing the exposure significantly. Take a few test shots, check your histogram, and then fire away.

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