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Creating Custom Settings

Lesson 5 from: Perfect Exposures from Histogram through Lightroom

Jared Platt

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Lesson Info

5. Creating Custom Settings

Lesson Info

Creating Custom Settings

I want to talk to you a little bit about something important beyond the hissed. A gram, which is how do you get the right exposure every time? How many of you do weddings or events or something where you're moving around a lot in your taking pictures of ran or street photography is this way too? Yeah. Okay. So if you're doing something like that and you have your camera and you're going from a dark situation to a light situation back and forth and moving around, I'm gonna show you how to take care of that so that you get the right exposures every single time, even in an instant. Okay, so let's go to here. And I'm just going to show you a set of photos. Um, Oops. There we go. Okay. So you can see that each one of these photos is different, right? This one's deep inside of the shadows of the church. This one's an overview. With highlights spilling in and out of the of the church windows. This one's them on their way out of the church. And then this is right outside the church, and it all...

happens like you're following him. in your you've got your camera up like this and you're taking pictures and then you're walking out the door, and then the exposure is changing, and it's different out there, right? So what I do is this So I have at the top of the camera on my canon five d mark three. I have three custom settings, and almost every camera these days has custom settings of some kind. You might have to You might have three depending. Okay. The cheaper the camera, the more it will be menu driven. The better the camera. It will have him kind of really easily accessible. But what you want to do is create custom settings. So what I do is I go into every situation. So in this wedding I went in and I got a meter reading and figured out what the perfect exposure was for the dark part of the chapel. What's the perfect exposure for the entire chapel? What's the perfect exposure for them right up the altar, and then them inside the the walkway coming back, you know, the ill coming down. And then I go outside and take another picture and figure out what's the perfect exposure for the outside. Once I've got all of those down, I make a custom setting for each one of them so that I could turn back and forth between them. So if I'm shooting in the dark part of the church custom three boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. And then I see someone doing something over there on the altar custom to take a picture on the altar. Custom one is me coming back like this, you know? And then as I get out the door, I turned back to my normal manual setting, which is kind of like custom four. So I just go and then I'm Does that make sense? So you have all of your custom settings set up so that they are perfectly exposed in whatever circumstance. And rarely do you have four completely independent exposures that you have to take within the same hour period of time. If you're an event photographer, let's say you do like, um, corporate events or something like that. You're gonna have several that you're gonna have a grip and grin setting. So that's always custom. Three. Because for me, on custom three, I can just go. It's like I don't it stops because that's the last custom setting. So if I'm if I'm taking some arty picture on custom one of like it's it's 28 It's got the flash of a certain compensation and its shutter speed of 2/100 of a second cause I'm shooting with long lens or something like that, and someone comes out to me and says, Hey, could you take a picture of me and my friend? Absolutely custom three. Take the picture. Thanks. And then I'm back on. I didn't even have to look at any settings. So let me show you how that's done. And I'll just show you one and then you can figure out extrapolate from there. So in this case, if I want to set up a custom setting, I will go to my manual setting. So I go to manual like that, and then I'm gonna set up my exposure settings. So in this case, let's say that I was doing a 2/100 of a second at 28 at I s 0 1600 like that was the setting that was perfect. I figured out the exposure So to hundreds of a second to a 1600 eyes. So I've set it up. I can also go in and play with the flash compensation right here. So I Let's say I needed it toe overexpose the flash by a stop. Okay, Now I'm set. I like the way. And by the way, keep in mind that this will also in most cameras. I don't know about other camera makers, but in canon cameras, it will also like if you change it to J peg settings, it will switch to J. Peg. So make sure that all of your settings are exactly the way you want them, including the file type you're shooting and all that kind of stuff. Okay, so then once you've set that up and it's a manual setting cause it's on manual, this is a manual custom setting. So then I go into my menus. Right now, I go to menu and I go, I have it up in my star. Everything that I wanted in my star see that custom shooting mode? I go down to custom shooting mode, I click on it and I register that setting. And if this is a setting that I get to slowly I'll put it custom one. And usually I kind of think of things like custom. 33 people. 56 It's a grip and grin. So I put a custom three custom to is like F four, because it needs less step the field because there's only two people side by side, and then custom one is whatever I want it, you know, just kind of think through it and think what makes the most rational sense to you. So I'm gonna say, Customs shooting one hit, Okay. And now any time I go to customs shooting one, all those settings will immediately change to their. Now, if I have a situation like, I'm gonna go out the doors of the church and it's gonna be something. But I don't know what it's gonna be because the clouds air back and forth, back and forth, and so it's changing. That needs to be not a manual setting. It needs to be an aperture priority setting. So that will. So I won't end up under or over exposing the first shot out of the church because the sun came out right. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna go to my aperture priority. That's there. I'm gonna go to my aperture priority mode. Then I'm going to go in and start setting up my settings. And so in this case is going to be I s. So let's say, and it's going to be a aperture of, Let's say, F five and then I'm gonna let the shutter be whatever it is. But I know that when I get out there, generally speaking, if there's too much light on the dress, the dress is going to blow out. And to solve that, I'm just gonna go and do my compensation. So I'm gonna do exposure, compensation, whatever the camera thinks it's supposed to be. There's a lot of white in there, so I'm going to under exposed because it's it's if I'm shooting a church door and there's darkness over here and stuff like that, and then there's a white dress. What's gonna happen to the white dress because it's averaging at all? The white dress is gonna peak, right, because it's trying to make the darkness more light gray, and so what I'm gonna do, especially if you're like, if you're looking at a shot, that's a lot of grass and then a bride. That's about 1/3 of the photo. The grass is gonna be neutral gray, and she's gonna blow out. So I under exposed Simon assail Cam and under exposed I'm gonna go into my exposure compensation and under exposed by 2/3 of stop. And then once I'm done with that, I'm just gonna go back into my menu. And now I'm gonna go custom setting register the setting, and I'm gonna go to custom setting three and hit. OK, and then now I've got custom setting 123 But three is not a manual version. It's a automatic version that has some compensation done to it so that when I walk out there and I go to custom three, it's immediately ready for whatever circumstance happens to be there. Yeah, so in that case, um, your what you just explain a custom three. You actually have the camera set toe aperture priority. If you happen to be coming off of a manual, um, setting on the physical camera, what would happen? But it's still it will. So if I was, let's say I was inside the church and I was shooting a manual setting like manual manual, not even accustomed. I was a manual setting at, like, whatever it is, let's say I was 60 of the second of 2.8. If I goto custom three, I'm immediately in tow. Aperture priority mode. I take pictures, and then as soon as I and then I'm like, Oh, but there's someone in the church. I turned right back to that same manual setting I was at, and it goes back to the same manual settings I was at before I went to the custom setting Could shoot those so you can see how the manual setting in your camera can be its own custom setting. And then you've got three other ones besides that. So I'm a big fan of custom settings. So the mawr custom settings you confined on a camera, the better it is. I love the fact that this Canon five D Mark three has three custom settings, but I would like it if it had five, because it's so useful because now I can move around and get great shots and I can get the right exposure on all of them, and I don't have any wasted shots where I'm like Oh, crap. I forgot toe and then change it because something happened over there. And the problem is, you don't want to miss the moment because missing the moment is a horrible thing. Eso my question would be in a situation like street photography. Well, you don't have the luxury of going setting up your your shot are your customs. What are some good customs that you would use in that scenario? So if I were shooting street photography, the first thing and I used to do this with a film camera. Um, but it was, you know, in on film cameras the aperture ring was on the actual lens, you know? And so what I would do is I would, I would figure out before I got into my street photography mode, I would look at the deep shadows. I would look at the light shadows, the open shadows, and then I would look at the highlights and I would figure out what's the proper exposure for each of those. And then I would have it in my head. And then I would as I went, I would just change my aperture to be the custom setting. And so if I started looking into the shadow, I would change it to 2.8. And if I happen to be looking into the highlights, I would change it. F eight and I would just be moving those things. As I was moved anywhere my eyes were looking. That's where I was going to be photographing so I would change to that correct aperture for that exposure so that I was never left unawares or unable to take that picture. So in this case, what I would do is I would use your spot meter. You're spot meter is critical to this. If you if you understand that you're spot meter is that's your best friend because then you can look across the street and you can figure out, Oh, that over there has a deep shadow. Let me see what that deep shadow looks like, Okay, and I know that the inside that deep shadow I know the known value of, say, that white something. There's a say. There's a white dress hanging on a on, you know, like a a sales rack or something. Well, I know the quantity of that, so I point out I get this. The exposure for that deep shadow set a custom setting for it because now you know that that white you overexpose it by two stops and then this is important when you're looking at a known quantity, if you're looking at grey So if we're looking at your pants which are kind of a middle gray, I know that if I spot meter that and I put it right in the middle of the of the exposure meter, everything else is gonna be correct. Your face is gonna be correct. Your blouse is gonna be correct. Your shirt will be correct. But if I don't have that and I know white whites a pretty known quantity, we can all tell what white looks like with, you know, full detail. So point at something white, get it within that spot meter and then overexpose it by two stops, or even 2.5 or 22 and 1/3 right. And that will put you at the correct value for white, make a custom setting for it, and then look over here in the highlights and say, OK, if I'm in the highlights and there's you know, cross light coming from the sun. What is the value of the white on, Say, this dress or on the sign or this piece of paper? What is the known value of that? When the sun is striking it highlight that and overexpose it by three stops in my camera, three stops, and that will give me the hottest, brightest white I can have and still control it. And that's only based on my experience with my camera, knowing because I've done the test on it and I've done my little exposure bracketing and I've looked at both and I said, What can I recover and what can I recover? And I know that if I overexposed from middle gray three full stops, I can recover that white. It's perfect. What it will be great will be perfect life, right and then just cycle through your custom settings and you won't really have to think about it. However, I would suggest as another assignment that you go the old school route so that you get used to it. Go out and say to yourself, I need to remember the settings for deep shadow. Open shadow, Bright highlights. What What are the settings so that when I turn from place to place I'm thinking in my head this needs to be I s 0 100 nowadays I change my I sell more than I change my shutter speed and aperture in the old days because I had to change the film to change the eso So nowadays I don't have to change the film So I would much prefer to move the I s o So I keep my shutter speed exactly where I want it to be and my aperture exactly where I want it to be Based on the style that I want Photograph toe Look, you know, if I want to capture action or if I want to have you know, uh, large depth of field or whatever and then my I s o is the thing that moves. So now I just say that's a $1600.1600 dollars. That's a 1600 Aiso shadow. And that's an 800. Ah eso open shadow. And that is a eyes. So bright sunlight, crazy exposure. So I think in that terms and then test yourself and go around and do it till you get used to What's the difference between open shadow and deep shadow? Usually about two stops, actually. So 16 it will be 400. Usually eso Europan shadow is about twice as bright is your deep shadow and then you're highlight Depends on whether the sun's shining or if it's here in Portland, right? That's right. So you had a question? Yeah, a couple things here. Uh, don't most So going back to the history, Graham. Real quick. Don't most Marylise cameras have a live hissed a gram. Most Marylise cameras do have a live history am which is amazing. Yeah, So if you are on a mere lis camera, use the live hissed a gram so that you But again, don't trust what you're seeing in the camera. You the only thing that you should trust, even on a live view type of situation, you don't trust the actual screen and that we're not looking at zebra bars. In other words, you're like looking at the actual history Ram. Well, I want to see the history Ram and the zebra bunk or the blinky is how you know, as some people have z bars instead, that zebra bars is kind of an old video technology, I yeah, and then the blinking lights arm or of the like, the new digital SLR way of doing it. But regardless of what you're doing, one of the problems that I have with a, um, with the mere list cameras were you looking in and you're seeing a video screen is that when you're looking in there, it's really easy for you to get complacent and comfortable with the idea that your exposure is perfect because it's showing you because when on those on those muralist cameras, especially when they have the live you inside here as you change your aperture and I s so it changes what the exposure looks like in here. But it's not accurate. Remember, the only thing it's accurate even on one of those cameras is the hissed a gram. So you may be looking at it thinking, Oh, that looks right. That looks right. That looks right. But you can't trust the inaccuracy of a small little digital screen inside of this little cup. Or especially not the one that you're looking like this. It seems as though it's giving you the accurate picture. But the hissed a gram is the Onley thing that's scientifically accurate as to what the exposure actually looks like. So just I can't warn you enough about that, though. I think they're great live life history. Ram is amazing, and I use it whenever I'm sitting this thing up on like a tripod, and I'm working like an architectural shot or something like that. I just turn the live you on and it's got a live hissed a gram and it's awesome. I could just change, but I'm only looking the hissed a gram. I'm not looking at the exposure of the actual screen. I'm looking at the history Graham to tell me whether it's exposed, and then I'm looking at the live you to tell me what the composition looks like. That's the only purpose for looking at through through your viewfinder or at the back of this. Look at the composition. That's fine, but it is not to judge your exposure. So one thing I wanted to note. If you and I do this a lot, I will shoot darker than normal. So I'll find that my exposures end up being like the faces. If I'm shooting someone without lights, and I'm not lighting their face. I'll find that I'm under exposing them a little bit in order to make sure like your blonde hair doesn't blow out. If I don't have a flash on you and I'm not totally in control of that lighting situation, I'm gonna under expose your face because I don't want your hair to blow out. And usually what I'm doing is I'm turning you away from the sun and you can see that, um, here inside of let's see, like, now that that's I'm here. No, I need a need. Someone that's here. This is a good example right here. You see that? So I've put her in a shadow. And so the face, her shadow of her face is about the same as the shadow on the trees, the trees or darker there. Darker things. But it's the same amount of light coming forward from the northern sky. Right? And then you got the southern sun sneaking through the trees, and that's what's lighting her blonde hair. But I have toe under expose that enough so that there's not, um, it's not gonna be lit. And then I'm adding the flash to bring her back. But if I don't have a flash, I'm gonna have to just brighten her up like I did in the the other situation that we're dealing with. And so when when you're dealing with that, just make sure that you're also using noise reduction, so the noise reduction inside of light room is pretty phenomenal. It used to not be Aziz good as it is now, but it's it's It's amazing now. And so if you just go into your detail section and then go into your noise reduction panel, your luminous noise reduction will take care of a lot. So the general of thumb is that you want to expose as bright as possible without blowing the highlight, but because you're constantly looking to protect highlights that are much, much brighter than your subject, usually your subject is usually right there in that middle gray, which is why cameras started trying to judge Middle Gray as what the meter reads. Because most subjects are in middle gray and so most of you guys air in the middle gray area, and so that's why the cameras trying to judge middle gray. So when you are photographing you're probably going to have toe under expose that middle. Great to protect that highlight, which means that you're gonna have to boost up your shadow afterwards, right? Unless, of course, using Flash, which I'm a big fan of doing. I love using flash, because then I can equalize. I'm going to photograph with seen first figure out what the proper exposure for the scene is. Then I'm gonna add the flash toe, bring the foreground back in tow into the right exposure. All right, Now, when you're doing that, if you're gonna add flash, make sure that you go in to the actual face like I would any time I'm shooting someone with a flash. So especially outside. And I want to know what the actual exposure is on them to make sure that it's correct. I just simply zoom in on them so that they're nice and tight, even if it's gonna be a shot. That's you know this wide where she's just a little element in there. I'm gonna go into her and I'm going to zoom in and take a picture with the flash firing. And then when I look at my history, Graham so that's the same thing as doing this. So it's the same ideas doing this going in and doing that. But just do it with your camera. See that? That's what the hissed a gram on her face looks like, which is perfect because it's middle, middle gray. It's It's perfect. But I walked in, took a picture. I know what it looks like. I can zoom back out. So there is a way for you to then do a kind of a spot check just by walking in and spot checking and then moving back out. Check that hissed a gram. Make sure that whatever it is, you're spot checking. Looks like what its history. I'm looks like what it is, and then you'll know she's dead on accurate. That's perfect. Then you could do the same thing with trees. Is that dead on accurate? Just zoom in, take a picture of it. Yep, that's dead on accurate. The only thing you have to be careful of, some of you might have a zoom Lins that changes. So as you zoom in, it changes from F 4 to Be careful because that changes your exposure, so don't do that if you don't have a constant aperture on your lens on your zoom Lins, don't zoom in. Walk in. All right. Okay. You have a question? Yes. So you I want to double click on what you said regarding the exposure is perfect. Based upon your view of the history. Am you said it was perfect? Is it because you had essentially an equal amount of the of the colors and the gray was in the middle? Is that what is that? Why I know is you set waste by just looking at the history of use it. It's perfect. It's perfect because it looks like the thing. So let me let me finish the Cropsey that. Okay, so we're just looking at that area of the crop, and I want you to look at the history Graham based on what she is. So if you look at the history Graham, the great part, which tells you what the just overall exposure is, you can see that there's very little black and that's just her eyes. So, like, right here on the edge of her eyelashes and then a little bit down there, there's very little of that darkness and then it's all middle tone. And then there's a big spike on Middleton. That's all of her cheeks. And, like, all over, like all of this, your neck and all that, kind of. So that's all that middle spike. And then you see, there's like a spike right here. That right there, that's the hot parts, right. That's the brighter areas. And then there's like, this little crest of light that's right over here. That's that little crest of light. And then notice the Reds. The Reds air. There's more red in the photograph than there is blue, so there's a little bit of blue here. There's some blue in her eyes. There's blue here, and then shadow is always blue, right? So there's a little bit of blueness in it, whereas the warmth, the yellows and the reds that's her face tone. So when you look at it, it looks like we took that same that middle gray chunk, that little mountain of grey. It looks like we took it and spread out colors because all the colors look like the same mountain, right, but they're just offset from each other. So when you look at up several mountains of yellow and red to the right and several mountains of scion and blue and green to the left. What that tells you is that the photograph is warm rather than cool. If it was a cool photograph, they would reverse themselves. So if I was photographing and ice statue, then this would look exactly the same. Except the blues would be on the right hand side and the reds and stuff would be down to the bottom or non existent, depending on how real Blewitt waas So your history am should look exactly like whatever it is that's within the bounds of the crop or within the bounds of your camera. Okay, so you want to judge it based on that and the only way for you to get to know what the correct hissed a gram looks like for the crank photograph is to take a photograph, put it in the light room, play with it, look at it, look at each individual tone and figure out what does that tone look like? Oh, a warm face tone. Looks like this. All right, That's how you figure it out. Okay? And if I were to go into the basic tones here, and I want to take the temperature and play with it. See that now. If she's an ice sculpture, the blue goes that way and the rest goes this way, so you can then manipulate that and figure out what works best. And you can tell the same thing on your camera. You're gonna even tell if you're correctly, um, white balanced based on your history. Graham. Inside your camera if you take a picture and the red, the green and the blue all line up all their mountains, line up perfectly. You are absolutely white, balanced. Teoh. Neutral, neutral, neutral. We don't always want to shoot that way. Sometimes we want to shoot with a little bit warmer. A little cooler, whatever. But you can tell. So if you're ever in a theater, you know, theater, lights, air, really wonky and weird and hard to photograph. It's because they have a very specific Kelvin rating on their lights, and so you have to change your it never works to go to just one of your note normal settings. You just need to go to your Kelvin setting and take a picture and dial it up and down until all of those lights are all of the red, the green and the blue match up so that they're even, and then you'll know for this situation. I am neutral. There is no cast one way or the other. And then when they turn on a red spot and it goes red, it's just because it's red and it'll it'll be a nice red. It looked more like what you would see when you're looking at the photograph are when you're looking at this stage as a viewer.

Ratings and Reviews

Michael Griffith

Jared provides very clear, very specific suggestions on how to make the best use of your camera's histogram. The only suggestion that I have to improve the class would be for him to talk about the basics of the histogram first: what it is, what it shows, how it works. He gets there, but you have to wait for it. Overall, a useful class about an important photographic tool. Jared's photos do an excellent job of illustrating his points.

Fred Innamorato

Finally I found a class focused on understanding and explaining Exposure. With so many examples and visual aids, Jared does an excellent job of conveying his ideas and concepts. This class absolutely filled in the gaps of my understanding on how to correctly compensate the camera's exposure settings to achieve great pictures. He also is an awesome instructor. I rate the course 100%. Not an expensive course either.

fbuser 72f69990

Great class! Very clear and straight to the point. There is a lot of incorrect information related to histograms out there, but Jared explained perfectly! I recommend doing the assignment he suggests with your own images (third lesson), this really helped me to understand what my camera´s "proper exposure" is. A real game changer! Thanks!

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