Well I just learnt something. It's probably not something I need to worry about too much as I never seem to push my aperture up too high. But in saying that it's good info to know.
There's always more to something than meets the eye.
What is EXIF Data? When you take a photo, the photo file also contains information.
"storing information on the image such as shutter speed, exposure compensation, F number, what metering system was used, if a flash was used, ISO number, date and time the image was taken, whitebalance, auxiliary lenses that were used and resolution. Some images may even store GPS information"
....and a heap more info... a lot of info!
You can see the basic EXIF data on your computer by right clicking on your .jpg file and checking the properties / details.
If you want to see a whole lot more info, go to http://exifdata.com , upload an un-edited .jpg .
Another interesting bit of info is it contains your shutter count. Most DSLRs are generally rated to 100,000 shutter actuations. Some of the new ones are rated to 150,000 - 200,000
Nice one Stevo.
I use the EXIF data on other people's pictures all the time to work out the settings they used on a spiffy pic.
I then normally say to myself '....ah now I see...why couldn't I do that?....'.
The thing the EXIF doesn't tell me is what post processing they've done (Photoshop etc) as most of the super-special pics would have some sort of touch up done I would suspect. I follow a photography forum at work and I'd have to say 80% of photo's posted are processed in Photoshop or Lightroom. Nothing against that and I'm not trying to get into a debate on that subject again but simply making an observation.
So my challenge to you Stevo is to do a complete 'How To' on Photoshop. Shouldn't take long to put that together eh? (tic)
Good idea Steve . Most enthusiasts use Light Room, and i'd say 99% of professionals use it. From what I can tell, Photoshop has the same features but Light Room is aimed at the photographer and for processing photos faster and easier, it has a great system if you have a lot of photos to work through, I sorted through 2000 waterski photos at xmas, Photoshop would have been a nightmare.
I assume there's people that are against editing/edited photos, but as you stated, most, if not all photos that you see in publications and on the net are edited in some way. The best way to edit a photo is to make it look like it hasn't been edited, and you start with a good photo and do minor changes ... I see quite a few people over processing photos, waaayyyy too much HDR, they seem to love HDR. (I'm no expert in this field either and sometimes try to save a bad photo and it doesn't quite work and when I look back at it I think gees that looks terrible, but ohwell.. you have to let things go sometimes)
but anyways, yeah... maybe it requires a new thread - "Editing Photos"
I assume most DSLRs would have this feature. You should see a [-/+] button near your shutter button. It would be set on zero default. This only comes in to effect when in the manual modes, (M/S/A etc)
Sometimes when you're taking a photo it may turn out a bit dark or too bright, depending on the light metering. For example, The background might be really bright and it's making your subject dark. In that case you could try adjusting the exposure compensation to +1, or your subject is being blown out by light, then you could set it to -1 , basicly it's changing the exposure.
It's probably a bit of personal preference I guess, I've found myself leaving it on +1 for most things.
This is a big issue for all budding photographers I reckon Stevo. Good subject.
And it leads me to the point of metering, specifically spot metering especially when the subject is back-lit as in the dwarf above.
My Canon has 4 metering settings, Evaluative metering, Partial metering, spot metering, and Centre-weighted average metering. Each setting does something slightly different to your light meter.
I normally leave mine on Evaluative Metering as it looks at the whole scene and bases the lighter meter sensitivity on the whole picture. It good for most general pictures. However when your subject is in a dark spot but there is a lot of light behind (like the dwarf), or very dark behind, switching to spot metering will tell the light meter that you only want to gauge the light in a rough spot at the centre of the view finder. It will then largely ignore the light behind the subject and tell you where you need to set your exposure based on the 'spot'.
For example, this would be a handy setting if taking a photo of a chicken inside a coup where you are standing in bright light and all around is quite bright. You may find that the camera (light meter) thinks there is a lot of light and therefore adjusts the exposure down thinking it needs to cut out some light, however the spot you want to photo is quite dark and therefore needs to expose more to gather more light on the chicken.
One of the short photography workshops I did they made us stand out in the sun, in Brisbane city, and take a photo inside of a building through the front open doorway from a fair distance. When you looked into the building it was extremely dark as we were standing in the bright sun. With the use of the spot metering setting we were able to get a clear photo of what was inside that building without over exposing the whole picture. Marvellous.
Like they say, most DSLR cameras are fairly even in what they can capture, it's mostly the settings the nut behind the lens uses that will determine the results.
The Nikons version of Evaluative metering is called Matrix. I've never had much luck with metering. Mine is mostly on spot, I have experimented a bit with different modes but haven't noticed much/any difference. I'm sure that's the user error, it usually is if something doesn't work
Basic info... you'll sometimes notice this on photos, you'll see some blue or green bluryness on one side of an object and red or purple bluryness on the other side of the object. This is caused by the camera lens and how it lines up the colours. No lens is perfect but some will be worse than others.
Instead of me repeating things and possibly getting it wrong I'll just post a link with some more info.