How To Set Exposure Compensation on Canon Rebel and 5D

January 15th, 2012

I have shot mostly with my Canon 400D/Rebel XTi since I bought it new in early 2007. A couple of years ago I picked up a used Canon 5D classic after the Canon 5Dmk2 came out, and have used it casually, but never mastered it’s buttons for changing camera settings as well as on my Rebel. For example, I just realized recently that I could not find the button to change Exposure Compensation! I dug through the menus, custom functions, and scrutinized every button on the camera to no avail. I even asked a Canon 5DmkII user how he changes it… but he uses a newer LCD settings view or the menu — not from the top LCD view and buttons.

Rebel vs 5D Exposure Compensation

Rebel vs 5D Exposure Compensation

So after all else failed, I consulted the instruction manual and found on page 92 what I needed to do: Adjust the power switch to change exposure compensation. Seriously!?!?! How intuitive is that to flip the power switch in order to change exposure compensation? I am curious as to what the historical legacy is behind this design decision… I presume this is to prevent someone from accidentally turning the quick control dial/wheel while shooting and not noticing their EV changed.

Canon 5D Manual - Exposure Compensation

Canon 5D Manual - Exposure Compensation

The power switch needs to change from “ON” to “/-” mode which then enables the quick control dial/wheel to change settings… apparently only the Exposure Compensation setting that I can determine. All of the other settings require just a touch of a top button then scrolling the back quick control dial/wheel or top main dial/wheel. Apparently this Exposure Compensation setting is the same on all Canon cameras other than the entry-level Rebel/xxxD series, and it takes three steps:

  1. Turn camera ON to special power on mode “/-“ (not “ON”)
  2. Half-press the shutter button to engage focus and an exposure reading
  3. Turn the back control dial/wheel to adjust Exposure Compensation

On the Canon xxxD/Rebel series, I think it is much more ergonomic and intuitive to simply*:

  1. Press “Av” button with thumb and turn front main dial/wheel

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Fashion Photographer Turns Lens to Christ

October 11th, 2009

photo: The Journey Project

photo: The Journey Project

Highly acclaimed fashion photographer Michael Belk has turned his lens to Jesus Christ to visually tell the tale of many of the gospel stories as set in modern times in his project, “Journeys With the Messiah“. I actually heard about this project during the pastor’s sermon at mass today, as he recalled the popular photo entitled “Quandary” which depicts today’s gospel reading with a man who has the best car, a beautiful wife, two kids and all the marks of “success” in our modern world – asking a 1st century Jesus what else must he do beyond keeping the commandments in order to inherit eternal life? Mark 10:21-22

Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him,
“You are lacking in one thing.
Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor
and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”
At that statement his face fell,
and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

A Baltimore Fine Art Portrait Photographer

September 26th, 2009

Today for the first time I met Kimberly, of Kimberly Fine Art Portraits in Baltimore/Owings Mills, MD and got a nice little tour of her newly remodeled (and massive) studio. I actually stopped by to look at an older camera she had for sale on craigslist, and after a little Canon-photographer bonding – we ended up talking photography for about an hour! She’s very socialable, experienced and was generous in giving me ideas and advice on how to improve my digital workflow, manage my memory cards, and keep organized once photography becomes a profession!

Kimberly Fine Art Portraiture

Kimberly Fine Art Portraiture

All the while, I was admiring her photographic work (ok – it’s “fine art” – truly) and working environment. With 30 years of photography experience, working with such icons as Monte Zucker and other notable photographers – her talent shows as she’s won numerous accolades and awards over the years. Do you remember those paintings of royalty that would hang in castles? That’s what Kimberly’s portraits look like – fine art! It was great to meet with her, and actually a few other photographers lately (Jenni – portrait/wedding photographer, Sean – “Alpine” wedding photography) all thanks to craigslist shopping encounters!

Trip to Seattle and Chase Jarvis

February 23rd, 2009

Watching Chase Jarvis FRAMES: Studio Buildout timelapse video on youtube with a soundtrack from Moby was an incredible visual experience for me. I was so impressed and dreamed of having a studio just like this! So nearly a year later I made a trip to Seattle to see a friend of mine and couldn’t resist sneaking a peak of the studio space – just to say “I’ve been there” and connect in reality with this structure that seemed as surreal to me as Schloss Neuschwanstein in a sense.

I caught a bus up to the neighborhood and walked around looking for the studio. When I first saw it and realized what I was looking at, I thought it was a bit modest and unassuming which even added more to it’s charm. Then I got a little nervous… I was just expecting to stop by and put my face up against the window or something to take a peek — but inside the entire crew was there at work!
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German Family Photo

November 9th, 2008

I was just checking out again today and got some happy birthday wishes recently. What was really impressive, was my friend and distant-family-member Rolf posted a group photo of my visit with Melissa and Tini last summer. It was really nice of him, and so I dug up my copy (I prefer the antique look) and wanted to post it to share. Eventually, these photos will make it to the site when I get it rebuilt! =)

Melissa, Tini, Brian and the Kimmeyer Family in Germany. July 2007

The Kimmeyer family now currently lives in the house and on the farm that once belonged to my great-great-great grandfather. They offered such warm hospitality, splendid company, and conveniently for us – all spoke English very well!

100 Gentlemen of Baltimore

October 1st, 2008

Charles I just missed the first camera club meetings of the new year for both Bowie-Crofton and Anne Arundel, however I saw that Doug Bruns presented at the AACC and so I checked out his website. I was impressed! I particularly enjoyed his project on 100 Gentlemen of Baltimore, where he took both photos and brief stories about the life of some of those living on the streets of Baltimore. The photos are also available for sale in a hard cover book for those interested. This project lures me for perhaps the same reasons, my desire to understand and possibly help those around me who are in need.

Two homeless men died of exposure on a major street in downtown Baltimore late November, 2005. This project was born after reading of their deaths in The Baltimore Sun. Initially, the project arose out of curiosity: “What is it like to sleep on a sidewalk, to not have a shower or a toilet?” After meeting a few of these men, however, it became my mission to understand something of the life of the homeless and to attempt to represent the face of homelessness. This book is the result of my attempt to answer that question.

The New 5D (mk2)

October 1st, 2008

Ok, when I first learned about full-frame DSLRs, only Canon had them at the time (pre-fall 2007): the 1Ds mk2 (1D series) and 5D. While the 1D has been in the $7000 price range, the 5D has hovered just under the $3000 price range for a “professional” level DSLR. Unfortunately, the 5D was released in 2005 and had become quite “out of date” with the latest 1Ds, 30D, 40D, 400D and 450D… many of these being “lower end” DLSRs but having more advanced digital features such as 3″ LCD, live view and automatic sensor dust removal. In the mean time, Nikon had released full-frame DSLRs that competitively beat the 5D in it’s price range (live view, video, 24k ISO)… so except for the 1D models, I thought the bar had now swung in favor of Nikon having the best “affordable” DSLRs…

Reverie - ©Vincent Laforet - Well, now finally after much anticipation… the 5D mk2 has been unveiled – and with it – I think the favor has clearly swung back to Canon. The 5Dmk2 is set for release in November 2008, but just check out how impressive this camera is!

So, while it’s certainly not in my budget now… someday, oh yes someday, she (the 5D mk2) will be mine! =)
Edit: 9/13/2008 Updated the links to point to the new video hosting site on smugmug. 11/2008 Also the old Canon link works as well, Canon is not hosting the video again. =)

Some publicity lately, photo licensing

October 9th, 2007

My online presence has actually driven some feedback to me (in addition to the spam), and I think that’s been worthwhile. I think I’d like to really start developing more content, in quality and quantity, for my audience – even if that be only myself and a few close friends. =)

What I have gotten the most inquiries about though, is requests for permission to use my photo of Sykes Hot Springs that I took back in February 2006. I was flattered to have it mirrored on the Hot Springs page of the Big Sur Chamber of Commerce website. I need to post some kind of Creative Commons License on my site, but I still like “being asked for permission” of course. At least that lets me know people enjoy my photo!

With the recent issue about girl from Texas suing Virgin Mobile and now also Creative Commons for using a photo of her from Flickr in Australian advertising without her knowledge/consent — I think I’d have to be careful about which photos are allowed for republication!

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Via Ferrata at Nelson Rocks

October 23rd, 2006

I had an awesome time this weekend doing the “via ferrata” (iron way) at the Nelson Rocks Preserve in West Virginia. If you loved climbing trees and such as a kid, you’ll definitely enjoy this via ferrata which is really just ‘very technical and vertical’ hiking on a mountain! Instead of traditional rock climbing — where you scale a rock face mostly straight up with ropes — via ferrata has an iron cable bolted into the rock with handle bars as needed along the way. One only needs only to don a harness and pair of “rabbit ears” (webbing, 2 ropes with caribiners, 3rd optional fall-brake rope) then climb/hike their way up a mountain and around trails!

Via ferrata can be a challenging of course, but it definitely lowers the barrier for non-climbers by providing them easy iron holds, safety support, and no need for advanced climbing techniques and skills. We enjoyed camping out at Seneca Shadows on Saturday night and then spent Sunday on the rocks. This via ferrata course is likely the best in the U.S.A., though over 300+ exist in the Alps of Europe where it originated. The Dolomites in Italy look good! Photos now online!

Napa-Sonoma Half Marathon

July 20th, 2006

My new activity buddy and friend Kelly joined me last weekend on a trip up to run the Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon. I ran just for fun and came in at 1:42/1:38 – but the sensor failed to capture my 5 minute delayed start, though it did get Kelly’s. It was quite a spectacle with a couple hundred runners waiting in line to use the toilets just 5 minutes before the start of the race! The early 0715 start was delayed, but only slightly since the police didn’t want to hold up traffic all day. The run was mostly flat with a few light rolling hills, and simply beautiful of course… running through the country roads from the Domaine Carneros Estate to the city hall park and plaza in downtown Sonoma. Afterwards there was plenty of free wine to sample, only after receiving a free massage of course!

Oh, and besides the half marathon, we also got in some great mountain biking and camping in at Skyline Wilderness in Napa, visited the Petrified Forest, toured a few wineries (Sutter Home, Beringer, and V. Sattui), stopped in the historic and quaint Oakville Grocery, broke down outside of St. Helena and toured the beautifully historic city, broke down again trying to get dinner at Taylor’s Automatic Refresher, bumbed a ride from our campsite to the race start, passed up opportunities for tv interviews, saw the northern-most and final Spanish mission in California – San Francisco de Solano, enjoyed a great Italian lunch on the patio of The Red Grape in downtown Sonoma, got a jump from AAA then replaced my truck battery (with Kelly’s help!), admired the artwork and Napa valley views from the patio at Mumm, and drove around much of Napa and Sonoma. It was quite a fun and busy weekend! Will post pics soon.

Yosemite and Hetch Hetchy

July 20th, 2006

A couple weekends ago I headed out to Yosemite with my friend Travis and his brother. This was my first wilderness experience camping in Yosemite, and even though it was just an over nighter – the experience was amazing! We hiked about 1.5 miles North up from Tioga Road on a fisherman’s path along the edge of Yosemite Creek (near the Ten Lakes trailhead) and found a perfect campsite near the river. On Saturday we drove out to the Hetch Hetchy reservoir and hiked up the switchbacks (exhausting) for some wonderful views of the valley and also over to the spectacular Wapama waterfall. I did some extra trail running on Beehive to Laurel Lake (16 miles?), and had a nice swim in the clear waters of a desolated lake. I’ll get some pictures posted as soon as I can get around to it… living amongst such beauty was spectacular. Close encounters: lizards, squirrels, rattle snake, another snake, deer, brown bear and a black bear.

Note: The Hetch Hetchy reservoir was created inside the National Park in 1923, and ever since John Muir and the Sierra Club have been lobbying to restore the Hetch Hetchy Valley (now submerged under 300 ft of water) to it’s natural state. Today the state just issued a report studying the feasibility and cost of such an action, estimating up to $10 billion.

Hermitage and Adobes

June 24th, 2006

Hermitage view

There was lots of activity today in Monterey! First, just after my morning Old Coast Road run, I dove down for mass service at the Camaldoli Hermitage in Big Sur which is just ~1/4 mile south of the lodge/restaurant in Lucia on Highway 1. I must say that the service there was exceptional, very reverant and quite beautiful – perhaps the most beautiful mass I’ve ever seen or heard! My new friend Noelle introduced me to the hermitage just yesterday and I’m glad she did. I just wish it wasn’t so far (55 miles on Hwy 1) away! It is beautifully tucked up in the mountains though, and sits above the fog that engulfs the coast during the summer… which looks like clouds from above and might make you think you’re in heaven! Makes me ponder becoming a monk or at least going on a retreat out there.

As I headed back towards Monterey, I saw many colorful wind flags and found out they were markers for todays 8th annual Big Sur Hidden Gardens Tour presented by Big Sur Arts. One could drive along the highway and take a look at elaborate private gardens of the rich! Also today, and my reason for heading back to town, was the Adobes Fiesta hosted by the Monterey History Association. I didn’t make it back it time to tour any adobes, but I did volunteer as a docent from 4-5 p.m. at the San Carlos Cathedral and newly opened Heritage Center (museum) for visitors. It was great to see all the items in our tiny museum collection, and I hope to still visit the historic adobes in town.

Misc: I met Doc Wong today and a crew of people at the local Thai place, Siamese Bay Restaurant here in Monterey. I spotted the “” logo on a van outside and found the man himself just inside the restaurant. I introduced myself but forgot to ask what brought him to Monterey. I do hope to make it up to Redwood City in July for the next motorcycle maintenance class though!

Big Sur Hiking/Camping

May 12th, 2006

The BSIM has definitely kicked off a “Big Sur” chain of events for me now lately! After running the 26.2 miles from Big Sur back to Rio Rd in Carmel, the very next weekend I drove down with my friend Ephraim on the 6th of May to do some hiking all day long. We went to Pfeiffer Big Sur at first, then decided we actually wanted to be at Julia Pfeiffer Burns for the famous McWay Falls – one of the most scenic and well known sites in Big Sur! After hiking a bit there, feeding a bird (yes, it’s bad I know) and doing a trail lunch ourselves – we were off to a explore a beach, some sea caves, and Limekiln SP a little further south. See the photoalbum of pics.

Just last night, I spent my first night camping in Andrew Molera State Park… the unique part was this was a Wednesday night and I had class at 8:00am today! I saw it as a challenge and great opportunity, and couldn’t resist as I was taking my 2 French guests from the HospitalityClub down there anyways. We met a couple surfers heading south, camped out together and just had a good time. I packed up camp starting at 5:30am this morning, had a quick breakfast and saw off Eloi and Damien (who were probably going back to sleep)! I remembered to say “Au revoir” as I parted and wished them both luck hitchiking to LA and San Diego. Maybe I’ll meet them in France some day? That’s the beauty of the hospitality club!


April 11th, 2006

Our team “I Left My Wallet in San Francisco” finish 5th in our division (open mixed) and in 35th place overall with a time of 28 hrs 23 mins to finish the 199 mile course. The 2006 Race Results are now online to examine for yourself. Once I get my camera back (which I Left in San Francisco) I’ll post my pics online, but here’s some others:

Team Dean Karnazes with Jim Joe Green of The North Face finished near the end with a total time of nearly 34 hours – but then again, this was only 2 men instead of 12 running the 199 mile relay! Luckily I did get to meet Dean out on the course at one of the exchanges late Saturday night, but unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures. It was a great fun weekend adventure, we had a team full of great runners, and we all got to make a few new friends. Also, I should say that the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company team should have definitely won any “Team Spirit” award for so regularly cheering on all the runners in the race! Giving out free chocolate was a highlight of the event as well!

April 16th: Ultra-marathoner Dean Karnazes story on plans to run 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days.

Out-n-Back to Sykes Hot Springs

March 21st, 2006

Sykes Hot Springs
I had quite an adventure back in Feburary when I hiked out to Sykes Hot Springs on the Pine Ridge Trail in the Ventana Wilderness. I started my hike a bit too late in the evening (5:30pm) which only left me with 30 minutes of sunlight. As it got increasingly dark under the forest canopy, I lost track of the main trail and began looking for a place to setup camp before it got too dark to do so comfortably. The first campgrounds are actually 5 miles into the hike (1.5 hrs or so of hiking), so be prepared for this if you go! Even with my little mixup – I did make it out to the springs and back all in 1 day without any problems, and wrote up my trip report in How To Hike Sykes Hot Springs (wiki) as a reference for others planning to make the same hike. If you have the time, I would recommend making this an overnight trip to really enjoy the beautiful surroundings at a relaxed pace.

Select the Read the rest… link for my trail condition report below, as there are a few obstacles and downed trees on the first 5 miles out from the Big Sur Station parking lot.

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Testing WP Themes

July 20th, 2005

I’m currently enjoying the Random Image theme for WP 1.5 (seen on though I’ll probably change the images out sometime. Has anyone else done this yet?

One photo software trick I’ve been looking for, is a good way to create an outline box of a certain size (or scaled) then navigate it over a large image to find the section to crop. Then the cropped image always has the dimensions you want! Why is this so hard – I imagine there must be a FOSS tool for it.

July 4th Fireworks in DC

July 19th, 2005

I’ve finally uploaded my pictures from the 4th of July. Some friends and I spent that afternoon and evening out in Washington D.C. for the national fireworks display. We laid out a spot on the grass next to the Lincoln Memorial around the middle of the afternoon, without any shade on a hot day… yet I managed to get some reading done. When evening fell though, it cooled off and we had one of the best seats in the house for the fireworks! I will try to upload some videos I made with my camera online soon!