Incident backlighting and fall color

Discussion in 'Exposure Discussion' started by noseoil, Nov 3, 2005.

  1. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    I had a question from a friend in this morning's email, which I have no idea how to answer. Hoping someone has a simple answer. Last week we went up to a mountain range near Tucson to shoot some fall color (E6), he was using an incident light meter on this excursion. His film is back from the lab now and he's not entirely pleased with the results. Does anyone have any tips or special tricks for metering backlit fall color with an incident light meter in clear sunny skies? I hadn't given it a thought, but it is an interesting question. I'm still using a spot meter and mostly B&W film, so my shots are pretty dramatic (they show colors instead of grayscale for a change). Thanks for any and all replies. tim
     
  2. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    The same incident metering procedures would apply to transparency films as apply to any other film.

    There are other considerations. In my experience with transparency film many years ago, I based the exposure calculations on highlight rendition. In other words the highlights are "placed" and the shadows "fall". Whereas in negative films the shadows are "placed" and the highlights "fall".

    Has your friend determined his personal EI for the film he uses? 1/3 stop miscalculations with transparency film can make a quite noticeable difference. Additionally, since you mentioned sunlit (implies shadow) conditions the scale of the film may have been exceeded. Transparency film does not have the scale that negative films have.
     
  3. roteague

    roteague Member

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    I personally don't use an incident light meter for my outdoor color landscapes. I would suggest your friend use an spot meter; try looking for a medium green color to work on (I sometimes use my Nikon F5 as a light meter). Additionally, I find split neutral density filters to be very helpful in many situations. If you want a couple of good resources, see Jack Dykinga's "Large Format Nature Photography" or John Fielder's "Photographing the Landscape: The Art of Seeing" - both excellent books.