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  1. #1
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    A Primer on Incident Metering.

    Why do we meter?

    Simply put, film that is accurately exposed makes makes printing easier and humans are not really that good at assigning accurate EV numbers to all the scenes we see. So the primary goal of metering is to "reliably" find a camera setting that will allow us to easily get our desired print. (It is not about making pretty negatives, it's about making pretty positives.)

    Sure in a front lit sunny 16 situation we can do okay, but when the subject is backlit, when the sun is setting, when we move indoors, when the light source is a camp fire, or when the clouds roll in; we can normally benefit from a little help.

    A second, and optional goal, is to get a contrast measurement so that we can make well considered film development choices that will make our printing even easier.

    That's basically the whole enchilada.

    A few definitions.

    Incident light is "the light that is falling on the scene". This can be from the sun, house lights, open sky, reflections off the snow, or anything else that is throwing light at our subject.

    Reflected light is simply "the light reflecting off our subjects that our eyes and cameras see".

    E.I. is exposure index, it is a personal setting. This is often improperly referred to as film speed, it is not. It is just a number we use to tell our meter how we want things done given all the variables involved.

    The ISO film speed rating, aka box speed, is found through standardized testing. Film manufacturers do this for us. If we get good at following the manufacturer's instructions for normal, we can come very close to getting the same results they do. I normally use this number as my E.I.

    EV is exposure value. In common terms, it's how bright the scene is. More properly this is a measure of luminance.

    Luminance is a photometric measure of luminous intensity, how much light.

    Brightness is an attribute of visual perception in which a source appears to be radiating or reflecting light.

    Three concepts to help understand metering and meters and help dispel some myths:

    1-"A given amount of incident light, falling on a subject of a given reflectance, produces a given amount of reflected light."

    For any given E.I. incident light meters know how much incident light it takes to make a middle tone subject fall as a middle tone on the film.

    For any given E.I. reflective light meters know how much reflected light it takes to make a middle tone subject fall as a middle tone on the film.

    That is a fancy way of saying that both types of metering are fully capable of getting us to the exact same camera setting in any situation.

    2-"Our meters have absolutely no clue about what they are being pointed at."

    Here is where incident metering and reflective metering differ most in practical use.

    Reflective metering is truly handy because many times the meter is built into the camera so there is nothing extra to carry and with spot meters we can pick specific subjects/targets to meter from quite a distance.

    For incident and reflective meters to get us the same camera setting reliably though, the reflective meter needs a target in the scene with a known offset to the proper camera setting. We don't always have or put a known target in our scenes, more typically we just pick a random target and make judgements/guesses about the characteristics of what the meter is seeing. That introduces the distinct possibility of human error. With experience this issue is minimized, but still reflective metering is normally subjective.

    Incident meters are stand alone tools, so it is an extra piece of kit that adds weight, costs money, needs a free hand, and an extra pocket or a strap to keep them handy. Their big advantage though is that they don't need a target in the scene and they provide an objective reading. They don't get fooled by the reflectivity of any given subject. Snow, lots of bright clouds in the sky, dark clothing, water, reflections, blah, blah, blah... none of these will fool an incident meter because incident meters don't see the scene, they see/measure the light falling on the scene.

    3-"When we know the placement of one point in the scene, we essentially know where the rest will fall."

    If we know from testing that there is a specific offset that is common in our shots, like a 2 stop difference between the proper camera setting and the shadows with good texture, or 1 stop difference between say Caucasian skin and the proper camera setting, then by measuring either of these, we can know the placement of the other. Technically it makes no difference which point we measure.

    This is why if we are familiar with our tools, even when we use different techniques and methods, we can regularly end up with equivalent camera settings.

    A few words about E.I.

    Your own E.I. is simply a reference point. You can change that reference to any value you please for any reason you please. If it works for you, its fine for you; that doesn't mean other people's numbers will help you though, or that your numbers will help them.

    If you think you need or want to use an E.I. different from the box rating, do some testing, make sure it solves your problems. Encourage others who want to mimic you to test too.

    I say this because every E.I. is a subjective choice. Your preferences of subject matter, camera equipment, metering methods, lighting situations, lens filters, printing process, paper choices, and your artistic biases all effect the E.I. you choose.

    Testing need not be formal. If in your normal shooting and printing you find that shadow detail is lacking adjust your E.I. to add a little more exposure. If you consistently have more shadow detail than you want you can adjust your E.I. to reduce exposure a bit. Just make sure you are solving real problems.

    Contrast rate.

    For clarity here I'm going to deal with and assume that contrast rate decisions are made before the camera settings are chosen. I also want you to understand why and when film contrast needs adjustment.

    First, you need to answer this question before adjusting the film contrast. "Will it matter?"

    If, unlike Ansel Adams, your plan is to use modern variable contrast papers to adjust print contrast or your lab will be printing for you digitally, then I strongly suggest that you stick to making normal contrast negatives and skip film contrast adjustments unless you find a real problem.

    But, if like Ansel Adams, you are specifically targeting a grade 2 fixed contrast paper and you are testing your work all the way to that paper, then film development changes are important.

    Be honest with yourself here, because if you don't test clear to the paper, you are just guessing. I played this guessing game before I had my enlarger, before I started printing. My negatives from my "guessing period" are very hard to print compared to the "normal" contrast negatives I make today.

    Okay, so if you decide that it matters and you need to adjust film contrast, what is important in taking an exposure contrast measurement is finding out how far and which way contrast is different from your normal.

    With an incident meter this is regularly found by getting one reading with the meter pointed at the light source and another pointed at the camera. Practice and testing are important here. You need to know what normal is and you need to see how changes effect your various subjects before these measurements become meaningful.

    The basic reason for adjusting film contrast is to make printing easier. As with adjusting E.I., adjusting contrast is subjective.

    It's also important to understand that changes in film development do not significantly change how much info the film captures nor the real speed of the film, your exposure choice is the biggest factor in how much and what range of detail the film captures, bar none. Plus or minus development, simply changes what "straight prints" onto a "specific grade of paper".

    Being able to burn and dodge to print more detail is the proof that negatives normally have "extra" info available outside the "straight print" range.

    Reliability and why normal matters.

    I have found that without exception the manufacturer's of my photographic kit, including meters, cameras, chemicals, films, papers, and everything else have really done a wonderful job. Their products typically work exactly as described and even though it may seem like magic seeing the film come out off the reel with images or when watching a print come up in the developer, it really is a well proven industrial process.

    If I want a given output, I simply need to apply the proper input.

    In any industrial process knowing what normal is and understanding how to get there, is important. Yes, I really believe that film exposure, development, and printing are mature industrial processes. Most of us are using off-the-shelf products and or well proven recipes. Within these constraints; given inputs, beget given outputs, with no surprises. The real wild cards in the system are you and I; our failings or successes in the application and understanding of the various inputs determine the quality of our results.

    For me choosing to use an incident meter and to follow the manufacturer's instructions for shooting and processing my film has proven incredibly reliable. Those two choices remove most of the human fallibility and unfounded mythos that surround exposure, film choice, development, and printing. Those choices have provided me a baseline that has allowed for huge improvements in my prints and my understanding of photography.

    So, why do I want to be normal? Because normal means getting reliable high quality repeatable results. I like that.

    So lets talk about what is your incident meter sees?

    Incident readings are typically suggested to be "taken at the subjects nose with the dome pointed at the camera". In certain situations, like for a studio or window light portrait, metering at the subject's nose is important because the subject's relationship to the light source makes a big difference. Outside though we just need to be in the same general light as the subject, not at the subject.

    Incident meters normally have two "modes", dome in and dome out. That choice controls it's angle of view.

    Dome out mimics 3-D subject matter, it sees and measures all the light coming from all the directions that may have an effect on the subject being recorded on our film.

    Dome in readings are meant to see the light that will effect flat subjects, like art, and or used isolate the effect of different light sources. For example with contrast readings and in duplexing which are meant to measure the effect of two different light sources. (More on duplexing in a moment.) The main light in the scene, which for a window portrait would be the window and the secondary light coming from behind the camera, which might be house lighting. Outside this could be the sun as main light and open sky or the reflection from a building behind the camera as the secondary light.

    Camera setting

    So, as I said above, the normal way to use an incident meter for 3D subjects is dome out, at the subjects nose, pointed at the camera. If the meter has been set with the proper E.I. taking a reading in this orientation for use with most negative films will provide an exposure setting that will give you a really nice general purpose negative that can make a very nice print where the subjects will look normal with a nice amount of shadow and highlight detail.

    I honestly believe that most of us could do just fine using this metering technique alone for the rest of our lives. It is that good, that simple, and that reliable.

    Adding artistic biases.

    Typically when we decide to take a photo it is because something in that scene got our attention. We saw something we thought was important to remember or share. This is where the concepts of pegging exposure and place-and-fall become important, we need to get what we saw on the film.

    Pegging comes in three basic types; shadow, mid-tone, and highlight. When we peg we are simply picking one of the three as the most important point for that shot.

    Place-and-fall is the concept that the camera can only place or peg one luminance point, the rest of the scene "falls" relative to that peg.

    For example, if there are faces in the scene I will peg my exposure to the mid-tones because for me faces are always the anchor subject for the print and they need to be placed where they look best, the rest of the subjects in the scene are allowed to fall where they may.

    For landscape photographers the shadow point is the typical peg and the rest of the scene is allowed to fall.

    It is easy to bias our meter readings to accommodate different pegging choices for each shot by simply changing the direction we point the head of the meter. The motivation can be technical or artistic, it makes no difference.

    If you want to give shadow detail more importance and you are willing to compromise highlight detail just turn the head away from the light source some, if highlights are more important turn the head more toward the light source. This is like using salt, adjust to your taste, with experience you can find out how much works best for you.

    Certain situations require very accurate exposure to fit a scene onto our film. This is very typical of slide film. It can also be a concern where we wish to minimize exposure or with very long scale scenes on negatives.

    One technique that can help here is called duplexing. The motivation here is normally that you have competing priorities and a limited amount of room on film. In this type of situation we set the meter "dome in", measure two peg points and average the readings.

    For slide film typically the readings would be taken, one pointed at the light source (to protect the highlights) and the other pointed at the camera (to protect the mid tones). This technique works in all situations but is most useful in high contrast situations where the subject is backlit significantly.

    There's more than one way to skin a cat..

    Meters of all types simply provide exposure suggestions. Just because incident meters are really good at giving you the camera setting as a direct reading doesn't mean that's the only way to use it.

    If your subject is in sun and you are in open shade, or vice versa, and you can't get into the same light, you can simply apply an offset as you would with a spot meter reading. Sure this is a bit subjective but the world isn't perfect and its much better than just guessing.

    Use your imagination and you can find simple ways to make any meter do what you need.

    I could go on but I might never finish that way.

    Please comment and provide your techniques and ideas. If there's something here that doesn't make sense, ask about it so we can figure it out.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  2. #21

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    Excellent points Mark.

    Together with a good friend of mine Ben who is a skilled photographer and retired Chemist, an attempt to better define the "proper way" to meter the highlights has been the subject of some recent contemplation and discussions. I refer now to BTZS methods. Ben has wondered if metering by averaging the readings taken by pointing the dome at the light source AND at the camera along the lens axis would be a "reasonable" way of determining the highlight values. If one points the dome at the light source the mid tones are rendered well in the print. However, there can be-and we have easily demonstrated such by a few prints on Azo paper using Amidol-a decrease in print contrast ( higher SBR, shorter development, highlights held, mid tones separated well ). For emphasis, the separation of the mid tones is wonderful on Azo papers. On the other hand, pointing the meter at the camera which lowers the SBR, drives development and increases contrast, the midtones are somewhat compressed ( again on Azo/Lodima paper using Amidol ) and the highlights can be at zone 8 and sometimes detail is lost on the high end. So, Ben suggests averaging the two highlight values so as to, and I am mixing metaphors a bit, having one's cake and eating it-separation of the mid tones, AND slightly increased contrast.

    I am seeking to replicate the more "measured" contrast in my prints rather than the "West Coast approach" which is (seen for example in the wonderful work of Ansel Adams ) certainly more dramatic. Although once again I don't want to stray too far from the subject of incident metering it is worth repeating that we are attempting to take advantage of the properties of silver chloride papers developed in Amidol ( increased mid range tones and a very long tonal scale ). Those using VC papers might approach their metering paradigm differently as might those who use, for example, Gallerie graded enlarging papers. Also those who contact print might find that metering in a certain way yields negatives that print better vs. those who prefer to projection print. Of course, we haven't even touched on the efforts of those who are making negatives for alternate methods such as Platinum printing!

    And, that is exactly the point that we both are emphasizing: Incident metering is a tool that can be learned and applied when one understands one's materials and attempts to use such metering to render the scene as one envisions. The latter point should be understood and used as a reference to whatever metering method is chosen, i.e., the characteristics of one's materials, one's intent, and one's vision guides the exposure of the negatives.
    Last edited by Mahler_one; 03-01-2013 at 09:42 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #22
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    A couple thoughts given your description.

    Systems like the ZS, BTZS, et al are built on pieces of information and cobbled together into a workable "system". These systems, of necessity, move us a step or two or three away from the "real" theory and principles they are built on.

    Here's a link to a discussion talking about one of the building blocks involved, ISO film speed. http://www.apug.org/forums/forum48/1...-bill-etc.html The builders of the various systems are trying to help us make good pictures even if our eyes glaze over when given this level of detail. To be blunt it has to be dumbed down a bit because a huge number of us don't really care about knowing the theory, so many details are left out.

    A one of the complicating factors here IMO is the classic teacher/student relationship where students ask questions and teachers are supposed to provide answers. Teachers do their darndest to answer well but they are human and we regularly get the teachers opinions interjected, not always the real story. Along the way the developers of the systems interject their own thoughts to explain how things work and relate to each other.

    Looking back over the last 50 years across almost any discipline that we might choose, we can see a huge variety of examples where our understanding has been updated.

    In this piece by Phil Davis http://www.btzs.org/Articles/Sensito...20Part%205.pdf I think there are examples of the above issues.

    In the middle coulomb of the second page (31) Phil makes the assertion that incident meters assume a 5-stop SBR because of an 18% transmittance. In the third coulomb he goes on to assert that a full sunlight measurement "almost inevitably results in of underexposure in the shadow areas of the subject".

    IMO in both of these assertions Phil is personally trying to "fill in the banks" and by doing so he was unintentionally creating myths/misinformation.

    To the best of my knowledge incident meters don't assume a given range, a single reading doesn't do anything except gather luminance info at a given point in space. There are meters that can spit out SBR but they need at least two readings. There has even been experimentation with "back leak" to allow this to be done with a single push of the button, I don't think this ever made it to the mainstream though.

    Also incident meter domes aren't necessarily allowing exactly 18% of the light they "see" onto the sensor. The percentage of light the dome transmits to the sensor is irrelevant except to the meter's builder, the real percentage is just a number in the equation. For example, a builder could easily use a more transparent dome to improve low light usability and simply adjust the equation to make the displayed readings come out right.

    Next, Phil's expectation with regard to shadow detail is to be frank, just his own. It's a purely subjective preference. Nothing wrong with that but that preference carries through into his system, into his equations, regardless of your preferences or mine.

    Which brings us to the contrast issue you and Ben are trying to address, that when you input certain numbers into the BTZS system, from readings I assume are taken in the normal BTZS manner, the BTZS spits out answers that aren't getting you the results you hoped for. This failing is a direct result of Phil's preferences and biases.

    Now I want to be clear here, this criticism doesn't mean I think the BTZS or the other systems are without value, for me it just means that they need to be taken with a grain of salt. Ben's patch is a good example of seasoning BTZS to taste.

    We need to understand that the idiosyncrasies of any system do not necessarily represent the real physics of photography.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  4. #23
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    If I can give a simple rule for simple 35mm photographers that would be:

    If the subject is not in contrasted light (not a high SBR subject), put the dome in front of the subject pointed at the camera and you'll be fine;

    If the subject is a contrasted one - half in shade, half in full sun, imagine the façade of a building not entirely in the sunlight - then your choice is simple: with slide film place the dome in the sunlight, with negative film place it in the shade. Point to the camera and you'll be fine;

    Only exceptions to the rule above are the cases when one has important details in the top highlights or important details in the bottom shadows. In the former case close a bit (let's say half a stop) in the latter case open a bit (half a stop).

    The exceptions are due to the fact that incident metering will end up placing a very bright and strongly lit subject high in the film curve which, for slides, means a region with small detail, not much texture (when not burned). By the same token, incident metering will end up placing dark details in the shade in a region with small detail, not much texture (when not blocked).
    A studio picture of some flour or sugar (something perfectly white and very, very reflective) when using incident reading would correctly render the flour, or sugar, perfectly white but that means not much texture if using slide film. Basically no slide film has good texture for perfectly white subjects. By closing we lose "pure whiteness" but we get "texture". Our mind "adjusts" for pure white because it knows sugar is white.

    The normal case in real life is snow in the sun. With slides just use incident metering and close half a stop. The snow will bend toward "dirty snow" but the texture on the surface will clearly describe it as snow. Your "mind" will then bring it to pure white even when it isn't.

    Incident metering is good for us because there is no need to place anything, to figure how grey is the subject. When we use reflected metering any metering cannot abstract from the question "what is the reflectivity of the subject". When we use spot metering we cannot abstract from the question "how is exactly shaped the characteristic curve of this film".

    When we use incident metering in 99% of the case we have no thinking to do at all and it will yield good results regardless of subject reflectivity and film curve. Incident metering makes life much easier.

    That's my experience but, again, I only use small formats and never deal with more sophisticated approaches such as ZS and BTZS.
    Fabrizio Ruggeri fine art photography site: http://fabrizio-ruggeri.artistwebsites.com
    Stock images at Imagebroker: http://www.imagebroker.com/#/search/ib_fbr

  5. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post

    Next, Phil's expectation with regard to shadow detail is to be frank, just his own. It's a purely subjective preference. Nothing wrong with that but that preference carries through into his system, into his equations, regardless of your preferences or mine.
    Mark could you clarify a bit more on this what you mean.
    I changed over to the BTZS a few years ago and got terrible results in the beggining. Forcing me to push up my development.
    Yes I know we are talking about exposure, but that was fine on my films.
    The clarifications about flare, (which I ignored a bit) I fell are badly discussed in his book.
    With the help of a few other here I could clear this problem. Those crazy guys who dream about this stuff.
    Using the Incident light meter gives more secure results.

  6. #25
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    A meter reading is only as good as the negative/slide density it produces, coupled with the developer/development and time temperature used.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  7. #26
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndreasT View Post
    Mark could you clarify a bit more on this what you mean.
    I changed over to the BTZS a few years ago and got terrible results in the beggining. Forcing me to push up my development.
    Yes I know we are talking about exposure, but that was fine on my films.
    The clarifications about flare, (which I ignored a bit) I fell are badly discussed in his book.
    With the help of a few other here I could clear this problem. Those crazy guys who dream about this stuff.
    Using the Incident light meter gives more secure results.
    Well we are talking about incident metering, not just exposure. Measuring contrast is a distinct part of that.

    What I'm talking about is that systems: BTZS, ZS, mine, yours; are all based on assumptions.

    BTZS assumes lots of shadow detail is important, similarly it wants to keep good highlight detail; that describes a longer than normal SBR. To fit the extra detail that the system expects into a straight print on given grade of paper the negative needs to be developed to a lower contrast than normal.

    Phil's bias brings with it a generic reduction in film contrast to make room for more shadow detail without losing highlight detail, but that bias has a side effect, the local contrast across the mid tones gets flatter, loses some snap if you will.

    This loss of snap is I'm guessing is part of the problem you fixed with a bit more development. Yes?

    You applied a patch to the system by making a decision "outside the rules". You eliminated Phil's bias and applied your own
    Last edited by markbarendt; 03-02-2013 at 05:04 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

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    In Davis's BTZS he writes about a normal contrast of 0,5 which I used in the beginning and got flat negatives. He talks about an average flare of 0,02 which I based my exposure on.
    I quickly moved back to a "normal contrast of .57 and got better results like the time before I tried out BTZS. This confused me for a long time.
    Then I read a few things from Stephen Beskins (a lot I still do not understand), explaining a bit more about flare.
    As I understand it the flare mostly showed by BTZS is just too small. At least the way I understood it.
    Although flare is discussed, the dominant usage of such a small amount of flare made me use too small a amount.

  9. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    In the third coulomb he goes on to assert that a full sunlight measurement "almost inevitably results in of underexposure in the shadow areas of the subject".................IMO in both of these assertions Phil is personally trying to "fill in the banks" and by doing so he was unintentionally creating myths/misinformation.
    Been following the thread-----I would have to disagree on this, I think Davis is merely stating a fact about incident metering in general, IMO. An incident reading in full sunlight can't account for the shadow area in that same full sunlight. Since an incident reading is based only on the intensity of the light falling on the subject, it stands to reason that all the various reflective surfaces would be properly exposed, only if they are all receiving the same illumination. This can't possibly be the case in a high contrast lighting such as full sun with distinct shadows. As it's been stated, I think, averaging the sun and shadow reading is a step in the right direction, but by itself, the full sun reading can leave the shadows hugely unprotected.

    In the attachment with Ross---in A, the meter is placed in a full sun area, the shadows are under exposed; in B, it's placed in a full shade area, the high values are over exposed; in C, the meter is placed in an area that is not full sun nor is it full shade, the exposure is about right; and in D, the exposure is based off an in-camera reflective reading, the exposure pretty much matches that in C.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails inciexample001.jpg  

  10. #29

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    Nice illustrations Mr. Porter...thanks. I agree that averaging the highlight values might well be the best way to proceed. As noted below, it is wonderful that you are obtaining great results using your metering methods. Nicely done.

    I think one must recall that incident metering via Phil Davis/BTZS does NOT involve only one meter reading. I respectfully state that those who are commenting about the BTZS system as being based on a single highlight incident meter reading are not accurately reporting on the BTZS system/ method. Please consider avaiing yourselves to the material available on the BTZS system and incident metering.

    If those who are using only a single incident shadow or highlight reading are obtaining the results that they desire...well done! I have nothing further to add or suggest. Add a stop, subtract a stop...heck, who cares if your results are as you desire.

    Mark: In his text Phil David clearly states that if absolutely necessary, basing an exposure on a single highlight reading will be incorrect unless one INCREASES the exposure. Without such action, the meter will render the single highlight reading as middle grey. If one MUST base one's exposure on a single shadow reading then one must decrease the exposure so that the tones are moved down from middle gray. Increasing the exposure will raise the highlights to a more "correct value"....and will of course increase the shadow exposure. As to the 18% illumination and 5 stop range that Mr. Davis alludes to: Everything is very well explained starting on page 131 of the 4th edition of his book. The 5 stop range is based upon studies that are well detailed. Of course, feel free to differ from Mr. Davis's conclusions. You are entitled to your opinions and surely such are based upon sound experimental or empiric data as reflected in your negatives and prints. I am very pleased that your "system" works for you, and that most of your film exposures and prints meet all of your expectations. Well done. As to your comments about teachers: All teachers synthesize material and interpret such. Students can decide to reject or modify the material presented. However, if they do so then such changes should be accompanied with illustrations and information as to the methods that they have used to deconstruct the information presented, and the data illustrating the validity of the reinterpretation that they have applied to the chemical and physical realities of the photographic process. Of course, if you are at the stage that teachers cannot offer you any useful information and advice then you have progressed far beyond what must of us here have attained. Again, well done!

    For emphasis: The BTZS system depends upon two readings, highlights and shadows. The zone system depends upon two readings-highlights and shadows- with appropriate placement so as to determine the time of development. In both systems one can manipulate exposure so as to render the negative with the tones that one desires. In both "systems" a single reading will not suffice.

    If one wants to use a single shadow reading then another approach might be developing by inspection in which one will expose for the shadows and then determine development by the appearance of the highlights under a green safe light in the darkroom. DBI is fun, and many will eventually acquire the necessary visual skills. Moreover, one can learn to develop 4-6 sheets of film at one time.

    Exposing for the highlights was a method that at one time the late Fred Picker advocated. Perhaps those who have studied with Fred can comment.

    Andreas-I am sorry that you are having some problems with the BTZS system. As I offered, we can discuss any issues via PM. I and others are ready to help.

    Some are successful using reflected metering and the ZS, others using BTZS and incident metering, and still others use whatever "system" they have devised based upon their material and metering methods that work for them.

    Now it's time to once more go into the field and take some photos. Use whatever "exposure system" works for you; if you are getting the results that you desire, who cares.


    Elliot
    Last edited by Mahler_one; 03-02-2013 at 10:23 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  11. #30
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CPorter View Post
    An incident reading in full sunlight can't account for the shadow area in that same full sunlight.
    Thanks for chiming in.

    The first question I have for you regarding the scene in your example is "what is the subject(s) and where do you want them to fall?" Tough to make a metering plan without knowing what the expectation for the print is.

    I will quote myself though:

    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    Meters of all types simply provide exposure suggestions. Just because incident meters are really good at giving you the camera setting as a direct reading doesn't mean that's the only way to use it.

    If your subject is in sun and you are in open shade, or vice versa, and you can't get into the same light, you can simply apply an offset as you would with a spot meter reading. Sure this is a bit subjective but the world isn't perfect and its much better than just guessing.

    Use your imagination and you can find simple ways to make any meter do what you need.
    The examples you provided are a good example of where I'd use that principle and some imagination.

    My second question for you is "what are you willing to compromise in this situation; highlight detail, shadow detail, print contrast?" And "what other tools are you willing to bring to bear, reflectors, strobes, scrims, pre-flashing, dodge, burn?"

    I ask because the scene in your examples probably won't straight print acceptably, seriously if you want detail in the door and the shaded bark which are how many stops apart?
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

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