I believe "perfect pitch" must be attained at a very young age, while "relative pitch" can be acquired later. Something to do with one of my degrees, I think.
David, should I assume you've found the Ultimate Exposure Computer on the web?
I get the impression, however, that you are past this and talking about even greater accuracy.
Shoot color slide film only for a year. Pay attention to the lighting situations you like and note the exposure. Process the film right after shooting. You'll get the hang of it.
Really, there's not such a huge range of lighting situations, and I think most photographers gravitate toward a few lighting situations, if they are paying attention to the light.
Sometimes things are changing rapidly, like sunrise/sunset, and that's a situation where I find I can't rely on rules of thumb and do better with a meter, but sometimes I can do better with rules of thumb, because in most situations, the light isn't changing rapidly, and it's better to set one exposure and use it as long as the light doesn't change, than to meter every shot. Or if you're shooting outdoors and there are passing clouds, you might find yourself alternating between two settings, one for clouds and one for direct sun.
Ed Weston did not own or use a light meter.
Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!
Nothing beats a great piece of glass!
I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.
Originally Posted by Truzi
You can substitute your own descriptions to improve accuracy too.
Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO
"We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin
If I think through things I can be pretty accurate outdoors during the day. For me the problems seem to come up when I am inside, or at night. I know that if I shoot something in my kitchen in the evening, lit only by fluorescent, I typically shoot black and white for EV 7, a little different for color because I typically use daylight film and a fluorescent filter.. I know this from experience. But if I am at someone elses house in the evening I am not certain that is correct. And my eye is not good enough to meter the light. So using a meter is the only way for me to really know.
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)
Depends a bit on one's subject matter. Walking around town during the day with the Rolleiflex, I check the meter a few time during the day and it was always the same reading. Deep in the redwoods with LF, it would be difficult without a meter for me -- even though I have been photographing in the same area of redwoods for 30+ years. Large variation of light depending on the cover, and the deepness of the shadows within a short walking distance.
At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.
It's probably possible to a point, but I sure wouldn't rely on it. Light is very difficult to judge because our eyes are constantly adjusting to various lighting, whether we're aware of it or not. Much of this adjusting is not done at a conscious level. I can usually rely on my eyes to tell bad light from good light, but beyond that I like to use a meter, although as you said, you need to understand how to use the thing. As long as I'm not dealing w/ overly reflected light off something bright and shiny, I get good results from finding a middle value, metering that, and using that as my exposure. That's w/ a hand held meter or a basic center weighted in-camera meter.
With my Nikon N8008s, I set the thing to spot meter, lock the exposure on the point of interest, and shazam...."correct" exposure. That $20 camera taught me that Sunny 16 is merely a ball park thing, at least with 35mm film, where incorrect exposure can cause big grain problems. One day I set it to spot and pointed it up into the sky w/ the sun behind me, then slowly lowered it. That particular day it changed nearly 3 stops by the time I got to the horizon! With a hand held meter I would have just aimed the meter vaguely upwards, got my reading, and wondered later why the sky was not properly exposed. The question was, WHICH part of the sky was important? I'd never thought of that, as I figured that it was all pretty much the same. Sometimes it is far from the same, and when I really looked at the sky closely that day I saw that it was deep blue toward the "top", then slowly changed to a lighter and lighter blue as my eyes headed downwards. Once my eyes got near the horizon there was a thin area that was nearly colorless. All these graduations gave different meter readings.
According to Ansel Adams, Weston owned a handheld meter. Adams commented that while he would use very involved methods to obtain exposure, Weston would walk around w/ his meter, seemingly pointing it at various random areas (probably looking for a middle value), then come up w/ exactly the same reading that Adams had arrived at by his complicated formulas.
Last edited by momus; 12-27-2013 at 08:29 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Originally Posted by Truzi
silver magnets, trickle tanks sold
artwork often times sold for charity
PM me for details
When I was in high school and shooting B&W regularly I could estimate exposure well enough that I only occasionally used a light meter to double check when I thought that conditions were odd. Eyes adjusting had nothing to do with it because I was feeling the conditions and not trying to read the relative light mentally.
I will say that growing up in Los Angeles this was a bit easier because the weather and light was always dependable so once I got used to seeing the meter I eventually just stopped with it. More variable places will take longer and you'd have to shoot way more to get used to the wider variety.
I can't repeat it now because I shoot nowhere near enough to get that deep a feel for the conditions anymore.
I'm lucky. Where I live we only have 3 light levels: EV15, EV13, and EV2dark. That makes photography a cinch.