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  1. #111

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    You meter. You expose. You process. You look. You go "Hmmm". And you draw your conclusions.

  2. #112
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Q.G. View Post
    You meter. You expose. You process. You look. You go "Hmmm". And you draw your conclusions.
    Yep, exactly that.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

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

  3. #113

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    Quote Originally Posted by Q.G. View Post
    You meter. You expose. You process. You look. You go "Hmmm". And you draw your conclusions.
    Hmmm, that's not very scientific!

    IC - I've checked filter factors by shooting a Macbeth Color Checker and then comparing the neg densitys of that neg with one taken without the filter.

    But then to test an incident meter, there's no real way to test them without a calibrated illumination source.
    Kirk

    For up from the ashes, up from the ashes, grow the roses of success!

  4. #114

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Keyes View Post
    Hmmm, that's not very scientific!
    I know!

    Yet i can't help but keep remembering that photography is a visual medium. So - i fool myself into believing - if it looks good...

  5. #115
    Joe VanCleave's Avatar
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    The Scientific Method: you meter (i.e. you make an observation); you make an exposure (i.e. you draw a hypothesis); you process (i.e. you test your hypothesis); you look (i.e. you reach a conclusion based on the results of your test); you go "hmmm" (i.e. you formulate a theory based on your conclusions).

    Sounds scientific enough for me.

    ~Joe

  6. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmal View Post
    So, I know that incident meters measure the light falling on a subject, but I would like to know how they arrive at an exposure recommendation. I have always used center weighted reflected light meters in my cameras and know that I can measure an area of the subject and adjust upward or downward depending on whether I'm exposing for the highlights or the shadows. I am in a position where I need a meter to use with an unmetered camera and it seems that most affordable hand held meters are incident meters. So, what does the reading tell you? Does it simply tell you what exposure is needed for a middle gray based on the falling light? Also, any recommendations for something under $200, new or used, and not too large? Thanks.

    Upon what basis is it assumed that an incident meter (exclusively) is appropriate for the task? Most of the commonly available meters provide for incident, reflected, spot and multi-spot/multi-spot+average — these last three will provide you with much more information about the scene (e.g. the range of principal luminances) than a straight incident reading. This is where your real science should be, not in discussing the xth degree of calibration and x and y axes.
    Last edited by Poisson Du Jour; 06-29-2010 at 06:15 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    .::Gary Rowan Higgins

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  7. #117

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Keyes View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Q.G. View Post
    You meter. You expose. You process. You look. You go "Hmmm". And you draw your conclusions.
    Hmmm, that's not very scientific! ...
    Yes, it's a bit of trial and error, but it doesn't mean that you can't do some tricks. First of all, you can do your own film speed tests and have a look at the results, at least with BW films(1). Once you do this, you know what fits the paper range and how things look under specific lighting conditions. With a bit of common sense, experience and fantasy, you can use elements of the zone system, even with roll films. And then there's the problem of proper metering. TTL is basically unreliable, incident is much better and spot meters are probably the best option, if you know how to use them and if you have the time to use them. Time can definitely be critical in some scenaria. Anyway, an incident meter can be substituted with TTL if you have a point of reference that is good enough for the task. I've used my palm as a point of reference (and adjust the reading) and I got nice results. Definitely better than following what the TTL meter says. Of course, finding the subject's brightness range requires a spot meter, but once you have a fair bit of experience you can guesstimate it, and using negative films makes the task a lot easier; you have the option to overexpose, that should do the trick. The worst thing that could happen would be to reach the film's shoulder and lose some highlight contrast(2).

    Anyway, I don't pretend that I'm an expert, nor would I say that my method is foolproof. My gear imposes limitations and I have to take a "methodical" approach with what I have, in order to get good results without resorting to extreme tricks at the printing stage. But I can definitely say that my hit/miss ratio became far better once I understood how my equipment and materials work.

    1 Barry Thornton's method is what I use.
    2 Assuming that you use negatives, positives are a very different case.

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