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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmal View Post
    So, what does the reading tell you?
    This has been answered. But you need to remember that an incident reading will not compensate for shadow values within the scene/subject. That is why all reflective surfaces should be as evenly lit as possible, such as on a sunny day but in evenly illuminated shade or on an overcast day.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by eddym View Post
    An incident meter has nothing to do with the subject. It has no idea what the subject is, because it doesn't look at it. It tells you how much light is FALLING ON the subject, not how much is reflected by it. But WE know that dark subjects will reflect less light than white subjects. And we know that the subject contrast range is rarely less than 7 stops.
    Good grief! I can't believe I said that! I should have said, the subject contrast range is rarely more than 7 stops.
    Mea culpa...
    Eddy McDonald
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  3. #13

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    Where i find things tricky is when the subject is partially in shade, partially in the light. With an incident meter only what do you in this case?

  4. #14

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    You decide.
    Just as you would when using any other type of metering.

    You decide what you want to expose for.

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by CPorter View Post
    This has been answered. But you need to remember that an incident reading will not compensate for shadow values within the scene/subject. That is why all reflective surfaces should be as evenly lit as possible, such as on a sunny day but in evenly illuminated shade or on an overcast day.
    Not sure that i understand, but...
    The incident meter doesn't need to 'compensate' for shadow values, because it 'automatically' allows shadows within the subject to be and remain shadows.

    All reflective surfaces only should be as evenly lit as possible if you want them to appear shadow- and featureless in the image you will be creating.
    I rarely want such a thing, am very happy instead with the way light 'sculpts' things.

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by bowzart View Post
    Gosh, I don't see where anyone mentioned that the incident meter works from the subject pointed toward the camera. You are actually measuring the light that illuminates the subject from the direction from which the camera sees it.
    I disagree. The way I was trained, it works from the subject pointed toward the light. You point the meter at the main light source that is illuminating the part of the composition for which you would like to expose. This is not always at the camera. Where the camera is has no effect on what light is falling on the subject. In the studio, you point the meter at the main light from where the subject is. You then measure the other lights and other areas of the composition in relation to the main light to find the lighting ratios/relationships, and hence figure out what your picture will look like. Outside on a clear day, when the sun is directly illuminating the entire composition, you point your meter at the sun. In a scene in which indirect (reflected or diffused) light is providing the illumination (backlit, overcast/hazy, shade, etc.), then you just hold the meter where the subject is, perpendicular to the ground. (This is the "at the camera" method.) The whole point of incident meters is to measure the light coming from the light source and hitting the subject, not the light coming from the camera, so point it at the light source. While the "at the camera" method will work fine in many situations (specifically, those in which the main light source is effectively coming from the same direction as the camera), it is really just a rule of thumb, and does not make one understand what they are doing by measuring incident light, and in the studio, does not give one control over lighting ratios.
    Last edited by 2F/2F; 12-22-2009 at 10:28 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    2F/2F

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  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Q.G. View Post
    You decide.
    Just as you would when using any other type of metering.

    You decide what you want to expose for.
    Its not all that helpful Of course you decide. The question is what you decide. If you incident meter the shadow is it a direct meter, or a meter value -1 stop. If you meter the highlight and use that value (as you would if the subject is in direct light) then the shadows will likely be very dark (assuming here negative films not a slide).

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    ... The whole point of incident meters is to measure the light coming from the light source, not the light coming from the camera, so point it at the light source.
    I don't think what you say is correct. If the subject is, for example, back lit you certainly don't want to meter the backlit portion. You meter on the front of the subject towards the lens.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by dfoo View Post
    I don't think what you say is correct. If the subject is, for example, back lit you certainly don't want to meter the backlit portion. You meter on the front of the subject towards the lens.
    It is correct. First of all, how can you argue that a general theoretical technical statement is not correct, and then use a very specific example to make your point? If you are going to dispute what I said, do it using technical theory, not a special-purpose example. Second of all, what I said does not conflict with your example in any way whatsoever. Your statement means that in a backlit situation, you think that the backlight is directly illuminating the front of the subject (which is what I said to meter for: the light that is directly illuminating the subject). It is not, by simple definition of the term backlit. Reflected light from a field, street, buildings, other lights, etc. is illuminating the subject in these cases, so you measure this reflected light. That is exactly what I said to do above. In this situation, if you want to meter for the back of the subject, meter the backlight. If you want to meter for the front of the subject, point the meter at the things that are sending the light onto the part of the subject for which you want to expose. You meter the main light. A backlight is NOT a main light, even if it is brighter than the main light (and is almost always is in a backlit situation).

    P.S. In my post with which you took issue, I said just as much (emphasis added):

    "In a scene in which indirect (reflected or diffused) light is providing the illumination (backlit, overcast/hazy, shade, etc.), then you just hold the meter where the subject is, perpendicular to the ground."
    Last edited by 2F/2F; 12-22-2009 at 07:56 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

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  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by dfoo View Post
    Its not all that helpful Of course you decide. The question is what you decide. If you incident meter the shadow is it a direct meter, or a meter value -1 stop. If you meter the highlight and use that value (as you would if the subject is in direct light) then the shadows will likely be very dark (assuming here negative films not a slide).
    That's right. (You (!) could also use a middle value).

    You (!) decide. You (!) have to decide.

    I understand that it would be nice if you could leave the decision to something else, but there are things you really have to do yourself. Making a decision like this is one of them. Only you can decide, because only you can know what you (!) want.



    Important to keep in mind as well (and why it came up) is that this has nothing to do with what type of metering you are using.

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