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  1. #11
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    Ben & Steve,

    I've thought about the duplex method in that it splits the difference between the bright side and the dark side and can give a do-it-all negative with plenty of shadow and highlight detail.

    That's not what I'm shooting to get at here.

    What I'm trying to get/find here is a way of placing the face/skin tones with great accuracy and simplicity (meaning a direct reading) while almost totally disregarding Where the highlights and shadows fall.
    If that's the case Mark you only need to take one normal incidental reading pointing the dome from the subject to the camera and not overcomplicate things if you're shooting a girl in a white dress against a light background reduce exposure by half a stop, and conversely if she has a dark dress against a dark background open up half a stop, otherwise in normal circumstances just follow the meter reading.
    In my experience Incidental metering gives an uncannily high proportion of correct exposures for normal subjects other than distant landscapes, sunsets, and stained glass windows without having to do the mental gymnastics that are required by some reflected light metering systems.

    P.S The Duplex System requires one reading to be taken pointing the dome at the light source ( outdoors the Sun) in the studio at the mainlight, and the other from the subject to the camera in the normal way and the two readings averaging.
    Ben

  2. #12
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    I'm with 2F/2F on that. In situation of high contrast like the one shown as example, when using slides or digital one has not to burn highlights and any kind of "averaging" is not guaranteed to place highlights not too low on the toe.
    In this situation I would point the dome toward the light source, and that would be my first choice, letting the shadows fall where they may. I might also make a second picture (or second series) with +0,5EV which might put the highlights nearer the top toe but would open the shadows a bit more.
    The high-contast final result of the example is likely unavoidable with slides (without light control, that is) but is probably avoidable with B&W film. We have to assume that the photographer deliberately chose the high-contrast effect he got. I suspect that with B&W one can make such a portrait while preserving details in the shadows, if so inclined.

    Fabrizio
    Fabrizio Ruggeri fine art photography site: http://fabrizio-ruggeri.artistwebsites.com
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  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by benjiboy View Post
    If that's the case Mark you only need to take one normal incidental reading pointing the dome from the subject to the camera and not overcomplicate things
    The more I think about this, the more I keep falling back to pointing the meter at the camera.

    I say this because that relationship to the camera defines a very specific point on the film's curve. Every other position is a guess, albeit they might be good guesses, but they are still guesses.

    Quote Originally Posted by benjiboy View Post
    if you're shooting a girl in a white dress against a light background reduce exposure by half a stop, and conversely if she has a dark dress against a dark background open up half a stop, otherwise in normal circumstances just follow the meter reading.
    I understand that this is the classic idea but this is a decision that redefines what the subject is (is it the face or the dress?) and I think it's a hold-over from slide shooting. I don't know that this is a necessary step when shooting the Delta 400 (or another negative film) like this shot was done with.

    Quote Originally Posted by benjiboy View Post
    In my experience Incidental metering gives an uncannily high proportion of correct exposures for normal subjects other than distant landscapes, sunsets, and stained glass windows without having to do the mental gymnastics that are required by some reflected light metering systems.
    I agree heartily here.

    Quote Originally Posted by benjiboy View Post
    P.S The Duplex System requires one reading to be taken pointing the dome at the light source ( outdoors the Sun) in the studio at the mainlight, and the other from the subject to the camera in the normal way and the two readings averaging.
    Duplexing as you describe it here makes more technical sense now, one classic reading plus one reading pointed at the light source averaged would protect the highlights.

    I could see using this method with slides, but I don't shoot slides much.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

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

  4. #14
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    The more I think about this, the more I keep falling back to pointing the meter at the camera.

    I say this because that relationship to the camera defines a very specific point on the film's curve. Every other position is a guess, albeit they might be good guesses, but they are still guesses.



    I understand that this is the classic idea but this is a decision that redefines what the subject is (is it the face or the dress?) and I think it's a hold-over from slide shooting. I don't know that this is a necessary step when shooting the Delta 400 (or another negative film) like this shot was done with.



    I agree heartily here.



    Duplexing as you describe it here makes more technical sense now, one classic reading plus one reading pointed at the light source averaged would protect the highlights.

    I could see using this method with slides, but I don't shoot slides much.
    Incidental Light metering is magic Mark, it's beauty is in it's simplicity and if it is accurate enough to produce correctly exposed slides in reversal film where the margin of error is minimal how much better is it likely to be with Delta 400 where the latitude is far larger to produce a good negative ?, you just have to get out of the mindset of reflected light metering and placing tones in the right place on the Characteristic Curve, all I can say is try it.
    Last edited by benjiboy; 05-07-2011 at 07:44 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Ben

  5. #15

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    This is a great thread. Lots of really helpful info!
    I'm starting to get away from digital for my personal work so I've been spending some extra time with my light meter. I like the follow the nose idea, it's simple and easy to understand.

  6. #16

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    To quote one of my old photographic mentors:

    "Its a damn light meter, it measures light. Its not a camera meter, its not measuring the camera....Well, so why the hell you pointing it at the camera?"

    Pointing the dome of an incident meter at the light source is a way of making sure your highlights are salvaged and not blown.

    And you're right- Incident metering is MAGIC!!
    M. David Farrell, Jr.

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    ~Buying a Nikon doesn not make you a photographer. It makes you a Nikon owner!

    ~Everybody has a photographic memory, but not everybody has film!

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by TSSPro View Post
    "Its a damn light meter, it measures light. Its not a camera meter, its not measuring the camera....Well, so why the hell you pointing it at the camera?"
    Answer: Because, by design, the incident meter measures the light falling on the subject as seen from the camera. It's not measuring the camera, it's measuring the light falling on the part of the subject that the camera can see. That's what it's designed and calibrated to do.

    Lee

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee L View Post
    Answer: Because, by design, the incident meter measures the light falling on the subject as seen from the camera. It's not measuring the camera, it's measuring the light falling on the part of the subject that the camera can see. That's what it's designed and calibrated to do.

    Lee
    Suppose my humor isnt appreciated as much as I thought...

    Eh...I still chuckle at that crotchety quote...w/e
    M. David Farrell, Jr.

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    ~Buying a Nikon doesn not make you a photographer. It makes you a Nikon owner!

    ~Everybody has a photographic memory, but not everybody has film!

  9. #19
    Lee L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TSSPro View Post
    Suppose my humor isnt appreciated as much as I thought...

    Eh...I still chuckle at that crotchety quote...w/e
    Well, humorous intent is notoriously hard to convey with internet posts. And emoticons don't help much with expressing nuance either. I can appreciate the crotchety 'cleverness' of the quote. But at the same time, if taken in isolation, it's an expression of his ignorance of how in incident meter is designed to work. He may have known better on some level, but 'always point an incident meter at the light source' is bad general advice to hand out. It's a real disservice to beginners who will not understand what happened when the technique fails.

    Lee

  10. #20
    Lee L's Avatar
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    I just received a fourth edition (1981) copy of the Dunn and Wakefield Exposure Manual in the mail today. There is some mis-reading of their methods in this thread and elsewhere. The duplex method is shown in the book as a correct method with a flat sensor incident meter (or perhaps an invercone), not with a domed meter. So for duplex readings, a flat sensor is used to meter toward the light source, then toward the camera, and the two readings are averaged.

    They have this to say about using a domed incident receptor under the heading:

    Three-Dimensional Incident-Light Meters

    "As will be seen, the salient feature of these meters is the hemispherical type of translucent receptor employed, whose object is to effect automatically and with a single (camera direction) reading the necessary correction for most conditions of lighting (the major categories of which are given on page 126).

    The claims made for this meter were investigated by practical testing under carefully controlled conditions, and by comparison with the Duplex method using a flat-receptor meter. These comparative tests confirmed that under all lighting conditions except backlighting beyond about 130 degrees from the subject-to-camera line the exposure indications for a given film speed setting agree within one-third of a stop with those given by the flat-receptor Duplex method.

    The application of the Norwood-type meter is quite simple, and consists of merely pointing the meter's hemispherical receptor directly towards the camera from the subject position, irrespective of the type of lighting employed or its direction up to a lighting angle of about 130 degrees from the subject to camera line."
    Italics from the original have been set bold in my quote because vbulletin automatically italicizes quotes.

    So Dunn and Wakefield recommend the duplex method for flat-sensor incident meters, and a single reading with the hemisphere pointed toward the camera for domed-sensor incident meters.

    The Janusphere meter attachment mentioned somewhere on APUG recently took an incident reading but combined it with a reflected reading only from the bottom half of the scene when used on a Weston meter.

    The series of the woman on Kodachrome mentioned in this thread or another was taken with an experimental meter using a half dome of a table tennis ball that leaked light from "behind" the meter where the dome rose slightly above the body of the meter.

    Lee

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