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  1. #41
    Diapositivo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    What I'm trying to get at is that turning the incident meters head toward the light source seems to be just as much of a guess as reading the meter normally and closing down a stop to protect the highlights.
    If you turn the incident lightmeter toward the light source, in a situation like that of the OP, you will have a reading that's guaranteed to preserve highlights. No guessing game there*.

    If you instead point the light meter toward the camera, in that exact situation, and then close down 1 stop, you are "guessing" that 1 stop will be enough to avoid highlights deterioration. 1 stop might be too much, too little of a correction.

    Fabrizio

    * You can take the first exposure with this value, knowing that your highlights will be preserved, which is in our assumption our goal. If you don't want to bracket and want to be sure of an acceptable result, this is the one "correct" exposure to make.

    From this firm ground, you can take further exposures, opening more and more, and see which is the exposure where you have more open shadows while still having acceptable highlights. That's a bit of "bracketing" (on one side only) to try to have the best possible results.
    Fabrizio Ruggeri fine art photography site: http://fabrizio-ruggeri.artistwebsites.com
    Stock images at Imagebroker: http://www.imagebroker.com/#/search/ib_fbr

  2. #42
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    Well we need to square up on the assumption.

    My goal in the OP is to simply to place the face, in this case I don't really care about where the rest of the exposure falls.

    So I did a down and dirty test, in camera JPEGs uploaded to Flickr

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/3005681...7626728718220/

    Like the example in the op the subject is in open shade camera looking out of the shade.

    Used EI 400 and f/5.6 for all shots.

    Classic metering got 1/250

    Follow the nose 1/320

    Meter the Main got 1/400

    None of these methods came close. None had blown highlights on the subject.

    From there I shot 1/500, 1/1000

    At 1/1000, two stops reduced exposure from classic, the subject is starting to look a bit like the op example.

    Could probably go 3 stops.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Ana´s Nin

  3. #43
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    That is very different lighting than in the OP, which is far more contrasty. It is very flat. None of those three exposure readings should be expected to be much different, or to blow out the subject.

    The underexposed ones ('500 and '1000) look underexposed to me.

    The lighting is so flat that all of them could be called "acceptable" exposures except the last one ('1000 shutter speed), which is too dark to use without some manipulation.

    The '500 shot looks much different than the '400 shot, which is odd, since the '250, '320, and '400 shots don't look all that different from each other.

    My favorite is the '400, followed by the '320. I believe the '400 shot best represents a good density and renders the lighting ratio most accurately. '250 and '320 are too bright, and '500 and '1000 are too dark. But, as I mentioned, the very flat lighting does a lot to cover slop, so all but the '1000 shot are probably good enough to use.

    I really suggest a more controlled test, done with artificial lighting and a tripod in various lighting ratios.
    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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  4. #44
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    I agree that the test was far from perfect. Camera was in manual.

    I do think that the lighting is close enough to further the discussion.

    One variable we don't know about is how much manipulation was done to the example used in the op, I didn't take that shot. Hard paper, burn & dodge, PS, who knows?

    My fav as just a straight portrait is actually the classic metering shot. This is just a mood/personal pref thing though.

    I do think the one done @ -2 from classic is underexposed too.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Ana´s Nin

  5. #45
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    Incident meters, pointed from subject towards the camera, give perfect meter readings for reflective surfaces which observe the Lambert law. As it just so happens human faces are sometimes more specular than the perfect diffuse reflector, and that's where incident meters may end up reporting incorrect values, i.e. highlight sections burn out. The method of pointing the incident meter at the light source is a crutch: of course it will show a higher EV that way and avoid burned out highlights, but simply applying an educated exposure compensation does exactly the same, and probably better.
    Trying to be the best of whatever I am, even if what I am is no good.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rudeofus View Post
    The method of pointing the incident meter at the light source is a crutch: of course it will show a higher EV that way and avoid burned out highlights, but simply applying an educated exposure compensation does exactly the same, and probably better.
    I agree.

    I'm not above using shortcuts when they work and save me time and metering the main sure could/can where it fits and is practiced in someone's system.

    Intellectually the biggest problem that I have with the meter the main method is that it seems to be a hold-over from slide shooting and it is intentionally mis-placing the subject to protect the highlights.

    First, with negatives that's not normally a problem on the film, and second, the need for protecting the highlights is a subjective/artistic choice anyway.

    Third, and this for me is the deal killer, before I make the decision to compensate in any manner I need to decide, if it is even needed? If it is then I need to decide, how much? From experience before I turn the meter's head to the main I need to know how that will change my reading and if I know that, I don't need to even turn the head.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Ana´s Nin

  7. #47
    Diapositivo's Avatar
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    Mark I think we all agree. In post #12 I stated pointing the dome toward the light source makes sense when using slides, or digital. That's because in that case one undergoes a serious risk, in such a situation, to burn the highlights and make a mess of the scene.

    When using negatives one has a lot of spare room toward the highlights. Actually in a situation like that of the original post, if using a negative that I know has a lot of dynamic range I might even point the light meter at the camera and then open one stop, or more, to try to recover more shadows, or more probably just place the meter in an important shade zone, pointing it toward the camera, and use that value as is. With many negatives burning highlights is not easy even if done intentionally.

    Also in post #12 I said that in that situation I think a negative could have been printed with less contrast and probably more details both in shadows and highlights. But I am not a printer so this is just an opinion based on what I see around. The printer presumably wanted that high-contrast rendering of the scene.
    Fabrizio Ruggeri fine art photography site: http://fabrizio-ruggeri.artistwebsites.com
    Stock images at Imagebroker: http://www.imagebroker.com/#/search/ib_fbr

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diapositivo View Post
    Mark I think we all agree.
    We do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Diapositivo View Post
    When using negatives one has a lot of spare room toward the highlights. Actually in a situation like that of the original post, if using a negative that I know has a lot of dynamic range I might even point the light meter at the camera and then open one stop, or more, to try to recover more shadows, or more probably just place the meter in an important shade zone, pointing it toward the camera, and use that value as is. With many negatives burning highlights is not easy even if done intentionally.
    Your thought is an artistic one and is exactly what I'm getting at.

    Quote Originally Posted by Diapositivo View Post
    Also in post #12 I said that in that situation I think a negative could have been printed with less contrast and probably more details both in shadows and highlights. But I am not a printer so this is just an opinion based on what I see around. The printer presumably wanted that high-contrast rendering of the scene.
    You are surely right there too. The person who did that example made artistic choices of his own.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Ana´s Nin

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