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  1. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee L View Post
    If you point the incident meter dome directly at a light source that is 90 degrees from the camera, a large percentage of the light you're measuring can't possibly be reflected toward the camera by a 3D object that's entirely within the field of view of the camera, and you're not metering the reflected light from opposite the main light source that can be reflected back toward the camera.

    Lee
    First of all, this is a fairly uncommon lighting situation, so should not be used to argue overall methods.

    Even then, however, pointing the meter at the light in this situation gives you the right exposure, and pointing it at the camera gives you an overexposure (and a rather extreme one at that, assuming the main light is the only light). If you meter with the dome at the camera in this situation, you get an overexposed shot, and when you meter with the dome pointed at the light, you get a correctly exposed shot. Tests will prove this...and have informed what I am saying.

    If you call this an underexposure, it seems you are using shadow values to judge exposure. If your shadows are too dark for your taste when metering a main light placed at 90 degrees to your subject, you simply don't have enough fill for what you want. It is not because you are underexposing the shot by metering that light.
    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."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  2. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by Q.G. View Post
    So you get an averaged result automatically, when pointing the dome at the camera lens.

    They certainly would. Because it is a sound, valid method.
    An averaged result for the composition or for the subject is exactly what I don't want, in any situation, with any meter. It is exactly why I am recommending what I am recommending.

    No one, in over a score of instructors in my life, has ever taught me to point the thing at the camera. They have always taught never to do so, unless, of course, the light is coming from the camera. Not one in-person instructor has ever recommended the at-the-camera method to me.

    Your dome covers 180 degrees, but you get to decide which 180 degrees they are. They do not need to be the 180 degrees that are 90 degrees each direction from your camera lens. This is yet another way to make my point.

    So, my method is an averaging method (as all incident methods are, as a given) that covers 180 degrees...but it is 90 degrees each way from the light source, not 90 degrees each way from the camera lens.
    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."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  3. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    The most obvious example is when you have a primarily backlit person and want to expose for the background instead of the person; a classic silhouette.
    In that case you shouldn't meter the light falling on the back of the person, but the light falling on the background. More specifically, the light falling on the bit of the background that is facing the camera lens...

    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    ...and no, no instructor whose technical expertise I respect has ever taught me to point the dome at the camera.
    They must have assumed that you already knew that basic thingy...

    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    They have taught me specifically not to do so (obviously).
    Bad. Very bad.
    They never should have. Because it doesn't make sense.


    Anyway.
    I think it is the astounding simplicity of incident light metering, or rather: people's believe that things can't be that simple and work, that produces such convoluted discussions time and time again.
    We can avoid spreading so much unnecessary confusion if we would begin to accept that things really can be that extremely simple, and not just work, but work perfectly too.

    I blame the spot metering, Zone crowd for that.
    Although... No, i don't. We see the very same thing there too. Zone too is a (again) very simple, methodical way to get nice pictures, that in turn more often than not is obfuscated by people who think it is so complex that you can only hope to begin to understand how it works when you peel away its's simple (true) face to uncover/discover layer after layer of a highly complex dark art.

    So i guess i appeal to all and everyone alike: don't make things more complicated than they are!

  4. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    If you call this an underexposure, it seems you are using shadow values to judge exposure. If your shadows are too dark for your taste when metering a main light placed at 90 degrees to your subject, you simply don't have enough fill for what you want. It is not because you are underexposing the shot by metering that light.
    You seem to be basing your methods on the assumption that is always possible (much less desired) to adequately stage lighting. This strikes me as a much less universal and valid assumption than some others here...
    -brian hayden
    http://fed-2.org

  5. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by zumbido View Post
    You seem to be basing your methods on the assumption that is always possible (much less desired) to adequately stage lighting. This strikes me as a much less universal and valid assumption than some others here...
    Not at all. It just makes examples more clear. Very little of my shooting involves staged lighting. Light is light, however. All artificial light is just a copy of natural light.

    Natural lighting does tend to make incident metering much easier, and the at the camera method works better outdoors.
    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."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  6. #66

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    "In that case you shouldn't meter the light falling on the back of the person, but the light falling on the background. More specifically, the light falling on the bit of the background that is facing the camera lens... "

    I meter the light that is illuminating the back of the person if I want to expose for the light that is illuminating the back of the person.

    I meter for the light that is illuminating the background if I want to expose for the background.

    I meter toward the camera if I want to meter for a light source that is coming from the same direction as the camera.

    That is how simple it is. Meter the light that is illuminating that for which you want to expose; not the camera lens.

    Nothing is truly idiot proof if you really are an idiot, however. Thus, the complications with incident meters; the most simple, reliable, and across-the-board correct light metering method there is. IMO, I am with you. The over complication of technical matters is the idiotic part of photography. The basics are quite simple, but they are not treated as such.

    I blame the in-camera metering "crowd" for the fact that very few people know how to properly use light meters.

    The Zonies I blame for nothing. At least they are trying to get it right by themselves...
    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."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  7. #67

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    An incident meter can only tell you how much light is falling on a given area. It cannot tell you the reflectivity of that area. If you can get a standard (wide-view) reflective meter close enough to read a relatively even area then you can adjust your exposure to compensate for the Zone V reading the meter gives you... less exposure for charcoal and more for snow (loose rules of thumb). Nothing is more accurate than taking multiple spot meter readings and the knowledge of where you want to place those values on the final print. Essentially, meter for the darkest shadow area and place the exposure where you want that shadow area to fall on the final print then develop and/or tone or intensify the film to place the brightest values where they'll render the desired brightness and texture on the final print.

    Sorry... but incident light reading can't do this with the same accuracy as spot metering because spot meters read the direct luminance of the object itself which is what the film sees. I have nothing against incident meters. I just choose the accuracy of spot meters.

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Q.G. View Post
    Zone too is a (again) very simple, methodical way to get nice pictures, that in turn more often than not is obfuscated by people who think it is so complex...................
    Oh, so very true!

  9. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1234 View Post
    Sorry... but incident light reading can't do this with the same accuracy as spot metering because spot meters read the direct luminance of the object itself which is what the film sees. I have nothing against incident meters. I just choose the accuracy of spot meters.
    Why are you sorry? It's not a question of one being better than the other. It is a question of knowing how to use either to get what you want.

    I use both together when I have the time. Incident to get the "base" exposure, and spot to read the luminance range and tonal falls at the base exposure to inform me as to which alterations to exposure and development I might want to make. Usually, unless the scene looks high in contrast, I don't even bother to measure the luminance range. Sans spot meter, I guess the luminance range. Not hard at all.

    I have not used a spot meter alone for quite some time. Sometimes I will do this for products or still lifes or portraits, but I usually use the incident as well in these situations. I will sometimes use a spot meter alone in a graphic, compositionally simple, tonally simple, high-contrast portrait, to place a skin tone or a backdrop precisely, while the rest of the shot is in shadow.
    Last edited by 2F/2F; 02-07-2010 at 04:10 PM. 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."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  10. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by CPorter View Post
    Oh, so very true!
    Indeed. The only real thing I have against it.

    Kind of like that bumper sticker that reads: "Lord, protect me from your followers."
    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."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)



 

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