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  1. #21
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maarten m View Post
    why not meter incoming light rather then reflected light?
    this should give you a far more accurate reading.

    mm
    +1, Take an incidental light reading from the subject position with the dome pointed towards the camera.
    Ben

  2. #22
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    grey cards

    Quote Originally Posted by wiltw View Post
    The palm of my hand meters +1.5EV brighter than an 18% gray card. If you metered the skin of a fair complexioned person from the north, and only gave the exposure +1, their skin was actually overexposed by +0.5EV (assuming their skin was as light colored as the palm of my hand). The RIGHT way to expose would be simply to meter an 18% gray card or to use an incident light meter, with the exposure setting on camera exactly as suggested by either meter, and the skin would then show up +1.5EV brighter than the 18% gray card in the photo!
    Actually 18% grey cards are darker than middle grey.

    But besides the point, if you are having blown out highlights, wouldnt you want to reduce the exposure instead of increase?
    Go not to the elves for counsel, for they will say both yes and no.

  3. #23
    Leigh B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pierods View Post
    Last time I did, I spot metered the skin of the face, I gave it a +1 stop, and I lost all detail in the hair (and in the environments).
    Stop using a spot meter.

    Meter ambient (incident) and you'll be spot on.

    - Leigh
    “Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.” - Plato

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by pierods View Post

    Last time I did, I spot metered the skin of the face, I gave it a +1 stop, and I lost all detail in the hair (and in the environments).
    If the subjects face was correctly exposed, then your metering technique is fine (for the main subject). As others have said, it may be that the scene was just too contrasty. In other words, the difference between the light value of your main subject and the secondary subjects was too great. No amount of metering or camera controls is going to help.

    It is not enough to have the main subject properly exposed, you want the whole scene properly exposed. One thing you will want to do in high contrast situations (strong daylight) is to evaluate your scene. Take a reading from your main subject and the darkest and lightest parts.

    If the scene is too contrasty, there are multiple things you can do depending on the situation.
    1. Use less contrasty film.
    2. Use the zone system and expose for N-1/etc.
    3. Add more light to the main subject or the darker subjects using a flash or reflector.
    4. Darken the bright areas with a scrim, graduated neutral density filter, colored filter if shooting black and white, or sometimes a polarizer.

    In your case, I would use a reflector or flash to add more light to your subject. You cant really use a scrim on the background, but it may help on the hair.
    Go not to the elves for counsel, for they will say both yes and no.

  5. #25
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maarten m View Post
    why not meter incoming light rather then reflected light?
    this should give you a far more accurate reading.

    mm
    I agree, incidental light meters are "highlight meters", and won't "blow the highlights" which is the O.Ps problem, IMO it's nothing to do with fill in flash or lighting it's purely an exposure error.
    Ben

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by benjiboy View Post
    I agree, incidental light meters are "highlight meters", and won't "blow the highlights" which is the O.Ps problem, IMO it's nothing to do with fill in flash or lighting it's purely an exposure error.
    I find regularly with portraits that I want to place the background and the subject at different camera exposures. Cameras though only allow for placing one point at a time, the rest of he scene just falls around that point.

    Using artificial lighting (or shading or reflectors or filters or ...) allows me to, for example; change the contrast in the scene by creating a darker background and a lighter face without needing to dodge and burn the print. The darker background helps "set a scene" where lighter skin and hair can print (a little) darker but actually look lighter, more normal.

    Sometimes this can be as simple as pointing the camera up more so that the darker blue sky can be behind the subject rather than the horizon which is lighter.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

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

  7. #27
    Pumalite's Avatar
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    Incidental light has always been preferable. It the best reason to have a handheld meter
    " A loving and caring heart is the beginning of all knowledge " ~ Thomas Carlyle ~

  8. #28
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    I find regularly with portraits that I want to place the background and the subject at different camera exposures. Cameras though only allow for placing one point at a time, the rest of he scene just falls around that point.

    Using artificial lighting (or shading or reflectors or filters or ...) allows me to, for example; change the contrast in the scene by creating a darker background and a lighter face without needing to dodge and burn the print. The darker background helps "set a scene" where lighter skin and hair can print (a little) darker but actually look lighter, more normal.

    Sometimes this can be as simple as pointing the camera up more so that the darker blue sky can be behind the subject rather than the horizon which is lighter.
    The O.P's question was about how to correctly expose for a fair skinned blond sitter outdoors in daylight and that's what I answered there was no mention in the question about the background exposure, lighting control, fill in flash or any other elements of the picture, indeed he doesn't even say if he's shooting negative film or slide film in the original post although everyone has assumed it's monochrome neg. film, which could make it a completely different ball game
    Ben

  9. #29
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by benjiboy View Post
    The O.P's question was about how to correctly expose for a fair skinned blond sitter outdoors in daylight and that's what I answered there was no mention in the question about the background exposure, lighting control, fill in flash or any other elements of the picture, indeed he doesn't even say if he's shooting negative film or slide film in the original post although everyone has assumed it's monochrome neg. film, which could make it a completely different ball game
    My apologies if it seemed that I was contradicting you. You are absolutely correct in that if the primary subject is over exposed an error has been made.

    I agree that there are a fair amount of unknowns.

    I was just addressing more advanced possibilities to solve the problem; your post provided an easy way to show that.

    It is my belief that all to often many of the best options we have to improve our exposures are left at home or in the car. Scrims, flashes, reflectors, filters, lens hoods, spot meters, gray cards, incident meters, shot notes, whatever....

    It is of course ok not to use these tools by choice, but it is nice to know they are available.

    For me the choice is do I want all my subjects properly on film or do I want to control their exposure in the enlarger?

    There isn't a right answer to the question as I see it.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

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

  10. #30
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    Again I say: compensating developer.

    My people are so luminous in the sun, POTA might be advisable

    This reminds me of the Adams Examples book, there is a little story in there about Adams taking a shot of Weston under a tree and fussing over the values on Weston's dome. Weston says just get it done or something like that.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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