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  1. #21
    eddym's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Excalibur2 View Post
    ..If meters weren't fooled then they could read bright white and coal seller black for correct exposure...............in theory you can't trust a meter that is calibrated to appx Kodak grey, unless all of the subject is appx Kodak grey......what happens in practice is the exposure latitude of the film covers objects that are moving to white or black.
    That's like saying that a yardstick fools you because it does not measure in meters. Any tool is only as good as the brain of the user.
    Eddy McDonald
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    Eschew defenestration!

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by eddym View Post
    That's like saying that a yardstick fools you because it does not measure in meters. Any tool is only as good as the brain of the user.

    erm so your examples would be for most similar things............ "if only" or "just needs a bit of intelligence to adapt" and so on................

    The point is:- a film camera exposure meter cannot give the correct exposure reading for white or black.. so that's that.....whether you think average Joe public should know/known this fact is another argument.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Excalibur2 View Post
    The point is:- a film camera exposure meter cannot give the correct exposure reading for white or black.. so that's that.....whether you think average Joe public should know/known this fact is another argument.
    I thought we were all photographers. Average Joe public takes pictures these days with his cell phone.
    Eddy McDonald
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    Eschew defenestration!

  4. #24
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    I agree with most of what people have said about the subject, but I understand the Canon EOS 30 has a thirty five area pattern meter, surely if these all singing and dancing meters are any good it should have picked up on what is a very common exposure problem.
    I personally if I had to bet my life on getting an exposure right, would want to use my hand held meter,brain and experience.
    Ben

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by eddym View Post
    I thought we were all photographers. Average Joe public takes pictures these days with his cell phone.
    Well I did add "/known" as #1 was about film.......but come on, all of us must have made a mistake with exposure some time in our lives because the camera exposure meter was fooled.....and it didn't mean we weren't intelligent photographers.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilverGlow View Post
    The particular questions you ask of the histogram are irrelevent because you want to transpose the functionality of a meter to the histogram, and it's apples and oranges. You want to know where the leaves or Sally's face are on the histogram, and well, there are far better questions to ask of a histogram, frankly.

    When you look at the histogram, the far left are the darkest part of your composition (for example the patch of dirt your cute wife is posing on), and the highlights on the far right are (for example the patches of over cast skys in your composition). That is really all you need to know because everything in the middle often can safely be shifted up or down via EC. It's the extreme left (shadows) and extreme right (highlights) that could get sacrificed.

    So don't try to use a light meter in the same way you might read a histogram, and once you figure this out, you too will find that the histogram gives better "advice" then a light meter.

    Another way to look at this is that a light meter will tell you a reading based on what you decide is 18% gray, and that is it. The histogram shows the amount of distribution at 18% (middle) and for the entire dynamic range..far more helpful to a digital photographer.

    I've yet to come across a composition that could not be exposed correctly without a hand held meter.

    On the other hand, i readly see the value of a handheld meter for shooting film, and for this reason I use one from time to time but only when I shoot film.

    I understand Zone System exposure, I understand how to take readings and 'place' my shot. One cannot do that with a simple histogram, which only shows the volume (number) of pixels at a given brightness level. Your statement (bolded) applies only to a simple averaging meter, and not the insight provided with a one degree spotmeter, which is far more information. Read Ansel Adams The Exposure for that insight. I spent some time studying with a contemporary of Ansel Adams, who complemented me on placing exposures so well. A histogram will tell you nothing about the inherent light in a scene and what the proper rendition is to capture the range of brightness in that scene.

  7. #27

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    "I understand Zone System exposure, I understand how to take readings and 'place' my shot. One cannot do that with a simple histogram, which only shows the volume (number) of pixels at a given brightness level."

    One must do versions of the same tests one does with film in order to apply the zone system to digital. You shoot grey cards to determine where you place high tones to either retain detail or wipe it out. Anybody doing this with digital is, of course, not using a histogram, but a spot meter.

    "A histogram will tell you nothing about the inherent light in a scene and what the proper rendition is to capture the range of brightness in that scene."

    Yes. It will. One should not need a histogram for such, but that's what it does. A histogram is a great tool, and will show you the placement of tones in your pic and the contrast of the pic. It is unnecessary to have one, of course, but to say that they can't be used to view placement of tones or to view contrast is nuts. That's what they do.

    I don't think anybody with any brains just uses a histogram in lieu of a light meter to make some grand piece of "perfect" art like you must make, and many APUGers seem to think are the only types of pix worth taking. However, I do think that most people want to take a single, hand held shot that simply gives them a usable exposure, and quickly check its printability. You are talking about ideals. Well, nothing is ideal in photography.

    "I spent some time studying with a contemporary of Ansel Adams, who complemented me on placing exposures so well."

    Oh! Congratulations on a job well done! Did you get a gold star? Please.....
    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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  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    "A histogram will tell you nothing about the inherent light in a scene and what the proper rendition is to capture the range of brightness in that scene."

    Yes. It will. One should not need a histogram for such, but that's what it does. A histogram is a great tool, and will show you the placement of tones in your pic and the contrast of the pic. It is unnecessary to have one, of course, but to say that they can't be used to view placement of tones or to view contrast is nuts. That's what they do.

    I don't think anybody with any brains just uses a histogram in lieu of a light meter to make some grand piece of "perfect" art like you must make, and many APUGers seem to think are the only types of pix worth taking. However, I do think that most people want to take a single, hand held shot that simply gives them a usable exposure, and quickly check its printability. You are talking about ideals. Well, nothing is ideal in photography.
    OK, I have a snowy scene and a polar bear. If I 'shoot to the right', my pixels are all up in the upper range of the histogram. If I did not see the scene, how do I known the pixels truly belong in the upper brightness range, vs down at the lower end? I have a black coal mine scene and a black cat. If I 'shoot to the right', my pixels are all up in the upper range of the histogram. If I did not see the scene, how do I know the pixels truly belong in the upper brightness range, vs down at the lower end?

    The point I am making, on this analog forum, is that a well know reason for use of spot meters allows you to deal with scenes in a manner in which no conventional camera meter will permit, even with the digital crutch of a histogram.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    "I spent some time studying with a contemporary of Ansel Adams, who complemented me on placing exposures so well."

    Oh! Congratulations on a job well done! Did you get a gold star? Please..
    I don't care that I didn't impress you, because impressing anyone was not the point I was making. The point was that 'placement' is something consciously chosen in the act of exposure, and the spotmeter permits you to do that well, unlike a histogram. I can choose which brightness level in the scene I want at the mid-point, using the spotmeter.
    Last edited by wiltw; 11-01-2008 at 03:22 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  9. #29

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    "OK, I have a snowy scene and a polar bear. If I 'shoot to the right', my pixels are all up in the upper range of the histogram. If I did not see the scene, how do I known the pixels truly belong in the upper brightness range, vs down at the lower end? I have a black coal mine scene and a black cat. If I 'shoot to the right', my pixels are all up in the upper range of the histogram. If I did not see the scene, how do I know the pixels truly belong in the upper brightness range, vs down at the lower end?"

    First and foremost, you probably do not have those scenes, nor do most people. Even in such extreme examples, they still illustrate nothing of your point.

    Next, I do not understand your supposition "If I did not see the scene". Of course you saw the scene.

    Next, you seem to assume that photography is supposed to provide a realistic and literal reproduction of reality. Not only can it not, but why would you want it to?

    You also assume that using a histogram means that you are following the expose to the right rule. This is not true at all. That is a shortcut followed by the types of people who rely on shortcuts. A histogram is simply a piece of information. It tells you contrast and tonal placement (which you claim it does not), among other things. You are blaming the tools when you should be blaming the users. Do you call sports cars useless simply because lots of people driving them are bad drivers? You are making a useless and purely technical argument.

    Additionally, if you are going to make a purely technical argument, you have to play "devil's advocate" in a way and make the technical argument across the board. There are very sound technical reasons why "expose to the right" gives the most versatile exposures. The expose to the right rule exists because the ways one optimally exposes digital are different from the ways one optimally exposes film. There are many digital people who could argue far better than I can why you would, in fact, expose that coal mine scene to the right. It has to do with the fact that more printable information is captured by doing so. Just like film, the capture step simply gives you what you need to make the best final product in the darkroom. Do you think that digital pix are different from film pix in that they magically pop out of cameras ready to print? They are not. Your particular printing process informs your exposure decisions, as do your media of capture.

    Even so, I feel the same as you do about spot meters and placement. The Pentax Digital Spot is my #1 meter. I tend to approach digital the same way I approach film, simply because I am comfortable with the familiar methods and I usually get fine results. This does not mean that I am an absolutist or that I am ignorant of the benefits of technology, however. Sometimes, due to different media, this approach does not give optimum results, or even printable results, and one must alter the familiar way of working in order to get the DESIRED RESULTS; not to prove some useless technical argument. Regardless of media, to get what you want, all photographs must be captured in such a way that give you what you need to make the print. Not perfectly, not ideally. You need to know what you want to do it best, but if you are unsure, or might want to do several different things with it, there are useful rules of thumb for film and digital that will simply provide you with a usable and versatile exposure.

    To blindly dismiss histograms and expose to the right rules as a "crutch" is to be wrapped up in principal and technique rather than to focus on practicality and results. What you are really just doing is saying that you don't like histograms, and you don't need them, because you are technically good. Well, just come out and state it as a personal opinion. Don't try to prove it.

    "The point I am making, on this analog forum, is that a well know reason for use of spot meters allows you to deal with scenes in a manner in which no conventional camera meter will permit, even with the digital crutch of a histogram."

    Well, of course. Where did I say to throw away your meter cuz you have the be all and end all of exposure tools: the histogram? I'm not saying you are wrong about metering being preferable. I am saying that you are wrong and arrogant in totally dismissing a photographic tool on principle, and trying to turn that matter of personal principle into a technical argument.

    "I don't care that I didn't impress you, because impressing anyone was not the point I was making. The point was that 'placement' is something consciously chosen in the act of exposure, and the spotmeter permits you to do that well, unlike a histogram. I can choose which brightness level in the scene I want at the mid-point, using the spotmeter."

    You still do not seem to be able to admit that a histogram can be a useful tool that it tells one contrast and tonal placement. It displays the "distribution of pixels", as you say, but you can use this to gather much useful information, including placement and fall of high and low tones, and overall contrast, among other things. Your statements are like saying that, for instance, a graph of speed over time doesn't tell you much because it is nothing but a line and some numbers. It tells you max speed, min speed, average speed, at what speed you were at what time, etc., etc. The power is in not in the line and the numbers, but in the human brain's interpretation thereof.

    Nobody is telling you how to work. In fact, I imagine that we work similarly and have similar personal working principles. What I am suggesting is that you not throw your opinion around heavily as uninformed fact, and informing you that you are coming off as a braggart, which is laughable and annoying in person, but especially on the Internet, where everybody here might as well be Adam. I, and I imagine others, grow weary of claims of greatness on the Internet.
    Last edited by 2F/2F; 11-01-2008 at 05:16 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. #30
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    Wait, I never said there was no purpose to histograms. I merely stated that histograms show distribution of pixels as captured. Histogram is not as useful for 'placement' but they are useful for seeing that most of the pixels are down in the muddy area or up too high and clipped. You are reading far more into my statements than I ever intended. Please do not continue to assume something of me, unless I state it that way! Especially braggadocio! I will be the first to admit not knowing something.

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