Simple test: my deck is now in full shade, while just outside of it, morning sun. I put a subject at the edge of it and metered with my Gossen Digipro F with dome towards the camera (100ISO): reading @ f8 is 1/8. Point the dome towards and close to the subject, reading @ f8 1/15. One stop. Obviously, pointing at the subject is picking up some of the brighter light behind it, which in this case would result in the subject being underexposed by a stop. Now, changing the subject's position a bit, resulted in identical readings. So, in this case, we want the camera to meter what it sees, but we don't want it to expose for the slightly brighter background, which means the dome should be indeed pointed at the camera. Depending on the situations, it's not a bad idea to take multiple readings anyway, with dome inward and outwards, and verify the tests/differences on the negatives/prints.
FWIW, shooting landscapes in even lighting, I have taken readings both ways and, in most cases, they have been identical.
Neither do I.
Originally Posted by Jennychoo
Actually, not true.
Originally Posted by Mainecoonmaniac
When you're able to work close to your subject, (as in portraiture), placing your domed meter at various positions around your subject, w/dome facing camera, (especially in shadow areas), will always give better exposure readings, zone system or not.
Incident trumps reflective (even one degree spot), every time. Spot meters main usefulness is for distant subjects where incident is impractical or impossible.
No, not true at all.
Originally Posted by Marc B.
The main issue here is reflectivity of the subject. If you are photographing e.g. a metallic object then incident metering can give completely incorrect exposures.
And the zone system can be adapted to any metering technique... or no meter at all.
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Keith, please stay on point.
Originally Posted by keithwms
The OP is talking about portraiture, and so am I.
Well I don't buy your generalization for portraiture either. What if your subject has big gold teeth?
Originally Posted by Heidia
An incident reading measures light falling on the overall scene from one or more light sources. The problem is that it omits the actual reflected light and does not provide the opportunity to evaluate selective areas of the subject. If the subject is in bright light and shadow, incident will not provide any clue as to tonal range or luminance. Even if you average both extremes, what will the result be do you think? So a more critical method is multi-spot and averaging of the subject which analyses the subject's range of luminances (shadow/highlight) — and this is important if shooting transparency; this is where metering skill is critical in balancing competing illumination by selective analyses. Subject and lighting will also suggest what method you employ.
In studio portraiture, the lighting is often (but not exclusively) very carefully controlled with neither very bright nor very dark areas. Portraits in such conditions can be handled by two ways: incident, by balancing dominant light, and shadow, then averaging; or spot: midtone first (and lock-in), highlight, shadow, average. Either method will require compensation if the subject is very dark or very light (again, you can introduce low- or high-key lighting — the possibilities are endless).
Advanced metering application does require a lot of practice and practical exposues, but once mastered will become second nature. In a professional studio practice it's essential that you work fast and fluently, visualising the result. Of course many people will have their own tried and tested methodologies to pass on and many again take old methods and rrefine them to their own specifics. I suggest you go through all the methods that you can garner with whatever apparatus you are using (LF would require additional work with bellows) and critically assess the results. Experience is a great teacher.
Keith: That is quite a striking — if slightly menacing image — reminiscent of the feared James Bond arch-villains!! It's also a very good example of a subject I would spot meter.
.::Gary Rowan Higgins
A comfort zone is a wonderful place. But nothing ever grows there.
err incident metering will give the same reading regardless if the object is black or white or grey.
Originally Posted by Diapositivo
Towards the light source(s) individually, then decide if you wish to expose for key light or whatever. That'll give lighting ratio/contrast ratio between midtones, rather than spot on a white object in the shade, spot on a black object in sun etc.. or vice versa.
Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson
Towards the camera is an amalgamation and isn't giving midtones for midtones in X light.