Quote Originally Posted by TooManyShots View Post
With the Gossen Luna Pro light meter, I can meter the scene with ambient light or reflective. Let say I want to take a light reading of some tree during the fall foliage and there is a body of water (lake) in between me and the trees. The sun is at my back, 8 o clock. Do I meter this scene with the incident mode? Or do I meter off the reflective light coming from the trees? Would the reflective mode be accurate even when I am no where near my subjects?
First rule: incident light metering is executed by placing the light meter near the subject and pointing it toward the camera. That's VERY different from reflected light metering, which is performed by pointing the light meter toward the subject.

Second rule: if you cannot walk to the subject, because there is an obstacle in between or simply because the subject is far, you try to make a measure in the same light conditions of your subject.

In your case, provided you are in the same light conditions as the trees, you only need to turn yourself, and point your incident light meter toward the light falling on the subject, with the same angle it would have if pointed from the subject toward your camera. In your situation, you would point the incident light meter while leaving the sun at 2 o'clock.

This reading will be very reliable unless the light falling on the subject is different from the light falling on your light meter.

As an example, imagine the pond you mention reflects some light on the trees, but does not reflect any light on your light meter because you are on "this" side of the pond in relation to the sun.

This is where you begin applying reasoning. If the pond reflects some light on the trees, you can do two things:

- Close half stop or an entire stop if REALLY you can can evaluate the effect by eyesight and it is "dramatic";
- Just use your incident light reading "as is" because you are using a negative film which will easily digest any degree of overexposure.
- If some details in the shadows are important, or better said if the shadows of your scene are overall "weighting" for extension and importance, then you can even open 1 stop in relation of the incident light metering. That will let your film "dig into" the shadows opening them very well while, again, the colour negative material will stretch to the highlights retaining details without effort.

Fabrizio