Manual metering of dynamic lighting conditions
Just few days ago pleased myself with a few hours of dedicated MF session shooting seascapes at sunsets. That was just a third film shoot by me in MF (Bronica GS-1 with standard 100mm/3.5 PG lens), but first film I paid full attention to try to apply MF-oeirnted mind.. :-) due to my lack of MF shooting experience.
Well, many things to share with you, some are funny, some are less ...
(like forgetting the need of manual focusing for a half of film due to being used to AF), but the most improtant is first:
I find the most challenging was exposure metering and evaluation.
Most agree that incident metering is teh best option, and I have no reasons to doubt that opinion, but I can hardly see how it can be applicable for landscape shooting. In studio, or with close subjects - sure, but landscapes ??
Thus the next option would be spot metering and its variations. However here I found applying that to be difficult or sometimes next to impossible in dunamically changing lighting conditions.
I shot sunsets. As you know the most gorgeous lighting happens just few minutes prior to sun settling over the horizon, so you have about 3-5 minutes to make you shots. Besides, the lighting is changing constantly during these few minutes, so spot-metering and exposure evaluation in my brain, trying to keep up with sun running away almost had my brain to explode.. :-). I was sorry my head isn't a latest Pentium or likewise processor to run tens of millions math operations in sec. :-)
So, how do you handle such situations ?
I have AE metering prism on my Bronica, but metering is center-weighted. I wasn't sure how reliable it can be given such huge range of contrast it subjected to at sunset.
I fitted a GND (2 or 3 stops) to bring the range to more narrow boundaries and not being able to keep up by spot-metering, switched on Bronica's AE center-weighted hoping it may cope better with more narrow density ranges. Have yet developed the film, so no results yet.
What are your experiences and advises ?