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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre People Talk
Thread started 20 Mar 2017 (Monday) 17:52
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Best metering for skin tones?

 
kat.hayes
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Mar 20, 2017 17:52 |  #1

I am going to do portraits with natural light and with studio lights. What is the best way to ensure I get accurate skin tones? Using a 5DM3: Should I use center-weight metering or spot-metering?

Thanks.




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photosbytw
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Mar 20, 2017 18:04 |  #2

Spot Meter


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tw
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kat.hayes
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Mar 20, 2017 18:08 as a reply to photosbytw's post |  #3

Is there ever a time I should consider one of the other metering modes for portraits?

By using Spot Metering, if this creates blown out details in my background, is my only option to change the metering mode and meter for the background and take additional photos and composite the first photos metered for the skin tones and the one metered for the background together in Photoshop?

Thanks.




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airfrogusmc
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Joined May 2007
Oak Park, Illinois
Post has been edited 7 months ago by airfrogusmc.
Mar 20, 2017 18:44 |  #4

Caucasian skin is usually about one stop brighter that 18% gray zone VI. Your meter sees the world as 18% gray zone V. I usually spot meter the skin of a white person not to tan and open up a stop.




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MalVeauX
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Mar 20, 2017 18:47 |  #5

kat.hayes wrote in post #18306268 (external link)
I am going to do portraits with natural light and with studio lights. What is the best way to ensure I get accurate skin tones? Using a 5DM3: Should I use center-weight metering or spot-metering?

Thanks.

Color and exposure are two different things.

Are you talking about getting proper exposure on skin?

Do you have a light meter?

Very best,


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windpig
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Mar 20, 2017 19:44 |  #6

Color/temp of your light is gonna effect exposure. Get a meter, learn to use it. Calibrate it.


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RDKirk
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Mar 21, 2017 11:06 |  #7

kat.hayes wrote in post #18306268 (external link)
I am going to do portraits with natural light and with studio lights. What is the best way to ensure I get accurate skin tones? Using a 5DM3: Should I use center-weight metering or spot-metering?

Thanks.

What kind of studio lights? Electronic flash or some kind of continuous lighting?

If you're using studio electronic flash, then you will not be using your camera meter at all.

If you're using continuous lighting, you can use your camera meter in spot mode to isolate your reading to the skin area of the subject. As has been mentioned, the meter is going to give you a reading that reproduces the measured tone as middle gray (actually 14%, not 18%). You would then modify the reading to reproduce the skin at the level you actually want.

If you measured the highlighted area of Caucasian skin (recommended), that would be two to three stops more than the meter reading. Tanned skin, maybe only two stops. Pale skin, three stops. Three stops for sure if you're shooting RAW.

IMO, the center-weighted and partial metering modes are obsolete. Both of them were created as intermediary modes between full-averaging and spot metering--quicker than spot, more accurate than full averaging. IMO they were made obsolete by Evaluative metering, which does a better job of anything besides spot.




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SkipD
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Mar 24, 2017 14:43 |  #8

kat.hayes wrote in post #18306268 (external link)
I am going to do portraits with natural light and with studio lights. What is the best way to ensure I get accurate skin tones? Using a 5DM3: Should I use center-weight metering or spot-metering?

If, by "accurate skin tones", you are referring to "accurate" exposure (and that can mean different things to different people), you may be better off using a handheld meter set for incident light readings (measuring the light falling on the subject, not the light reflected off the subject). That would work for continuous lighting and for flash lighting.

If you mean "accurate skin color" when you say "accurate skin tones", that's a whole different situation and requires a whole different set of tools and skills to accomplish.


Skip Douglas
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jimlp
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Jul 31, 2017 11:52 |  #9

Use A grey/white card to color balace off of in post and shoot RAW and there should be no issue.


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