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Thread started 09 Jun 2010 (Wednesday) 19:39
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why use light meters / gray card?

 
asianstutter
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Jun 09, 2010 19:39 |  #1

why not save the money and use photoshop / lightroom to edit the exposure the way we want?

can someone tell me the difference? does this make sense to anyone?


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SkipD
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Jun 09, 2010 20:28 |  #2

Getting the exposure (and white balance) correct in the camera makes it possible to create prints (or digital displays) that look like you want them to. If you screw up and get the exposure and/or the colors all wrong, there are definite limits to how much repair you can do in software. Even if you make small errors with exposure and/or colors, the final product will not be as good as it could be had you gotten things right in the camera.

This is as true with film as it is with digital imaging.


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yogestee
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Jun 09, 2010 21:33 |  #3

asianstutter wrote in post #10334230 (external link)
why not save the money and use photoshop / lightroom to edit the exposure the way we want?

can someone tell me the difference? does this make sense to anyone?

The reason we have camera controls to adjust exposure, white balance etc is so we can get it right in the camera.. Post processing is only an aid not a solution to poorly photographed images..

This attitude, anything will do but I'll fix it in Photoshop doesn't gel with me..

Get it right in the camera first!!


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Jun 10, 2010 00:20 |  #4

I don't currently own a grey card, but after finding this thread: https://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=774903 I've now factored the X-Rite Passport into my wish list.

A grey card isn't an alternative to LR processing, it's an addition.
If you shoot JPEG then a grey card will ensure your image is as true a reflection of the original scene as possible, shoot in RAW and you have a known reference point from which your images can be processed.

Having struggled to balance images shot of a play a few years ago I now realise a simple grey card would have saved me hours of processing and resulted in a constant colour balance across the images.

Saying everything can be fixed in post is a very narrow and misguided view, if you get it severely wrong to start with then there may be little to do to rescue an image.

As to your point about light meters I believe you can apply a similar logic, although from what I understand the advantage of using a light meter as opposed to relying on the in camera meter is to do with reflected vs incident light and the fact that the camera will try and average the whole scene to a mid grey.

I suspect that there is a large majority of photographers who don't own either of these accessories, and I imagine most of them get on just fine, but at some point having the right tools may just turn that okay shot into a fantastic shot.

(sorry if this makes little sense - am nearing the end of a night shift)




  
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ken_vs_ryu
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Jun 10, 2010 06:49 |  #5

get the shot right and you won't need to spend 30 min to fix the mex on the computer.


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Paolo.Leviste
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Jun 10, 2010 06:54 |  #6

broadcast_techie wrote in post #10335671 (external link)
Having struggled to balance images shot of a play a few years ago I now realise a simple grey card would have saved me hours of processing and resulted in a constant colour balance across the images.

This. Even better with a MacBeth though, so you can make sure that all colors are corrected -- if you want it that way. :3

But, yes, ensuring a cohesive look is one of the major benefits. And the grey cards make it so much easier.

Lightmeters prevent chimping to get exposure right in regards to background and subject. I chimp because I don't have one...but now I really do want one. As well as the aforementioned gray card or small macbeth. :3


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LotsToLearn
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Jun 10, 2010 08:12 |  #7

Adding an additional time consuming process per picture can also cost money; as for some, time is money.




  
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Simon_Gardner
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Jun 10, 2010 08:24 |  #8

asianstutter wrote in post #10334230 (external link)
why not save the money and use photoshop / lightroom to edit the exposure the way we want?

can someone tell me the difference? does this make sense to anyone?

You cannot bring out detail post picture-taking when the detail just isn’t there because the exposure is wrong.

(My old metal lens case, I had painted one side as a grey card which certainly meant I never had to carry anything extra.) Now why don’t Pelling make “grey-card” coloured boxes?


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lmitch6
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Jun 10, 2010 09:34 |  #9

I'll echo what others have said...it's best to get the shot right "in camera and on scene" than fiddling with it in post processing. You can only recover so much detail if the initial exposure was off, and using a grey card (or any white balancing tool) ensures accurate color reproduction. It's more efficient to spend an extra minute or two in the field than extra hours in post!


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Simon_Gardner
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Jun 10, 2010 09:44 |  #10

And when it’s tricky, let’s hear it for [when possible] good old bracketing.


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lmitch6
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Jun 10, 2010 09:55 |  #11

Yes....bracketing is a lifesaver sometimes!


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Tony-S
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Jun 10, 2010 12:07 |  #12

asianstutter wrote in post #10334230 (external link)
why not save the money and use photoshop / lightroom to edit the exposure the way we want?

"Preprocessing" is usually more accurate and efficient than postprocessing.


"Raw" is not an acronym, abbreviation, nor a proper noun; thus, it should not be in capital letters.

  
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matonanjin
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Jun 10, 2010 12:46 |  #13

For me it is pure laziness. Using my handheld meter and gray card means less work.


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SkipD
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Jun 10, 2010 13:05 |  #14

matonanjin wrote in post #10338469 (external link)
For me it is pure laziness. Using my handheld meter and gray card means less work.

MANY years ago, my Dad taught me to be lazy.

Laziness, by his (and now my) definition, means that you get something done absolutely correctly the first time with the least wasted time in doing so. The result is more leisure time - without having waste time repeating the job because it was done wrong or sloppily.


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why use light meters / gray card?
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