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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
Thread started 12 Dec 2011 (Monday) 17:27
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Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson

 
Gel
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Dec 14, 2011 10:28 |  #16

The Book itself is handy. In that it isn't overcomplicated. I remember trying to understand F stops, aperture etc and every book was like a maths lesson when it needn't of been.


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Dec 14, 2011 10:43 |  #17

Thanks


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Dec 14, 2011 10:44 |  #18

digital paradise wrote in post #13543629 (external link)
That is what I'm trying to change. I rely too much on the meter in the middle in the overall exposure which I know is not the best approach. Most of the time I'm in evaluative which does OK not great for the most part and I will compensate as required to stay within the rules boundaries. Just looking to take that up a notch. I am overly concerned about blowing highlights. Seems like I just need to get a little more creative and bend those rules. I've said before first you learn the rules then you learn to break them.

Thanks.

Yeah, it's just a matter of understanding how your camera meters, whether you are in evaluative or spot, and know how to compensate to achieve whatever it is that you feel is the correct exposure.

There are some obvious situations where you would want to avoid blown highlights for sure, but consistently worrying about it or avoiding it like the plague is counter productive and limiting IMO.

Rules are just guidelines. Don't follow them for the sake of following them. Learn them, then forget about them. Just do your thing. It'll eventually come together for you. That's how I approached things.




  
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airfrogusmc
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Dec 14, 2011 11:02 |  #19

digital paradise wrote in post #13543629 (external link)
That is what I'm trying to change. I rely too much on the meter in the middle in the overall exposure which I know is not the best approach. Most of the time I'm in evaluative which does OK not great for the most part and I will compensate as required to stay within the rules boundaries. Just looking to take that up a notch. I am overly concerned about blowing highlights. Seems like I just need to get a little more creative and bend those rules. I've said before first you learn the rules then you learn to break them.

Thanks.

Think of it like this, the meter sees the world as a medium gray and its also color blind. Different colors will reflect light differently even though the light is still the same intensity. So if you have a shadow and you want that shadow to look dark but have some detail you can spot meter that shadow and stop down 3 stops from (zone II) the reading and the shadow will have slight detail. Stop down two stops (zone III) and the shadow will have moderate to good detail and stop down 1 stop and it will be a dark gray (zone IV).

White with little detail will be spot meter the white and open up 3 stops (zone VIII). For more detail you can open two stops (zone VII) and for caucasian skin 1 stop (zone VI).

This is way over simplified but it does give you a basic idea of how it all works.

Shadows with little detail----(zone II) or stop down 3 stops from what the spot meter is reading from the shadows.

Shadows with good detail----(zone III) stop down 2 stops.

dark gray, dark skin----(zone IV) one stop darker than 18% gray stop down 1 stop.

mid gray clear north cloudless sky 18% gray (zone V) What meter reads.

caucasian skin----(zone VI) on stop brighter than 18% gray open up one stop

very light skin, light gray---zone VII open up two stops

snow with some texture---zone VIII read snow and open up 3 stops from meter reading when reading only the snow.

Color can also effect all of this but to keep the confusion down this is a good start.

If you are really interested in this more there are some good books about the zone system by Ansel Adams. I know I know film but there is great info about how meters work and read reflected light. Also Fred Picker has a good book on the zone system.

Adams books are
The Camera
The Negative
The Print

Fred Pickers book is
The Zone VI Workshop

But just understanding that the meter sees the world as a mid gray and if you point it at white if you don't change the shutter speed or aperture from what the meter reads you will get a density or exposure that will match mid gray. We all know snow is much brighter than that so you will need to make an adjustment to render the snow as white.

Nick also made some good suggestions. The more you play around with it after a basic understand the more you will probably learn.

Go outside on a very overcast day where the light is not changing. Now move the camera around through a scene. The meter will probably dance all over the place especially if there are very light and dark objects in the scene. Different objects with different reflectance will make the meter change. Thats because the reflectance of the objects is different but the fact is if the light hasn't changed, you should be changing your exposure.

I hope this helps.




  
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picturecrazy
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Dec 14, 2011 11:13 |  #20

The only thing I remember from Understanding Exposure was that he couldn't stop talking about how hot his wife was. Everything else seemed to be very basic tips about metering and DOF.


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Dec 14, 2011 11:15 |  #21

picturecrazy wrote in post #13543874 (external link)
The only thing I remember from Understanding Exposure was that he couldn't stop talking about how hot his wife was. Everything else seemed to be very basic tips about metering and DOF.

He's right though. :lol:;)




  
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Dec 14, 2011 11:19 |  #22

The glory of that book is that it explains the impact of the various controls on your image and what changing one variable, does to the other variables, in a simple systematic way. Its a survey course, not a graduate school thesis. If you got a handle on that, you probably dont need the book. Save the money and apply it toward a light meter.




  
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Gel
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Dec 14, 2011 12:04 |  #23

digital paradise wrote in post #13543489 (external link)
I figured you did. Not need to apologize. I'll look for some examples.

If you scroll down these images. Obviously the lighting method makes a difference but exposure is important as well. Perhaps I am over thinking it.

http://www.flickr.com …/in/set-72157623250983108 (external link)

With the link above, the diagram doesn't show you use flash, but it appears as if you did?


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Dec 14, 2011 12:39 |  #24

Gel wrote in post #13544156 (external link)
With the link above, the diagram doesn't show you use flash, but it appears as if you did?

Yes the diagram does not show flash but I have seen similar images with flash.


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digital ­ paradise
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I still have 8 digits left
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Gallery: 125 photos
Likes: 12615
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Dec 14, 2011 12:42 |  #25

airfrogusmc wrote in post #13543803 (external link)
Think of it like this, the meter sees the world as a medium gray and its also color blind. Different colors will reflect light differently even though the light is still the same intensity. So if you have a shadow and you want that shadow to look dark but have some detail you can spot meter that shadow and stop down 3 stops from (zone II) the reading and the shadow will have slight detail. Stop down two stops (zone III) and the shadow will have moderate to good detail and stop down 1 stop and it will be a dark gray (zone IV).

White with little detail will be spot meter the white and open up 3 stops (zone VIII). For more detail you can open two stops (zone VII) and for caucasian skin 1 stop (zone VI).

This is way over simplified but it does give you a basic idea of how it all works.

Shadows with little detail----(zone II) or stop down 3 stops from what the spot meter is reading from the shadows.

Shadows with good detail----(zone III) stop down 2 stops.

dark gray, dark skin----(zone IV) one stop darker than 18% gray stop down 1 stop.

mid gray clear north cloudless sky 18% gray (zone V) What meter reads.

caucasian skin----(zone VI) on stop brighter than 18% gray open up one stop

very light skin, light gray---zone VII open up two stops

snow with some texture---zone VIII read snow and open up 3 stops from meter reading when reading only the snow.

Color can also effect all of this but to keep the confusion down this is a good start.

If you are really interested in this more there are some good books about the zone system by Ansel Adams. I know I know film but there is great info about how meters work and read reflected light. Also Fred Picker has a good book on the zone system.

Adams books are
The Camera
The Negative
The Print

Fred Pickers book is
The Zone VI Workshop

But just understanding that the meter sees the world as a mid gray and if you point it at white if you don't change the shutter speed or aperture from what the meter reads you will get a density or exposure that will match mid gray. We all know snow is much brighter than that so you will need to make an adjustment to render the snow as white.

Nick also made some good suggestions. The more you play around with it after a basic understand the more you will probably learn.

Go outside on a very overcast day where the light is not changing. Now move the camera around through a scene. The meter will probably dance all over the place especially if there are very light and dark objects in the scene. Different objects with different reflectance will make the meter change. Thats because the reflectance of the objects is different but the fact is if the light hasn't changed, you should be changing your exposure.

I hope this helps.

Wow. Thanks for the detailed explanation. Yes it does with the skin tones. I read the 3 Ansel Adams books you listed.


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Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson
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