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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
Thread started 22 May 2012 (Tuesday) 11:35
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Spot metering in harsh noon sun. Help!

 
slewi
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May 22, 2012 11:35 |  #1

Here's my question of the day: I have watched Cliff Mautner on Kelby Training, and I was very excited to try his techniques in harsh sun. Unfortunately it didn't work out so well. My problem was with the spot metering on my 5dmkii. I cranked up my shutter speed for the bright bright sun, but whenever I used the spot meter to expose for the face, the face was always underexposed.

I didn't try exposure compensation because I was afraid that it would affect the whole image and not just the face of the bride. Can anyone offer any suggestions what I can do?

Does the spot meter only work off of the center point? And does the spot metering follow the subject if I recompose?

Ugh. kinda frustrated here today. Thanks for any help!


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HiepBuiPhotography
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May 22, 2012 12:30 |  #2

First of all, what kind of lighting is this? Is the subject backlit, front lit, side lit, etc?

I agree that spot metering is the way to go. I'm not sure why your 5dmkii is still underexposing it. It should exposure whatever the center point is on.

You are correct about the exposure compensation. When you add any exposure compensation, it will affect the whole image.

The spot meter only works off of the center point. It does not follow the subject if you recompose. The way to do it is to pick your metering spot, then lock the exposure (there's a button for it) so when you recompose, the camera does not meter anymore.

My suggestions:
1) Shoot in manual in these trick situations. If you don't know how, learn =D
2) you said you didn't want the whole image to be affected by the exposure compensation. I'm assuming you wanted the ambient exposure a certain way. You can shoot with flash. This will give you an ambient exposure as you desire, with an exposure on the subject as you desire.


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Red ­ Tie ­ Photography
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May 22, 2012 13:00 |  #3

HiepBuiPhotography wrote in post #14469045 (external link)
First of all, what kind of lighting is this? Is the subject backlit, front lit, side lit, etc?

I agree that spot metering is the way to go. I'm not sure why your 5dmkii is still underexposing it. It should exposure whatever the center point is on.

You are correct about the exposure compensation. When you add any exposure compensation, it will affect the whole image.

The spot meter only works off of the center point. It does not follow the subject if you recompose. The way to do it is to pick your metering spot, then lock the exposure (there's a button for it) so when you recompose, the camera does not meter anymore.

My suggestions:
1) Shoot in manual in these trick situations. If you don't know how, learn =D
2) you said you didn't want the whole image to be affected by the exposure compensation. I'm assuming you wanted the ambient exposure a certain way. You can shoot with flash. This will give you an ambient exposure as you desire, with an exposure on the subject as you desire.

I really have nothing to add to this. That was going to be my response almost word for word.


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FlyingPhotog
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May 22, 2012 13:08 |  #4

Caucasian skin is brighter than 18% so spot metering off someone's face in direct, mid-day sun will cause under exposure.

Healthy green grass or clear blue sky at around 45 degrees above the horizon will work as better metering subjects. Otherwise, get a proper grey card and test shoot it first before you shoot your subject.


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slewi
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May 22, 2012 14:13 as a reply to  @ FlyingPhotog's post |  #5

Well, I put my subject with her back to the sun, using it as a rim light, and the dark green behind her was in shadow. She was rather far away or else I just would have used some flash. Her face was still dark.


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airfrogusmc
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May 22, 2012 14:17 |  #6

slewi wrote in post #14468776 (external link)
Here's my question of the day: I have watched Cliff Mautner on Kelby Training, and I was very excited to try his techniques in harsh sun. Unfortunately it didn't work out so well. My problem was with the spot metering on my 5dmkii. I cranked up my shutter speed for the bright bright sun, but whenever I used the spot meter to expose for the face, the face was always underexposed.

I didn't try exposure compensation because I was afraid that it would affect the whole image and not just the face of the bride. Can anyone offer any suggestions what I can do?

Does the spot meter only work off of the center point? And does the spot metering follow the subject if I recompose?

Ugh. kinda frustrated here today. Thanks for any help!

Caucasian skin is usually about one stop brighter than 18% gray. The meter sees everything as 18% or mid gray. So fill the spot meter with caucasian skin and open up 1 full stop. Easy as that.




  
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nicksan
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May 22, 2012 16:32 |  #7

Also, watch out for flare, which may affect your metering. How underexposed was the face? Can you post an example?




  
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Peacefield
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May 23, 2012 09:17 |  #8

An alternate to this is to do what I used to do back in the day when my only camera was the venerable Pentax k-1000.

Working in manual, I'd simply meter on my hand (assuming my subject, like me, is caucasion). If the subject's face was in full sun, I'd hold my hand in the same light and at a comparable angle to the sun, fill the frame with it, and meter off of that.

All this does is allow you to work in center-weighted (my usual AE mode) for the rest of the shoot and still accomplish what spot metering would without having to change AE modes.


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bigarchi
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May 23, 2012 11:29 |  #9

i chimp the screen & use the histogram a lot for this type of stuff..


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tfizzle
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May 23, 2012 16:25 |  #10

Peacefield wrote in post #14473123 (external link)
An alternate to this is to do what I used to do back in the day when my only camera was the venerable Pentax k-1000.

Working in manual, I'd simply meter on my hand (assuming my subject, like me, is caucasion). If the subject's face was in full sun, I'd hold my hand in the same light and at a comparable angle to the sun, fill the frame with it, and meter off of that.

All this does is allow you to work in center-weighted (my usual AE mode) for the rest of the shoot and still accomplish what spot metering would without having to change AE modes.

This. All the time I do it this way. If I want to expose for the shadow side and I'm far away with a telephoto and I know there will be metering problems with flare I will always meter on something in the shadows near me (grass works well most the time) then flip to manual. If I'm close I even tell the subject to hold out their arm and I'll get a quick reading and then go to manual.




  
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tim
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May 23, 2012 19:24 |  #11

I've never used spot metering in my life. I use partial, as it's a simple mode, the "full auto" type modes try to be smart but get it wrong.

Your metering mode is irrelevant really. Just take the shot, check the histogram, and dial in the EC required.


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ImaginePhotography
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May 24, 2012 08:47 |  #12

I shoot manual at all times. I just chimp and usually have everything set within two shots or so. I also use remote flash triggers a lot so that helps.


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Spot metering in harsh noon sun. Help!
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