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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 21 Feb 2012 (Tuesday) 21:05
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Petersen's Exposure: Hand or "Sky Brothers"

 
ekinnyc
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Feb 21, 2012 21:05 |  #1

i've read PhotosGuy's very helpful tutorial about using your hand to set exposure, and have seen the same technique mentioned in Understanding Exposure. however, the author also talks about a technique which he calls "sky brothers" for setting exposure using the type of scene that you are capturing... for example, when shooting reflections on water, you meter the water surface rather than the actual objects being reflected. if shooting a scene at dusk, you meter the sky. etc etc...

so which technique wins out? obviously shooting a sunset, you cannot use your hand because the light "over there" is different than the light "over here", so then how do you adjust away from middle grey?


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tonylong
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Feb 21, 2012 21:28 |  #2

Well, the point of having an understanding of several different techniques is so that you can choose what is most effective for the scene you are in.

Sometimes the hand, sometimes a blue sky, sometimes even a patch of grass -- remember, with digital these give you a "starting point".

Also, a lot of people are fans of using an "incident meter" for some scenes, ones where the meter can be placed in the scene lighting and meter it, rather than light reflected off of a subject. It can be an effective approach but would not logically work with a lot of scenes. Just another tool in the bag!


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Feb 21, 2012 22:43 |  #3

Look at a scene, decide what portion of the entire scene is MOST IMPORTANT for you to capture well, and meter that part! If you meter the hand, the assumption is that the local area of the scene is most important. If you meter the sunset in the sky, its saturated, well exposed color is more important that any objects that might be in the foreground. etc.


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Feb 22, 2012 06:40 as a reply to  @ Wilt's post |  #4

On the other hand...ouch, bad pun...I make my metering adjustments in LV while looking for blinkies. This is assuming the scene's dynamic range is within the camera's abilities.
If it isn't, I'll take a shot ETTR and then one or two more with emphasis on the subject, then blend the images.


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rral22
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Feb 22, 2012 09:36 |  #5

Spot metering is intended to allow you to pick small pieces of the exposure puzzle and accurately place those tones where you want them in the dynamic range of the scene. If the colors in the sky are vital, use them as the measuring stick. If someone's face is the subject, expose that as you want it.

There are many "crutches" that allow you to get close to the exposure you need. The only real solution is to understand what your meter is telling you in its various modes, use that information to set an exposure you want for the individual scene you are photographing, and then check with the histogram to make any fine tuning adjustments to get what you need. Understanding exposure (just like the book says) is the final solution.

Some more reading if you want it.

http://www.normankoren​.com/zonesystem.html (external link)

http://www.normankoren​.com/zonesystem.html (external link)




  
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PhotosGuy
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Feb 22, 2012 10:02 |  #6

ekinnyc wrote in post #13940219 (external link)
however, the author also talks about a technique which he calls "sky brothers" for setting exposure using the type of scene that you are capturing...

I did say, "There will be times when this "possible exposure" won't be right for the shot that you're taking, which is why we're given a better brain than the meter has?" ;)

for example, when shooting reflections on water, you meter the water surface rather than the actual objects being reflected.

I can think of several ways that that might be both right & wrong.

if shooting a scene at dusk, you meter the sky. etc etc...

Same here.

so which technique wins out? obviously shooting a sunset, you cannot use your hand because the light "over there" is different than the light "over here", so then how do you adjust away from middle grey?

No technique "wins" all the time. They are all starting points. Even an incident meter can be "right" for the average light, but "wrong" for the subject & situation, "which is why we're given a better brain than the meter has?", right? So...

obviously shooting a sunset, you cannot use your hand because the light "over there" is different than the light "over here", so then how do you adjust away from middle grey?

"Middle grey" can work for a sunset. Meter to the right/left of the sun without the sun in the frame, & try out that exposure. It will probably be close to what you want. Again, "brain". ;)


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Petersen's Exposure: Hand or "Sky Brothers"
FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
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