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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 22 Dec 2008 (Monday) 05:18
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Understanding Exposure By Brian Peterson

 
realitysays
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Dec 22, 2008 05:18 |  #1

Hi guys!

I'm just trying to get my head around this. In the book, he says that he has found that it is very reliable to meter off the sky to get his correct exposure readings. Is he saying that, he meters off the sky, Locks the focus, and then shoots his subject? I tried this today and it kind of worked, but in other instances it didn't.

Can someone please clarify if i am correct in saying, that he meters off the sky (The sky brothers) and then keeps that same exposure and photographs his subject?

Kory.


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Dec 22, 2008 05:26 |  #2

What does he say he meters the sky to be? I've never read the book mind, but I find the phrase "I metered the sky...." to be missing half the sentence.

If I am using a reflective meter like the one in the camera I might say things like:

I metered a patch of turf to the +1/3 stop,

I metered the sky to be +2 stops.

I metered the palm of my hand to be +1 2/3 stops.

What I see missing from Mr. Peterson is a description of where he placed the meter when he put his spot on the sky. If he metered that as middle grey then it seems to me that he will get a very dark exposure. The sky is very bright, often something that winds up being close to blown out. If you meter the brightest tone in a scene (say....the sky) and place the needle at -0- then there will not be a single pixel on the histogram to the right of the middle.


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KarlosDaJackal
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Dec 22, 2008 05:46 as a reply to  @ JeffreyG's post |  #3

This book is horrible, and the fact its recommended all the time makes that worse. You will find many other points in the book where nothing is explained, its very much a book that teaches you to do things how Brian does things and not ask questions.

Understanding exposure is written like a novel, with lots of useless stories about the photographer and his wife and kids, where information about technique and explanations would be much better. The sweeping statements (best light is in the morning) and narrow focus (only use iso100 and 200 film, and bring a tripod everywhere, only use centre weight average metering) is not what a newbie needs to be reading.

The book "The new manual of photography" by John Hedgecoe is far superior. For one it costs the same and has 4 times as much content, all that content is brief and to the point with no filler. It has relevant examples related to the text and with each explanation or technique it attempts to address the alternatives also. It can also be used as a reference to go back to time and again.


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realitysays
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Dec 22, 2008 05:55 as a reply to  @ JeffreyG's post |  #4

He says this.

" I set my aperture wide open at f/2.8. I then pointed the camera to the sky above and adjusted the shutter speed to 1/2 sec. Since i wanted an exposure of at least 8 seconds to capture the flow of traffic on the bridge, i knew that by stopping the lens down 4 stops to f/11 would require me to increase my exposure time by these same 4 stops to 8 seconds. I then recomposed and took the shot".

From what i can understand, He pretty much meters off the sky to get the exposure and stops down to what he wants it to be. So if the meter reading was 1/500th at f/2.8 for e.g. he would stop down until he wanted his correct exposure, say he wanted f/16. He would go from 1/500th at f/2.8 to 1/250th at f/4, to 1/125 at f/5.6, to 1/60th at f/8, to 1/30th at f/11 and finally 1/15th at f/16.

I just wanted to know, if he meters the sky, to get the "Correct" exposure so that the EV is at 0, and then stops down to what he wants to achieve.
Essentially it is the same "Correct" exposure just to what effect you want. AM i on the right track :lol::o

Am i confusing you?


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Illumined
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Dec 22, 2008 06:56 |  #5

i agree that this book is not what a beginner should be reading to learn, but an amateur enthusiast may enjoy reading.

it definitely should not be recommended as instructional literature for a newbie though, that's for sure.

KarlosDaJackal wrote in post #6925369 (external link)
This book is horrible, and the fact its recommended all the time makes that worse. You will find many other points in the book where nothing is explained, its very much a book that teaches you to do things how Brian does things and not ask questions.

Understanding exposure is written like a novel, with lots of useless stories about the photographer and his wife and kids, where information about technique and explanations would be much better. The sweeping statements (best light is in the morning) and narrow focus (only use iso100 and 200 film, and bring a tripod everywhere, only use centre weight average metering) is not what a newbie needs to be reading.

The book "The new manual of photography" by John Hedgecoe is far superior. For one it costs the same and has 4 times as much content, all that content is brief and to the point with no filler. It has relevant examples related to the text and with each explanation or technique it attempts to address the alternatives also. It can also be used as a reference to go back to time and again.


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Dec 22, 2008 07:10 as a reply to  @ Illumined's post |  #6

Been doing this photography thing for 3 years now.
Read a lot up front, from the library, then discovered the Internet.

My advice, forget the books and learn Google, for it's all out there;
from the stickies at the top of these pages to canon's Learning Center.


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Illumined
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Dec 22, 2008 07:35 as a reply to  @ chauncey's post |  #7

i'm sure you've taken chauncey's advice already as you ended up at the right place to ask your question -- POTN. :)


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Dec 22, 2008 07:39 |  #8

realitysays wrote in post #6925399 (external link)
He says this.

" I set my aperture wide open at f/2.8. I then pointed the camera to the sky above and adjusted the shutter speed to 1/2 sec. Since i wanted an exposure of at least 8 seconds to capture the flow of traffic on the bridge, i knew that by stopping the lens down 4 stops to f/11 would require me to increase my exposure time by these same 4 stops to 8 seconds. I then recomposed and took the shot".

From what i can understand, He pretty much meters off the sky to get the exposure and stops down to what he wants it to be. So if the meter reading was 1/500th at f/2.8 for e.g. he would stop down until he wanted his correct exposure, say he wanted f/16. He would go from 1/500th at f/2.8 to 1/250th at f/4, to 1/125 at f/5.6, to 1/60th at f/8, to 1/30th at f/11 and finally 1/15th at f/16.

I just wanted to know, if he meters the sky, to get the "Correct" exposure so that the EV is at 0, and then stops down to what he wants to achieve.
Essentially it is the same "Correct" exposure just to what effect you want. AM i on the right track :lol::o

Am i confusing you?

You are on the right track. That is what he is doing but its not very well explained unfortunately:rolleyes:

Unfortunately people have the preconcieved idea that you have to use the needle in the meter to achieve the correct exposure (and he does nothing to dispel this). The correct exposure is whatever you want it to be and not what the camera says!

It is easier to decide things the other way around. In the example above, you set your shutter speed to 8 secs, Aperture to mid range (f8-11) and ISO to whatever it needs to be. Chimp (check lcd and histogram - available by pressing info) and redo if required.

Decide on the important factor(s) and let the other variables fall where they need to to expose correctly.


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Dec 22, 2008 07:43 |  #9

chauncey wrote in post #6925602 (external link)
Been doing this photography thing for 3 years now.
Read a lot up front, from the library, then discovered the Internet.
My advice, forget the books and learn Google, for it's all out there;
from the stickies at the top of these pages to canon's Learning Center.

+1 on this advice, except change the "...for 3 years..." to almost 30 years.

And....books are great, but with photography, especially now we can shoot without having to pop down the shops, get the film developed, printed, check the details of the shoot (f-stop, lighting, etc) with the resultant photo, and then re-think for another occasion, I'd say, "get your arse out there and take pictures"!

Slowly work out what the histogram means, how changing the settings changes other things, and then shoot some more!


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Dec 22, 2008 08:02 |  #10

skygod44 wrote in post #6925723 (external link)
+1 on this advice, except change the "...for 3 years..." to almost 30 years.

And....books are great, but with photography, especially now we can shoot without having to pop down the shops, get the film developed, printed, check the details of the shoot (f-stop, lighting, etc) with the resultant photo, and then re-think for another occasion, I'd say, "get your arse out there and take pictures"!

Slowly work out what the histogram means, how changing the settings changes other things, and then shoot some more!

I would agree 100% with your comments - there is no excuse not to practise!
Anyone buying a DSLR with any thought of taking good photo's should get out there and shoot.

Thats what i did 1 year ago, spent about 2 days using Auto then gave it up Green Box forever. I took time understanding the effect of aperture (using AV), then shutterspeed (with Tv) and then took the leap to manual. You can immediately see the result with a dslr so you should learn as you shoot.


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Dec 22, 2008 08:42 |  #11

Can someone please clarify if i am correct in saying, that he meters off the sky (The sky brothers) and then keeps that same exposure and photographs his subject?

He does, & it can work, but it's just part of a process that will work with a good blue sky. This OTOH, will work almost everywhere:
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realitysays
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Dec 22, 2008 15:47 as a reply to  @ PhotosGuy's post |  #12

Thanks for the responses all.

I'm not a newbie:) But i got this book given too me as it was recommended (Seems by everyone, except POTN, the only forum i trust) and i was just wondering on different methods how to get the correct exposure. I guess Pixel Peeping is killing me as i am never happy anymore, when the worst of photos used to please me 2 years ago when i first started.

I am just trying to learn all methods i can, and theres nothing wrong with learning, but i hear your points conveyed and that this book is just a way that Peterson does his methods and it doesn't explain much about the actual photos he takes.

Thanks for your advice guys, i appreciate it,

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Kory


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AmandaM
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Dec 23, 2008 06:23 |  #13

KarlosDaJackal wrote in post #6925369 (external link)
This book is horrible, and the fact its recommended all the time makes that worse. You will find many other points in the book where nothing is explained, its very much a book that teaches you to do things how Brian does things and not ask questions.

Understanding exposure is written like a novel, with lots of useless stories about the photographer and his wife and kids, where information about technique and explanations would be much better. The sweeping statements (best light is in the morning) and narrow focus (only use iso100 and 200 film, and bring a tripod everywhere, only use centre weight average metering) is not what a newbie needs to be reading.

Dang... why couldn't you have posted this a couple days ago? :lol: I ordered this book off of Amazon a couple days back after seeing it talked about so much on here.

Oh well... I'm sure I'll get SOMEthing out of it... but I really hate all the useless story crap.




  
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Minty
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Dec 23, 2008 09:07 as a reply to  @ AmandaM's post |  #14

Me too, and it was despatched this morning apparently :(




  
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luigis
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Dec 23, 2008 09:16 |  #15

Its a very dangerous book for beginners. I have no idea why it is so recommended, maybe because it is well written ?
Anyway the book is full of examples for film cameras, even medium format cameras and they just don't translate to the digital world.
Many of the book pics are taken at F22 and at F22 difrraction makes the pics look horrible on a DSLR.
I'm tired of seeing F22 pictures due to this book :)

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