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Thread started 02 Nov 2009 (Monday) 18:08
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Spot Metering/Blowing Highlights

 
malibubts
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Nov 02, 2009 18:08 |  #1

Hey, just got my 1D MKII and used it some during rehearsal on Sunday. I had it in spot metering, from what I've seen most people doing this kind of work use it. Previously I used partial because my XTi does not have spot. I also have the spot metering set to the active AF point. My problem is that I end up blowing the highlights if I focus on a dark subject.

AF point is on his head.

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IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
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AF point is the black sweater.
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AF point is the black sweater again.
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I ended up, dropping the exposure 1 full stop and that seemed to help. But what how do you all handle spot metering? Thanks!

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FlyingPhotog
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Nov 02, 2009 18:14 |  #2

The camera will want to make anything it meters 18% Gray. (Or 12% depending on what you read...)

Your problem is that in all three images, that value is higher than the actual objects being metered.

For the full stage shots, Evaluative Metering would have let the camera "see" more of the overall scene and it would have taken the brighter lighting into account. The camera is trying to make his dark sweater an average value and to do so it must blow out the highlights.

In the first frame, I just don't think there'd be enough light to see your subject if you held the mixing desk back to a "correct" exposure. You did about as well with that as you probably could short of shooting tighter.


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malibubts
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Nov 02, 2009 18:19 |  #3

Thanks. That was what I was thinking, but seeing as it was my first spot metering experience I figured I'd ask. There are some other pictures of the guy at the mixer. I can't remember if I fixed these in Lightroom though.

IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: NOT FOUND | MIME changed to 'image/gif' | Redirected to error image by FLICKR


IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: NOT FOUND | MIME changed to 'image/gif' | Redirected to error image by FLICKR

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FlyingPhotog
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Nov 02, 2009 18:22 |  #4

The guy at the mixing desk would be pretty easy to manipulate with exposure blending in Photoshop.


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Tom ­ W
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Nov 02, 2009 18:24 |  #5

Spot metering, as the name implies, meters for the subject that is within the area of coverage (which is pretty small on the 1D2). It essentially ignores the rest of the scene.

And, like all metering systems, it will try to meter to "middle gray" so that if you spot meter a dark area, it will try to expose as though that area is middle gray and will raise the exposure settings accordingly. Likewise, if you meter on a bright spot in the scene, the metering will again try to expose to middle gray by lowering the exposure accordingly.

Exposure compensation is handy when using spot metering in these situations, or you can switch to evaluative metering. Spot metering is most useful when your subject's lighting is significantly different from the surrounding area. For example, a backlit subject where the bright background would 'fool' the metering into underexposing the subject. Or, a brightly-lit subject in a dark background such as a speaker at a podium on a stage with a black curtain backdrop.


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Nov 02, 2009 18:42 as a reply to  @ Tom W's post |  #6

This shot you took shows you how you must shoot a scene with this kind of range: http://farm3.static.fl​ickr.com …70407876_4ae9ae​06cc_o.jpg (external link). It's the same thing we had to do with film in such situations--you have position your self so that you get the best angle of light on the subject, and then wait until the subject turns into that light.

It's part of the craft and art.


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FlyingPhotog
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Nov 02, 2009 18:44 |  #7

ERROR 404 on that link...


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yogestee
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Nov 02, 2009 18:53 as a reply to  @ FlyingPhotog's post |  #8

malibubts,,, stage lighting will test any camera's exposure ability and dynamic range.. It is also a test for any photographer.. In reality stage lighting is designed for effect not to be photographed..

There is nothing you can do about it via shooting except put up with it and meter for the main subject.. Any other adjustments can be done during post processing..


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ccp900
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Nov 02, 2009 22:12 |  #9

also, the spot meter (not unless youre using a 1d) is not tied to the af point chosen, its right in the middle...so you need to fill the circle with the subject, manipulate exposure settings, AE lock, focus, recompose then shoot.


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goatydude
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Nov 02, 2009 22:45 |  #10

This is how I use spot metering maybe wrong maybe right but it works for me.
I usually look for something in the scene that is around middle(18%)grey take a reading from it and shoot. Otherwise I will meter from something black and underexpose by a stop or more or white and overexpose by a stop or more. I will then have a look at the histogram and then tweak the exposure a little depending on what I see.

Like others have said the camera meters for grey so you need to find something of that value or compensate by finding something else in the scene with a "known" value and adjust for it. Do some reading up on the ZONE SYSTEM for exposure.
You have simply overexposed by choosing the metering subject without compensating for it.


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guru
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Nov 03, 2009 02:15 |  #11

You couldn't use spot metering for the scene that has wider dynamic range than your camera sensor, and expect not to get blown parts of the image...




  
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Canonboi
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Nov 03, 2009 06:20 |  #12

goatydude wrote in post #8944558 (external link)
This is how I use spot metering maybe wrong maybe right but it works for me.
I usually look for something in the scene that is around middle(18%)grey take a reading from it and shoot. Otherwise I will meter from something black and underexpose by a stop or more or white and overexpose by a stop or more. I will then have a look at the histogram and then tweak the exposure a little depending on what I see.

Like others have said the camera meters for grey so you need to find something of that value or compensate by finding something else in the scene with a "known" value and adjust for it. Do some reading up on the ZONE SYSTEM for exposure.
You have simply overexposed by choosing the metering subject without compensating for it.

This got me confused. You said "I usually look for something in the scene that is around middle(18%)grey take a reading from it and shoot." But what if that 18% "something" in the scene is not your primary subject, not your main subject, and you "meter" there, then the main subject will be out of focus.

Please correct me if I'm wrong (which I sure am) but "to meter something" is "to get a reading of something" which means getting a focus on that thing. Now as you said, you meter something in the scene, which to me is you focus on something to get a reading of it, then you can't recompose anymore because you have your focus/reading locked on that particular "something". (Example of what I'm thinking you meant is, what if the background and not the subject that is 18% gray, do you focus there and shoot? But then you get your subject OOF.)

I'm thinking of Exposure Lock here to answer my own question of getting a reading of something and recomposing but still get the reading applied while you recompose, but please slap me in the face the answer. I'm just confused.


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Eric
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Nov 03, 2009 07:09 |  #13

Canonboi wrote in post #8945846 (external link)
I'm thinking of Exposure Lock here to answer my own question of getting a reading of something and recomposing


Bingo!

you can take an exposure reading off of anything and lock that exposure with the * button. Recompose, focus and snap.


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Nov 03, 2009 08:13 |  #14

Canonboi wrote in post #8945846 (external link)
This got me confused. You said "I usually look for something in the scene that is around middle(18%)grey take a reading from it and shoot." But what if that 18% "something" in the scene is not your primary subject, not your main subject, and you "meter" there, then the main subject will be out of focus.

Please correct me if I'm wrong (which I sure am) but "to meter something" is "to get a reading of something" which means getting a focus on that thing. Now as you said, you meter something in the scene, which to me is you focus on something to get a reading of it, then you can't recompose anymore because you have your focus/reading locked on that particular "something". (Example of what I'm thinking you meant is, what if the background and not the subject that is 18% gray, do you focus there and shoot? But then you get your subject OOF.)

I'm thinking of Exposure Lock here to answer my own question of getting a reading of something and recomposing but still get the reading applied while you recompose, but please slap me in the face the answer. I'm just confused.


Metering has nothing to do with focus. Metering is taking a reading of the light value at that point. If you are in evaluative mode and you aim at something and half press the shutter the exposure will be locked for that "scene" whether or not you recompose. If you are in the other metering modes, the exposure setting change on the fly whether you have press the shutter half way or not.

So for spot metering, you can aim at anything you want exposed as 18% gray and hit the AE lock button, which locks in the exposure settings. You can then aim at your subject to focus and shoot.


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Nov 03, 2009 10:29 |  #15

Quizzical_Squirrel wrote in post #8946849 (external link)
You could also try taking identical shots at different appropriate exposures (one for each dramatically different area in the scene) and then blend them together as layers in photoshop to make one photograph.

Won't work if there are people in the pic.. The slightest movement from either the camera or person/people will cause a ghosting effect..


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