Helpful Posts Helpful Posts:  0
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 25

Thread: Metering- Sunny Day

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Suffolk, UK
    Posts
    45
    Real Name
    Eon

    Metering- Sunny Day

    Hi All,

    I wonder if you could offer some comments/advice.

    I shoot manual mode most of the time and have noticed recently that shooting outside on a bright sunny day about 5pm with the sun behind me that my pictures come out dull.

    Adjusting the meter to zero, or centre produces a nice peaked/dome histogram reading, but an image that looks under exposed and flat.

    However.... as soon as I over expose on the meter by about 2/3 of a stop, I get bright rich blue sky and a more rich, lifelike image.

    I shoot with centre weighted metering, and have my function button assigned for spot and I usually find a mid tone to spot from.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    rob marshall

    Re: Metering- Sunny Day

    Without light there is no colour. If you under-expose your colours will come out dull. If you over-expose they will get washed out (and will eventually blow). It sounds as if your problem is the range of light that occurs in your shots. That can be helped by shading certain areas (using a diffuser over a flower), or if it's a landscape using an ND grad filter to more equalize the light.

    It would help considerably to post some sample shots. It doesn't matter if they don't look too good.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Suffolk, UK
    Posts
    45
    Real Name
    Eon

    Re: Metering- Sunny Day

    Hi Rob,

    I deleted all the shots that were dull, but when I can, I will go out in the late afternoon in the same spot and reshoot the same area so you can have a look.

    Back Soon

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Metering- Sunny Day

    Hi Eon,

    If the sun is behind you, then everything your shooting will be visible due to reflected light only - and that often has a quite small dynamic range (black to white approx 4 stops). With the meter in the middle, the scene won't under-expose per-sec (a medium gray will still be exposed as a mid-tone), but there will be quite a lot of "safety margin" between the highlight you're seeing, and what the camera can capture. You can make your images brighter in-camera by adding exposure compensation, but you'll probably only shift the tonal range, not stretch it (so blacks will become greyer), and it'll still be flat.

    Personally, I'd just adjust the image in post-processing to stretch the tonal range (by adjusting clipping points)

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Metering- Sunny Day

    Quote Originally Posted by rob marshall View Post
    Without light there is no colour. If you under-expose your colours will come out dull. If you over-expose they will get washed out (and will eventually blow).
    I hear what you're saying Rob (and don't disagree) (you've got more muscles than me, so I wouldn't dare!) - but I think it's worth pointing out that in terms of saturation, all colours have different "sweet spots" - so under-exposing a sky for example may well increase the saturation dramatically (which is in essence what a CP filter is doing). So the effect under or over exposing a reflective object will have depend on whether the exposure is above or below the "sweet spot" to start with (in terms of saturation). Skies are often well above the sweet spot to start with.

  6. #6
    rob marshall

    Re: Metering- Sunny Day

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    I hear what you're saying Rob (and don't disagree) (you've got more muscles than me, so I wouldn't dare!) - but I think it's worth pointing out that in terms of saturation, all colours have different "sweet spots" - so under-exposing a sky for example may well increase the saturation dramatically (which is in essence what a CP filter is doing). So the effect under or over exposing a reflective object will have depend on whether the exposure is above or below the "sweet spot" to start with (in terms of saturation). Skies are often well above the sweet spot to start with.
    One thing I can never work out is the colour red. Quite often a shot of a red flower (in direct sun light) just looks completley flat with very little detail, and the colour itself seems to take on a strange hue. Reducing the brightness in PP just makes it a horrible washed out pink. Just like my Panasonic G1, in fact.

    I never understood physiks. But I can spell it

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Suffolk, UK
    Posts
    45
    Real Name
    Eon

    Re: Metering- Sunny Day

    Thanks for the replies Guys,

    The more I learn the more questions arise.

    I actually need to work on my spot metering technique I think and think about what I am trying to achieve meter wise.

    What I seem to be learning from shooting manual is that centre zero on the display is not always a correct exposure.

    I went out two days ago and did an early morning shoot. Spot metered a few and they were better than previous efforts, but as soon as I spot metered my grey card and took the card away, my meter was sometimes over by a stop and a third. Take the shot, and voila.... I am getting great colour as I am seeing it and no dull images.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Metering- Sunny Day

    Quote Originally Posted by eon View Post
    Thanks for the replies Guys,

    The more I learn the more questions arise.

    I actually need to work on my spot metering technique I think and think about what I am trying to achieve meter wise.

    What I seem to be learning from shooting manual is that centre zero on the display is not always a correct exposure.

    I went out two days ago and did an early morning shoot. Spot metered a few and they were better than previous efforts, but as soon as I spot metered my grey card and took the card away, my meter was sometimes over by a stop and a third. Take the shot, and voila.... I am getting great colour as I am seeing it and no dull images.
    Hi Eon,

    Spot-metering assumes that you're metering a medium gray spot (in fact, all metering works this way - the difference with wider-scope matering like evaluative/matrix is that the scene is more likely to average out to a medium gray anyway).

    If what you're (spot) metering isn't a medium gray then that's fine, BUT, you have to manually add exposure compensation (up to +2EV for a white object, and up to -2EV for a black object)

    Can go into more detail if you need - just ask

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Suffolk, UK
    Posts
    45
    Real Name
    Eon

    Re: Metering- Sunny Day

    Hi Colin,

    Thanks for your help.

    I generally add +2/3 EV for white, but I wondered what to do in a situation where you have black and white to deal with, bride and groom, black car with white stripe down side, black dog and white dog in same shot etc.

    Thanks.

  10. #10
    arith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Burton on Trent, UK
    Posts
    4,789
    Real Name
    Steve

    Re: Metering- Sunny Day

    Quote Originally Posted by eon View Post
    Hi All,

    I wonder if you could offer some comments/advice.

    I shoot manual mode most of the time and have noticed recently that shooting outside on a bright sunny day about 5pm with the sun behind me that my pictures come out dull.

    Adjusting the meter to zero, or centre produces a nice peaked/dome histogram reading, but an image that looks under exposed and flat.

    However.... as soon as I over expose on the meter by about 2/3 of a stop, I get bright rich blue sky and a more rich, lifelike image.

    I shoot with centre weighted metering, and have my function button assigned for spot and I usually find a mid tone to spot from.

    Thanks in advance.
    I always use spot (unless using ETTR) and overexpose on the brightest point by 1+2/3 EV, if I'm doing HDR I overexpose the left needle of the three by 1+2/3 EV, then I look for blinkies. There should be some but not much in white parts that are easily recovered or even recoloured.
    If the EV range is too great I might consider using a Zone system based on 8 EV of definition, but this is a bit hard to do in my head; so I generally avoid doing it.
    However, by exposing to the right noise is avoided: in this picture obvious black thing is going to cause some bother with exposure but also not so obvious delicate colour of the clock will be lost to a noise reduction application.
    So it hasn't had any chroma noise removal and is also a good example of exposing to the right:

    Metering- Sunny Day

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Metering- Sunny Day

    Quote Originally Posted by eon View Post
    Hi Colin,

    Thanks for your help.

    I generally add +2/3 EV for white, but I wondered what to do in a situation where you have black and white to deal with, bride and groom, black car with white stripe down side, black dog and white dog in same shot etc.

    Thanks.
    Black to white is only a 4 stop DR spread - most cameras capture at least 11 at base ISO - so so long as you shoot raw, and don't blow the highlights, it's easy to compress the range into something visible. The bigger problem isn't the capture, but the printing on paper, as paper has a DR of usually around 4 stops as well - monitors are more forgiving at around 6 stops.

    +2/3EC is "OK", possibly a little conservative, though, as even at +2, you'll probably still have at least 1 more stop of safety.

  12. #12
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Glenfarg, Scotland
    Posts
    19,918
    Real Name
    Just add 'MacKenzie'

    Re: Metering- Sunny Day

    Quote Originally Posted by eon View Post
    What I seem to be learning from shooting manual is that centre zero on the display is not always a correct exposure.
    Eon

    I just sit back and read when Colin's writing about metering as you are guaranteed to always learn something.

    But, just jumping in to comment on your comment above.

    Exactly. I shoot in manual all the time. What you can do once you've trained yourself to 'see' the medium-grey part of what's in the viewfinder then you can take your spot meter off that. You can then set aperture and shutter to get the needle into the middle for that spot. Once you've set them, don't touch them again.

    And then compose up your shot and FIRE!

  13. #13

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Suffolk, UK
    Posts
    45
    Real Name
    Eon

    Re: Metering- Sunny Day

    Donald, Colin, Arith,

    Many Thanks for your excellent replies.

    I was indeed being conservative at 2/3 when I see the numbers your guys are working with.

    It's really handy having experienced guys like you helping me out and those replies have made me realise that I can push things a little more just keeping an eye on the highlights, and again these answers confirmed my thoughts that centre isn't always correct.

    "Once you've set them, don't touch them again."

    That part of your post was cool Donald because I was having a tendency to keep re-metering every shot and unless my light changes or I turn away I shouldn't need to?

    I use a grey card quite a bit now... Do you guys ? ( I am guessing you seek out middle grey in the composed scene and spot that?

  14. #14
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Glenfarg, Scotland
    Posts
    19,918
    Real Name
    Just add 'MacKenzie'

    Re: Metering- Sunny Day

    Quote Originally Posted by eon View Post
    I use a grey card quite a bit now... Do you guys ? ( I am guessing you seek out middle grey in the composed scene and spot that?
    Eon

    Glad our comments were helpful.

    I use a WhiBal card for white balancing.

  15. #15

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Suffolk, UK
    Posts
    45
    Real Name
    Eon

    Re: Metering- Sunny Day

    I will Check out the whibal.

    Donald, a daft question, but how important is white balance on mono shots?? I am guessing it will affect the tone of the final image?

    Thanks

  16. #16
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Glenfarg, Scotland
    Posts
    19,918
    Real Name
    Just add 'MacKenzie'

    Re: Metering- Sunny Day

    Quote Originally Posted by eon View Post

    Donald, a daft question, but how important is white balance on mono shots?? I am guessing it will affect the tone of the final image?
    I think so, Eon.

    The fact is that when you're converting you know that different colours will come out in different ways in terms of tones of grey. So, on that basis, I'm of the school that thinks you should have the white balance right and therefore the colour 'correct', before you start the conversion.

    I know not everyone subscribes to that idea. But, hey ho, who ever said we all had to think the same way!!

  17. #17

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    17,662
    Real Name
    Have a guess :)

    Re: Metering- Sunny Day

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    I think so, Eon.

    The fact is that when you're converting you know that different colours will come out in different ways in terms of tones of grey. So, on that basis, I'm of the school that thinks you should have the white balance right and therefore the colour 'correct', before you start the conversion.

    I know not everyone subscribes to that idea. But, hey ho, who ever said we all had to think the same way!!
    Definitely. Easy to prove - just whack saturation to 0 then play with WB settings - you'l see the image change right before your eyes!
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 5th August 2011 at 12:35 PM.

  18. #18
    PopsPhotos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Washington (state) USA
    Posts
    984
    Real Name
    Pops

    Re: Metering- Sunny Day

    I use a grey card quite a bit now... Do you guys ? ( I am guessing you seek out middle grey in the composed scene and spot that?
    I always have the gray cap to a 35mm film canister in my pocket. I don't always use it, but it works quite well when I (and the camera) are struggling with getting what I want.

    Pops

  19. #19
    Shambhala's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    283
    Real Name
    Shannon

    Re: Metering- Sunny Day

    That's a great tip pops going to write it in my book and try and find a film canister cap

  20. #20
    PopsPhotos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Washington (state) USA
    Posts
    984
    Real Name
    Pops

    Re: Metering- Sunny Day

    Quote Originally Posted by Shambhala View Post
    That's a great tip pops going to write it in my book and try and find a film canister cap
    I went down to the local shop that develops film and asked if they had any, wanting some for my students. Liz reached under the counter and pulled out a big box, overflowing with 35mm film canisters. Her response, was "Please!"

    Pops

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •