Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Creative manual metering

  1. #1
    ABPhoto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    56
    Real Name
    Amanda

    Creative manual metering

    Nobody ever told me about aperture or shutter speed priority so for the last 30 plus years I have been working in manual. I tried priority modes very recently and apart from being able to use exposure compensation I dont find enough of a challenge for me.

    However, just lately also I have been wanting to get a bit more creative with the metering of my manual exposures. The spot meter is my favourite and I have had some mad looking exposures while using this system especially in contrasty light but I still have an apetite for something special. I have been gooogling around a bit and some say take spot meter readings from shadow, highlight and midtone areas and average out the shutter speeds. Others say take a spot reading from the brightest area and stop up by 2/3. (Doesnt seem to work for skies).

    I wonder are there any more metering tips out there? Only on manual mode mind !

  2. #2
    rpcrowe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Southern California, USA
    Posts
    12,976
    Real Name
    Richard

    Metering Tips

    See if your library has (or can get), Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera [Paperback], by Bryan Peterson. I have an earlier edition and it makes for some very interesting reading.
    http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-...7455091&sr=1-2

  3. #3
    jiro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Manila, Philippines
    Posts
    3,804
    Real Name
    Willie or Jiro is fine by me.

    Re: Creative manual metering

    This is how I use manual metering on my camera. I use spot metering on the area that looks important to me on the scene. If it is on the shadow side (dark areas) I spot meter on that area that still shows some texture and put the meter needle at the center adjusting the shutter and aperture values. Now that the needle is at the center, I under-expose it further by about -2 EV. Example. The camera meter tells me that when the meter needle is at the center, my shutter speed is at 1/30 second and at f/5.6. If I want to keep the shutter speed constant (so that I can reduce image blur) I would then adjust the aperture by -2 EV and set it at f/11.

    Now, if the situation is reversed and I want to keep some detail on the highlights (bright areas on the scene), I would spot meter on that bright area (an example would be a white wedding dress) and set the meter needle to go to the center. If the meter when positioned at the center says 1/400 second at f/8 and I want to keep the depth of field using the f/8 lens opening, I would then adjust the shutter speed and add +2 more exposure value to the meter's recommended setting to really make the white dress white but still with textures. My new shutter speed then after adjustment would be 1/100 second. The creativity there is the fact that you have the option to alter your exposure with either changing the aperture or the shutter speed depending on the effect that you want. You want good depth of field but with some creative blur?... change the shutter speed but keep the aperture constant. You want shallow depth of field but tack sharp image?... adjust the aperture and keep the high shutter speed constant. This is the reason why some stick to Manual Exposure setting since they have full control and creativity on the image.

    I use AV (or aperture priority mode) when my priority is depth of field. I will raise my ISO on a level where my shutter speed will not give me blurry images so I am good with this setting.

    I use TV (or shutter priority mode) when my priority is freezing the movement or intentionally introduce movement blur on the image. I will then let the camera pick the right aperture opening for me. If the opening is too shallow for me taste, I still have the ISO as another variable to adjust based on my creative ideas. Hope this helps (or was it too confusing?)

  4. #4
    ABPhoto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    56
    Real Name
    Amanda

    Re: Metering Tips

    Thanks Richard. I do have an earlier version of Bryan Petersons book and yes its a fab book and much of what I have learned I owe to him. However, on reflection I am wondering after many years and many dissappointing shots, once one had done all they know to meter and expose the shot right, is it down then to the quality of light that makes a good exposure into a really special one ?


    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    See if your library has (or can get), Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera [Paperback], by Bryan Peterson. I have an earlier edition and it makes for some very interesting reading.
    http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-...7455091&sr=1-2

  5. #5
    ABPhoto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    56
    Real Name
    Amanda

    Re: Creative manual metering

    Not confusing at all, very logical and worth trying out on a few different scenes. Trouble is I am a left brainer and think I am missing out on something that right brainers have an insight into. perhaps this is all too hyperthetical but I just feel 90% of the time there is more to be got and I just aint getting it ! Thanks though Jiro I appreciate that.

  6. #6
    jiro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Manila, Philippines
    Posts
    3,804
    Real Name
    Willie or Jiro is fine by me.

    Re: Creative manual metering

    Quote Originally Posted by ABPhoto View Post
    Not confusing at all, very logical and worth trying out on a few different scenes. Trouble is I am a left brainer and think I am missing out on something that right brainers have an insight into. perhaps this is all too hyperthetical but I just feel 90% of the time there is more to be got and I just aint getting it ! Thanks though Jiro I appreciate that.
    Not at all hypothetical, Amanda. I have a dark leather jacket with me and a white jersey jacket where I try to learn exposure metering during the first month of my photography study. Using the spot metering on the black leather jacket, a -2 EV adjustment on the recommended meter values really made the exposure right on the value for a dark subject. Same thing for the white jersey shirt. On an outdoor shot, your mileage may vary but the principle holds the same. Probably instead of - 2EV for dark subjects, a little less than that would work.

  7. #7
    Marie Hass's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    up on a knob above Paden City, West Virginia
    Posts
    2,053
    Real Name
    Marie Hass

    Re: Creative manual metering

    Willie, I cannot thank you enough for your discourse on exposing manually (post #3). You have very much provided me with more understanding of how to manipulate all of your settings to get the results you want. I never considered adding EV as another variable, but to have that control over DOF, and over your pictures is very powerful. I have one more week of class. I will shoot more pictures and try out some of the formulas you have provided.

    Richard, thank you for posting the link. I will explore that also.

    Have a wonderful evening,

    Marie

  8. #8
    jiro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Manila, Philippines
    Posts
    3,804
    Real Name
    Willie or Jiro is fine by me.

    Re: Creative manual metering

    Marie, to avoid confusion, There is "manual" exposure compensation and there is "exposure compensation". What I normally do is the "manual" compensation approach. My camera is almost 75% set to manual mode (meaning I select the shutter and aperture myself based on the camera's initial recommended values. If I want to apply "manual" compensation to the settings I adjust the shutter or aperture opening accordingly. I can only use the "exposure compensation" feature of my camera if I am either in Av (Aperture Priority) or Tv (shutter priority) mode. The exposure compensation button does not work when the camera is set to Manual exposure mode. Hope this helps to clarify the process. I am glad if in small ways I can be of help to you.

  9. #9
    Marie Hass's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    up on a knob above Paden City, West Virginia
    Posts
    2,053
    Real Name
    Marie Hass

    Re: Creative manual metering

    Willie, you are right. I did misunderstand. My ignorance, sorry. I went out and took some pictures. I attempted to adjust the exposure compensastion but could not. I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. Now I see. . Glad I came back and looked at your additional post. I now understand that you can adjust aperture or shutter up or down to help get the look you want. Thank you for explaining that. I presume F stops and ISO are also factors in this equation? Just checking to see if there is anything else I might be missing. I will try taking pictures again tomorrow.

    Marie

  10. #10
    rpcrowe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Southern California, USA
    Posts
    12,976
    Real Name
    Richard

    Re: Creative manual metering

    To piggyback on Jiros comment regarding black leather and white jersey jackets; Moose Peterson, the great wildlife photographer recommends getting several stuffed animals, black, white and brown and using the stuffed toys to experiment with exposure. I will often set up a white stuffed animal to get my lights just right prior to shooting my white Maltese dogs...

    Creative manual metering

  11. #11
    jiro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Manila, Philippines
    Posts
    3,804
    Real Name
    Willie or Jiro is fine by me.

    Re: Creative manual metering

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    To piggyback on Jiros comment regarding black leather and white jersey jackets; Moose Peterson, the great wildlife photographer recommends getting several stuffed animals, black, white and brown and using the stuffed toys to experiment with exposure. I will often set up a white stuffed animal to get my lights just right prior to shooting my white Maltese dogs...

    Creative manual metering
    Now that's what I call a "true professional tip!"

  12. #12
    maloufn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    sydney, Australia
    Posts
    487
    Real Name
    Dr Nasseem Michael Malouf

    Re: Creative manual metering

    Quote Originally Posted by jiro View Post
    Now that's what I call a "true professional tip!"
    Jiro that was all very enlightening re the exposure compensation with white and dark subjects. I take it that
    is because of the 18% grey read by our camera's sensor and hence the need to compensate for the real
    light. I have recently purchased a light meter (Sekonic L358) that reads incidental light (not
    reflected) and now in theory (not tested) I just take a reading of dark or light subjects (if close enough)
    and hence do not need to do any exposure compensation. Is that right??

    Nasseem

  13. #13
    jiro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Manila, Philippines
    Posts
    3,804
    Real Name
    Willie or Jiro is fine by me.

    Re: Creative manual metering

    Quote Originally Posted by maloufn View Post
    Jiro that was all very enlightening re the exposure compensation with white and dark subjects. I take it that
    is because of the 18% grey read by our camera's sensor and hence the need to compensate for the real
    light. I have recently purchased a light meter (Sekonic L358) that reads incidental light (not
    reflected) and now in theory (not tested) I just take a reading of dark or light subjects (if close enough)
    and hence do not need to do any exposure compensation. Is that right??

    Nasseem
    That I cannot answer directly, Nasseem because I have not fully experienced using a Sekonic L358 light meter. I can share the theory about incident light meters but that is cheating on my side. I have to let the others help you out on this one, Sir. I can only share what I have experienced myself. Kind regards.

  14. #14
    ABPhoto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    56
    Real Name
    Amanda

    Re: Creative manual metering

    Please do share any thing you may consider helpful on incident light metering.
    I have done experiments myself with a jet black t shirt and a pure white one. With the cameras reflected meter If I take a shot of the black one it comes out mid grey. If I take a shot of the white one it comes out mid grey. If I try to expose for the black one beside the white one then the black one looks good but the white one looks grey. If I try to expose for the white one beside the black one then the white one looks good but the black one looks grey.
    Then enter the Sekonic L358 and I take a reading of the light falling onto them both. I enter in the exposure to my camera, take the shot and there I have a perfectly exposed black shirt next to a perfectly exposed white one.

Posting Permissions

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