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Portraiture exposure metering

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tefoonez View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote tefoonez Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 February 2012 at 19:01
Thanks for sharing such knowledge, it's invaluable. Looking forward to putting it to good use in the near future. Out of interest, would the same settings work when shooting portraits of animals? I have had it suggested that shooting swans, for example, it's sensible to minus on the exposure to keep the details, and viceversa for a brown bear?
Cheers

Daniel
A77II, Sony 70-400G II, Tamron 28-75, Sigma 18-35, Zeiss 135 1.8
 



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Photosopher View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Photosopher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 February 2012 at 22:28
Originally posted by tefoonez tefoonez wrote:

...would the same settings work when shooting portraits of animals?


Very doubtful, in fact, no. But if one photographed the same animal regularly, they'd find consistent settings and lighting conditions that pleased them. There you would build a formula upon. Once that is achieved, experimenting with the formula provides refinement, and opportunity for a high level of artistic interpretation.

Originally posted by tefoonez tefoonez wrote:

...I have had it suggested that shooting swans, for example, it's sensible to minus on the exposure to keep the details, and viceversa for a brown bear?


Black Swans? Polar Bears? Point being, that each critter and environment will be unique. Only experimentation and consistency can produce a formula.

Were I shooting white swans (which I don't), I would begin with a spot meter reading with +1.5 and go from there. Were I shooting black/brown bears in deep woods, I'd begin with a spot meter reading with -1 and go from there. But for any serious formula, you'd have to consult a wildlife specialist.

What you'll find, with any specialty type of photography from landscapes to medical, is that there are consistencies to rely upon within each discipline. With enough experience, you'll start to "see" the scene and be able to know the settings without even metering.
_______

Olympus OM-3 & 4's, and Maxxum Xi series with Spot Meter Expansion cards and a neat feature for metering from highlights (swans) and shadows (black bears). You'd take a spot meter reading on white, press highlight, and the cameras would automatically add +2 exposure compensation. Or meter on black, and the cameras would automatically subtract -2 exposure compensation. It worked quite well, and was based upon the principle of grey card spot metering at 0.


Edited by Photosopher - 23 February 2012 at 22:34
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tefoonez View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote tefoonez Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 February 2012 at 09:56
Thanks again, I'll certainly enjoy trying this out and experimenting as you say to see what results are achieved in each scenario.

Daniel
A77II, Sony 70-400G II, Tamron 28-75, Sigma 18-35, Zeiss 135 1.8
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kozmo View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote kozmo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 February 2012 at 23:49
2nd attempt, but my other daughter is very pale so I PP them to something different





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Photosopher View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Photosopher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 February 2012 at 01:34
kozmo, if this is using the +1 comp, I'd say you're catching on quite well. These look great and glowing. Good tonalities in both the color and b&w. If the paleness bothers you on the color, try adding a bit of +red in the RAW converter... just a bit, then a touch of saturation and I think you'll liven things up. But really, it looks terrific with the slight greenish/gold the way it is.
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alphatini View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote alphatini Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 March 2012 at 01:52
TFS Clyde, i'm a pretty owner of one of the few sony's (330) missing the AEL button. I'm not using it often lately, too much 'black frames' so my 7 gets most of the work. Using film is your 'recipe' always working / how different was it back in your analog days.

thanks
^_^
 



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Photosopher View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Photosopher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 March 2012 at 02:51
Originally posted by alphatini alphatini wrote:

Using film is your 'recipe' always working / how different was it back in your analog days.


Haven't changed a thing since film days. Works great on both chromes and negatives... though the chromes required a more precise reading. In fact, this all came about because shooting fashion/portraits back in the day was best IQ with chromes for publications. I hated carrying an incident handheld meter, and didn't like slowing things down with bracketing. So the +1 metering on faces with chrome film solved a lot of problems and got the exposures pretty darn perfect for final print.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote blinztree Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 March 2012 at 09:11
Great work, Clyde. You are a valuable asset to this forum.
¿Location? Beats me... I'm lost on a far.far.away.tropical island.

Eldred ZeTerrible@Borneo, Land of the Head Hunters
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DaveK View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote DaveK Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 March 2012 at 21:09
Missed this one, Clyde. Great learning stuff! Thanks a lot!
Best regards, Dave
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Debra View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Debra Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 March 2012 at 14:23
This is a wonderful thread/information very good information and tips.

I did have a go today my pics look ok well for one of my photos lol... I think the plus one is a good guide as many shots I have taken on the setting at the time which I always use spot metering seem that bit dark and have also used a grey card in the past which they have been okish..

On some of my photos I think I only done plus .07 and plus 1.. ?I took some inside the house but had plenty of daylight and some under the umbrella which is cream, the high sun in Thailand is so bright though that when I took some photos of my husband where he is loosing his hair there is always a shiny part so wondering what can I do to help that situation?

Also, I love cooking then taking photos for my blog, is there any tips on how to get good exposure with natural light, I do take photos outside as the natural light in the house even though pretty bright it seems to be a bit lackless.. I haev tried using the flash but without success..

Regards
Debra
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romke View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote romke Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 March 2012 at 20:23
thanks for sharing the excellent examples and the very useful tips. to some extend dialing in the required EV compensation is also a matter of personal preference (i would have perhaps chosen a bit less) but for demonstration purposes the series of examples are perfect.

it also shows that spotmetering and then locking the value obtained during the complete session can save a lot of work needed in PP and most likely will be more accurate then to use a new matrix metering for every shot you take.

one interesting note is where you mention that a "fresh new jeans" can also be used for correct spotmetering. i often employ that principle when shooting soccer, using the green grass as the basis for the metering. if you get more used to spotmetering you will more or less automatically learn what objects are suitable for spotmetering and what EV-compensation will be needed, depending on the object you choose for metering.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rickztahone Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 March 2012 at 21:29
Originally posted by Debra Debra wrote:

This is a wonderful thread/information very good information and tips.

I did have a go today my pics look ok well for one of my photos lol... I think the plus one is a good guide as many shots I have taken on the setting at the time which I always use spot metering seem that bit dark and have also used a grey card in the past which they have been okish..

On some of my photos I think I only done plus .07 and plus 1.. ?I took some inside the house but had plenty of daylight and some under the umbrella which is cream, the high sun in Thailand is so bright though that when I took some photos of my husband where he is loosing his hair there is always a shiny part so wondering what can I do to help that situation?

Also, I love cooking then taking photos for my blog, is there any tips on how to get good exposure with natural light, I do take photos outside as the natural light in the house even though pretty bright it seems to be a bit lackless.. I haev tried using the flash but without success..

Regards
Debra


CPL filter for the shiny head :)
a99+VG|a77+VG|a55|Nex6|HVL-56/58|minO|58 1.2|24|Tam|90|SAL||16-50|70-200|∑|50 1.4|∑| 24-70 2.8
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Photosopher View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Photosopher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 March 2012 at 00:55
Originally posted by Debra Debra wrote:

...I love cooking then taking photos for my blog, is there any tips on how to get good exposure with natural light...


Set it close to the window on one side and bounce mirror from the other to fill the shadows. The more mirrors to bounce back the better. Or if shooting downward, put the window light behind the plate and bounce front fill with mirrors. More dramatic lighting that way. I like to use those vanity makeup mirrors with stands that flip around for a normal mirror on one side and a magnified mirror on the other. The magnified mirror can act like a little spot light. I use three or more of these mirrors when shooting natural light product work... even studio product work.

See my food gallery here. First two shots are natural window light with mirrors. Good luck!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Photosopher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 March 2012 at 01:00
Originally posted by romke romke wrote:

...a matter of personal preference..."fresh new jeans"... the green grass... learn what objects are suitable for spotmetering...


No doubt about it.

Originally posted by rickztahone rickztahone wrote:

CPL filter for the shiny head :)


Can also use a heavy vignetting lens like the 70-210 Beercan at f4 to cut the glare a bit. Crop tight and make that bald scalp round perfectly with the vignette blend. But the article also shows use of reflectors, which in some cases (blondes, bald), should be used as overhead baffles.

Edited by Photosopher - 28 March 2012 at 18:01
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