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Portraiture exposure metering

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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: 27 March 2012 at 08:10
Originally posted by Photosopher Photosopher wrote:

Originally posted by romke romke wrote:

CPL filter for the shiny head :)



hmmm, that remark was not mine....
 



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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: 27 March 2012 at 12:16
Thanks Photoshopper for help/tips...

I will have a hunt around phu ket to see if I can find those mirrors if not will have to see what else I can see..

Regards
Debra
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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: 28 March 2012 at 18:02
Originally posted by romke romke wrote:

hmmm, that remark was not mine....


Oh wow sorry... fixed my bad.
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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: 31 March 2012 at 13:29
I have one more question if I may..

I have been having a go with this, but I am not sure where abouts on the face you get the reading, some parts show a bit lighter than others..

I have to say that I think my photos are okish but just would like to know if there its on the darker area or the lighter, but there is not much in it..

Thank you
Debra
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rpenmanparker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 March 2012 at 17:31
Originally posted by Debra Debra wrote:

I have one more question if I may..

I have been having a go with this, but I am not sure where abouts on the face you get the reading, some parts show a bit lighter than others..

I have to say that I think my photos are okish but just would like to know if there its on the darker area or the lighter, but there is not much in it..

Thank you
Debra


In general you would have two differently lit sections of the face, the "normally" lit area and the shadow area. Or to put it into studio terms, the area lit by the main and fill lights and the area lit only by the fill. You should meter the brighter area, the area lit by the main and fill in the studio, or area lit by sunshine outside. If you feel that will make your shadow areas too dark, you can do a few things. Pump up your fill for a lower lighting ratio between the main and fill. If you do this, don't forget to re-meter the bright. Or outside you can add fill from flash or a refelctor. The reflector works inside too. But in simplest terms it is the brightest area of the face that is subject to the metering principles discussed in this thread.
Robert
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Photosopher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 April 2012 at 03:27
Originally posted by Debra Debra wrote:

...would like to know if there its on the darker area or the lighter...


rpenmanparker gave a pretty good answer but there's a little more to it than that.

On this shot, it is true that I spot metered tightly on the bright side of face.


But that's only because it satisfied the look I was attempting to achieve. I didn't want the highlights to blow out on this particular shot. It would have been much too contrasty against the dark background. But there is no right or wrong. You must find your own personal taste for each shot just as much as deciding background or red vs blue sweater.

Keep in mind that the lighting changes in this tutorial. For front lit shots like these (natural window light), pretty much anywhere on the flesh will do fine. Measure on a cheek or nose or forehead, or better yet, try and make the spot circle fit the entire face:


The same principle holds true for backlit shots (still natural light, reflecting from the background window onto the wall behind me). The lighting is very even, so anywhere on the face will work fine.


But for shots like these, that only have a little side light, or creep over from the backlight, the reflector helps to fill shadows to even out the lighting enough that a full face reading will be great. Don't need to worry about separating shadows from highlights. Just meter the entire face and you'll get it.



A browse through my website shows that I only use this metering for the most clean style of portraits.




But this method is not a hard and fast rule by any means. It's offered as a learning tool to take the guesswork out of clean portraiture. It is easily modified to your own personal taste for more editorial style imagery later on... Experiment and see which look suits your personal style. Have fun with it!

The following images are a variation on the same type of metering. Some with +1, some with -1 or +2. You decide how you want it to be. But learn to use that spot meter.











Edited by Photosopher - 01 April 2012 at 03:36
 



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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: 03 April 2012 at 14:01
Thank you rpenmanparker and photoshopper for replying will take on board and try more tomorrow or during this week..

I do use my spot meter all the time from when I read in a book and info about grey card reading... I think impresser thus method and like you say find my way from this..

You mentioned spot reading the face I only have the in camera meter reading and it only does a little area on my a500 and I am not sure about using center weight?.

Thanks again

Debra
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Photosopher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 April 2012 at 14:43
Sorry Debra I'm unfamiliar with the a500. I would think it has three types of metering in the menu selection, that being matrix, center, and spot. You can achieve the same results with center weight but you'll need to get closer to your subject to accommodate the expanded metering circle. I would assume it also has toggle lock on the a500, but I'm speaking without real knowledge here.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote HPS3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 June 2012 at 00:05
Thanks for this wonderful information.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote crlowryjr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 June 2012 at 00:42
Veeeeeeeeeeeery interesting.
I shoot almost entirely in fully manual mode, but what I have stumbled upon is pretty much the same you're outlining Clyde ... and wouldn't it figure, while I go by Rob my first name is Clyde as well.

So for me, I use spot meter exclusively, meter for the brighter side of the person's face, and 'adjust something' until I'm about 1+. If I'm already on the edge of risking shake / inducing blur, I'll adjust the F-Stop, or if the DOF is already where I want it, I'll bump the ISO.

And while my personal taste is usually for a bit more shadow and contrast, I find doing this, and then pulling the image down a bit in my RAW converter creates a much better image than shooting it darker and then having to push it up.

Always interesting to me, when people stumble across very similar solutions from a different angle.

---Rob Lowry
Sony a850, a7 and NiB a99 going up for sale. Min 17-35 G as well.
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