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Thread: What metering shld I use for taking landscape / scenery pic?

  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by ortega
    bracket bracket bracket, shoot one picture and get that shot right
    It is better to shoot just one composition and get it right
    that shooting 10 shots that are not keepers.

    BTW sunrise/sunset the light changes so rapidly that you cannot spot meter and calulate fast enough, the matrix meter is really good for standard scenes like sunrise/sunsets. Get to know your camera and what it can and cannot do
    I photograph landscape before the sun rises and just before the sun sets. And as you mentioned, the light changes rapidly. Because of this changing light, I find spot meter invaluable. If one understands light and shadows, teh advantages of a spotmeter become obvious.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by knoxknocks
    spot on! no pun intended
    I do not agree.

    For most of photography there the shutter speed is more than one section, bracketting (as far as metering is concern. If you are talking about bracketting for content, it is anotehr matter) is unnecessary. Bracketting reveals a lack of understanding of light.

    However, when the shutter is slower than 1 second and particularly when it in the region of minutes such as night photography, then science do not apply anymore because of reciprovity failure. I do not know how this applies to CCD and CMOS. For films, the exposure is imprecise, and here, bracketting is necessary.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by student
    I hope you don't mind me making a small correction.

    A light meter measures light. This can be a separate hand held meter, or a camera in-built meter.

    There are essentially two forms of light meters in terms of function.

    Reflex meter which measures light coming from the scene. All forms of camera meters are variations of reflex metering, with more sophistication in evaluative and matrix metering. Spot meter is a reflex meter which measures light from a very small area. More accurate spotmeter are usually hand-held.

    Another is incident metering which measures light falling on the scene.
    This includes most flash meters.

    To use the term incident meter and lightmeter interchangeably is therefore not correct.

    In my limited landscape experience, I always use spotmetering. And 95% of the time, the metering is correct. I don't need evaluative or matrix metering. No evaluative or matrix metering is as accurate as my handheld spot meter for my photography.

    I feel that much too often, technology is used as a crutch for laziness.
    I certainly respect your opinion . We're all here to learn rite?

    But my opinion is that "technology=encouraging laziness" is not necessarily true. At the end of the day, a photog can use matrix, spot, centre-weighted or whatever form of metering as long as he's comfortable and knows how to compensate where necessary. Whether it's a handheld meter or in-camera meter - it's a tool. How accurate must this tool be goes into a whole different discussion on technology again - isn't that an irony?

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by student
    I do not agree.

    For most of photography there the shutter speed is more than one section, bracketting (as far as metering is concern. If you are talking about bracketting for content, it is anotehr matter) is unnecessary. Bracketting reveals a lack of understanding of light.

    However, when the shutter is slower than 1 second and particularly when it in the region of minutes such as night photography, then science do not apply anymore because of reciprovity failure. I do not know how this applies to CCD and CMOS. For films, the exposure is imprecise, and here, bracketting is necessary.
    Bracketing is not necessarily a bad thing. In this world, not everyone has a perfect understanding of exposure. Me included.

    I find bracketing useful, esp when using slides where latitude is much lower and I need a money shot

  5. #25
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    May I suggest spot / partial meter birghtest and darkest spot that you want to capture and average them. Than meter what you deem as middle tone. Compare ave reading and middle tone reading, then compensate depending if subject is dark, middle or light tone.

    Why I say brightest & darkest spot you want to capture is because the EV of brightest & darkest spot of the whole scence may be out of the latitude tol. of the medium you are using, negative, slide, ccd, cmos. Less you use graduating ND filter.

    Another reason is, for eg. you take night scence of a city, say HK from hill top, why bother to meter the night sky?

    Just my 2cents here
    photography makes one sees things from all angles.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by knoxknocks
    But my opinion is that "technology=encouraging laziness" is not necessarily true. D
    I agree, that is why I said " much too often". I did not say "necessary true".

    But do a little experiment. Ask photogs who have never used a totally manual cameras. Probably you will find them to be people who started with an autoeverything (film or digital) camera and remained there. Find out how much they know about light. They might be able to take nice photographs (the computer chips is really making cameras almost idiot proofed), but their ability to understand light and use light will be stunted for a long time.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by knoxknocks
    Bracketing is not necessarily a bad thing. In this world, not everyone has a perfect understanding of exposure. Me included.

    I find bracketing useful, esp when using slides where latitude is much lower and I need a money shot
    You are therefore agreeing with me that your understanding of exposure is wanting. I am not against bracketting per se. But against bracketting because one uses it as a crutch for a lack of photographic skills which include technical understanding (and that includes understanding of light). And it is an irony, that one engages in photography without a good understanding of light and exposure, when photography is essentially about light and its forms.

    Everyone is entitled to the way one works, and that include total reliance on technology and multiple bracketting shots to get that one money shots. But this reinforces what I called a mental laziness to understanding the tools of one's trade.

  8. #28

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    Paul

    Your question was an exercise in unclearness. You are not taking about a landscape but rather a bridal couple with a landscape background - big difference.

    I take it you are shooting digital and not film. The short answer in that case is to shot, review and adjust if needed. Most of us have chipped in with advise on a roughly how to meter. There is no workflow fool-proof formulae to getting this shot right.

    It is not possible to full answer your question since a full answer would roughly be a small workshop since there are many different areas that need to be done right to get a shot like this right. That is if you plan to make some decisions and not rely on the camera's programes doing everything. It also means that you understand something of the limitations of the material you work with be it a ccd , a cmos, neg film , slide. I do not claim to be able to educate you fully on this - as I am still learning that I need to understand more each day.

    Unfortunately photography is still an art although science is narrowing the gap between what you need to know to do things it cannot replace the basic understanding which can make the difference between a picture and a picture that wows. As most of the noted photographers in the real world have said this in different ways - it begins with seeing.

    I think you could try brakceting for a technical correct picture but Murphy's law is such that the one with mood and expression will be one where the exposure is incorrect. For a landscape you can bracket - maybe since there is a element of a play of light that makes or breaks a landscape you are back with Murphy agian. Many things that are "taught" in books have correctness within that context but it may not work out to be correct in your context.
    Last edited by ellery; 12th January 2005 at 11:45 AM.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by student
    You are therefore agreeing with me that your understanding of exposure is wanting. I am not against bracketting per se. But against bracketting because one uses it as a crutch for a lack of photographic skills which include technical understanding (and that includes understanding of light). And it is an irony, that one engages in photography without a good understanding of light and exposure, when photography is essentially about light and its forms.

    Everyone is entitled to the way one works, and that include total reliance on technology and multiple bracketting shots to get that one money shots. But this reinforces what I called a mental laziness to understanding the tools of one's trade.
    My england not very powderful lah. I'm not saying that my understanding of exposure is wanting. I meant that I may not be able to get the perfect exposure each and everytime I shoot, esp in tricky lighting situations. Hence I bracket sometimes, and I learn more each time I shoot.

    I would really hope to reach your "one shot, one kill" level someday, be it sports, events or landscapes.

  10. #30
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    To ellery , actually, i am asking about landscape photography, just that i happen suddenly to think of shooting a bride.....sorry for the mix up... it is off-topic....

    Yes. I must admit that all of the replies and comments are valuable and has shown insights. Thanks !

    A lot of what you all said, I still dun fully understand...
    I still got LOTS to learn. I needed time to digest first.

  11. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by knoxknocks
    I would really hope to reach your "one shot, one kill" level someday, be it sports, events or landscapes.
    No. not all of my exposure are "spot on"! But all my negatives are printable. I realised that when I get a negative that is slightly underexposed, it is because I tried to "compromise". Never works!

    Another reason why I meter the way I did is because I shoot with a 4x5 camera. I do not have the luxury of multiple bracketting and multiple shots with the 4x5 camera. So I have to be precise. But I suspect if I buy a DSLR, I may become lazy and rely on the computer chips to do my work for me!

    Landscape metering is a little more complicated than eg "Portrait". A couple of weeks ago, I photographed a youg lady. The other photographer who was with me asked, don't you use a polaroid? (I was using my 4x5). I said, what for? I know the exposure will be right! The only thing I cannot be sure of if the image is right! But that is another story!

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by student
    No. not all of my exposure are "spot on"! But all my negatives are printable. I realised that when I get a negative that is slightly underexposed, it is because I tried to "compromise". Never works!

    Another reason why I meter the way I did is because I shoot with a 4x5 camera. I do not have the luxury of multiple bracketting and multiple shots with the 4x5 camera. So I have to be precise. But I suspect if I buy a DSLR, I may become lazy and rely on the computer chips to do my work for me!

    Landscape metering is a little more complicated than eg "Portrait". A couple of weeks ago, I photographed a youg lady. The other photographer who was with me asked, don't you use a polaroid? (I was using my 4x5). I said, what for? I know the exposure will be right! The only thing I cannot be sure of if the image is right! But that is another story!
    Off topic, what's a 4x5 Camera?

  13. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_Yeo
    Off topic, what's a 4x5 Camera?
    For cameras using films there are categories of sizes. The main ones are

    35 mm, Examples are Nikons, Canon, Leica etc etc

    Medium format. The films are called 120. Sometimes 220. an obvious examples is Hasselblad. There are also many others.

    Next in line are the large format cameras. The smallest of the large format cameras use a film of 4x5 inches. The sizes goes uo to 5x7 and 8x10.

    Beyond 8x10 are the ultralarge, such as cameras using 11x14 inches films, 16x20 and 20x20 and beyond!

    And there are variations of these cameras' format!

  14. #34
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    Has anybody talked about metering off an 18% gray card?

    Use a 18% gray card, meter the card in the light that the picture you wanna take is in, then you take the shot.
    The equipment can only bring you so far - the rest of the photographic journey is done by you.

  15. #35

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    hi student, the CCD or CMOS got no reciprocity failure, have a nice day!

    Quote Originally Posted by student

    However, when the shutter is slower than 1 second and particularly when it in the region of minutes such as night photography, then science do not apply anymore because of reciprovity failure. I do not know how this applies to CCD and CMOS. For films, the exposure is imprecise, and here, bracketting is necessary.

  16. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by nickmak
    Has anybody talked about metering off an 18% gray card?

    Use a 18% gray card, meter the card in the light that the picture you wanna take is in, then you take the shot.
    same problem with metering using an incident meter. You can't get the actual light falling on the mountain ranges in a landscape shot.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Belle&Sebastain
    hi student, the CCD or CMOS got no reciprocity failure, have a nice day!
    what's "reciprocity failure"? pardon my ignorance.

  18. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Belle&Sebastain
    hi student, the CCD or CMOS got no reciprocity failure, have a nice day!
    Thanks! One great advantage of digital capture, eh?

  19. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_Yeo
    what's "reciprocity failure"? pardon my ignorance.
    Reciprocity denotes the way film responds to light within its standard range of 1 sec exposure down to 1/1000 sec. Within that range of exposure times the negative maintains a reciprocal relationship between light level and exposure:

    if the amount of light is cut in half, a doubling of exposure will maintain the same overall image. Example: if exposure is 1/30 second, and you close your aperture from f8 to f11, changing the shutter speed to 1/15 will maintain the same overall image and exposure. Or if your exposure is 1/30 second and the light level itself drops in half, changing the shutter speed to 1/15 will also maintain the same overall exposure.

    For times beyond 1 sec, (which you may encounter under dim light conditions such as sunrise and sunset), this reciprocal relationship breaks down.

    example: if exposure is calculated to be 5 seconds at f8, but you need greater depth of field, and you close the aperture to f11, a 10 second shutter speed will not give you the same overall image and exposure. You may have to keep the shutter open at 15 seconds or more. The reason is that beyond 1 sec, the film becomes progressively less efficient at gathering light. Therefore the reciprocal relation between light level and exposure no longer applies, and the result is reciprocity failure.

    During a long exposure such as night photography, light from bright objects is accepted by the film somewhat more readily than light from dimmer sources. Therefore overall contrast increases during a long exposure, and it increases progressively as exposure time increases. So film development have to be reduced to take into account the increase contrast inherent in night photography.

    For color films, reciprocity can be fascinating, because the different layers of colors will have its own rate of reciprocity failure, and this results in color shift. The effect can be wonderful or may prove terrible! But certainly surprising! It can open up creative potentials for photogs keen to explore its eccentricities!

  20. #40
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    thanks student!

    (I think you shld be called Teacher instead of Student! )

    I am thinking of getting a book on metering at Adephi after my flu recovered.

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