Metering


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nooboy

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Dec 11, 2007
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#1
Hey dudes, noob asking question here:D. Ok, if i'm not wrong partial metering should be used when the background is much brighter then your intended 'target'. Lets say in a situation whereby i'm at the beach and my 'target's back is against the sun. Is using partial metering here gonna save the the target from being a black figure or does it do absolutely nothing as the sun is too bright for it? I know that flash is an option here, but if i do not want to use it is partial metering considered an alternative? Or am i misunderstanding what 'Metering' is?

Btw, since i'm here i might as well ask another question. LOL. When you take pictures of the sky facing the sun right, i used to get those "sun-rays(Hmmm, cant exactly describe it, but i'm sure you guys know what i mean:D)" on my pictures when i'm was using my powershot digi cam. But now, when use my 450D i cant seem to get that effect, is it the camera or is it me at a wrong angle? The places where i took those are different but conditions on both times i tried were clear sunny. And the 450D does not get the rays.

Also, its not exactly good to point your camera at the sun right? Something about sensor curtains being damaged?

Ok, that'll be all for now, Thanks in advance!!:D
 

nightwolf75

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Dec 18, 2003
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#2
ur camera's meter is fooled by the sunlight. hence it will recommend an aperture/shutter speed dat is supposed to compensate for the sunlight. unfortunately, as u have found out, u get an underexposed subject.

one way is to use a flash. another is to zoom in, meter the face, get the f-stop/shutter readings, then zoom out to recompose the pic without changing the settings.

if i get u right, the sun rays happened becos ur digicam stopped down to mebbe ard f22? IIRC, the rays happens becos of lens diffraction.
 

~Arcanic~

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Feb 27, 2005
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#3
usually if you subject is only a small part of the entire frame, then a partial metering might not help much. in those situations, a spot metering will do much better, or like nightwolf suggested, zoom in, take a reading then zoom out and manually overwrite.

for the sun rays.. are you talking about lens flare..?
 

nooboy

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Dec 11, 2007
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#4
Thanks for the help so far, there are a few points I dont understand:confused:
another is to zoom in, meter the face, get the f-stop/shutter readings, then zoom out to recompose the pic without changing the settings.
or like nightwolf suggested, zoom in, take a reading then zoom out and manually overwrite.
Manually overwrite to what? E.g, what should i lower and/or increase? Fstop,shutter speed, ISO? Is there a method to follow or is it purely trial and error? If so, which should factor should i adjust first,to lower or to increase?


if i get u right, the sun rays happened becos ur digicam stopped down to mebbe ard f22? IIRC, the rays happens becos of lens diffraction.
for the sun rays.. are you talking about lens flare..?
Yeap, talking about lens flare. Is it possible to do on DSLR? I'm sure it is, just that i dont know, haha, so based on what "nightwolf" said is it safe to say that the higher the Fstop, the more chances i'll have of getting this lens flare? Or is it strictly on a case to case basis?
Also, lets say i dont want this lens flare to appear, what should i do?
 

Pokka

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#5
For lens flare, get a lens hood. That will eliminate most lens flare, depending on the condition.

For your question, why you don't want to use flash? Just pop up your flash if you do not have an external flash. Spot meter the sun, aperture F8, on your flash. Both your subject and the background will turn up fine.
 

gymak90

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#6
You can use spot metering. It is meant for scenarios you mentioned. But it works only when your subject is right smack centre of the frame. If not, you can use spot metering then try focus + exposure lock, then recompose.

If you want lens flare, I thought is to have aperture to the widest? To prevent lens flare, got many methods. Use a lens hood, don't aim directly at the sun, have the sun behind you etc.. Google search will give you many results.
 

nooboy

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Dec 11, 2007
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#7
For lens flare, get a lens hood. That will eliminate most lens flare, depending on the condition.
Thanks for the tip!!:D. What if i want the lens flare to be there?

For your question, why you don't want to use flash? Just pop up your flash if you do not have an external flash. Spot meter the sun, aperture F8, on your flash. Both your subject and the background will turn up fine.
I want to know how to do this without a flash. Haha, also, sometimes the subject is pretty far from you and the flash would't reach it. Spot metering would mean that the sun has to be somewhere in the middle of the frame right(correct if wong:))?, what if i want my subject to be on the left and the sun to be on the right?
 

nooboy

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Dec 11, 2007
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#8
If not, you can use spot metering then try focus + exposure lock, then recompose.
wow, u replied just as i posted a reply,lol. Yeap, abt this part that you said and the rest have said, this is the part i still dont get. E.g, what should i lower and/or increase? Fstop,shutter speed, ISO? Is there a method to follow or is it purely trial and error? If so, which should factor should i adjust first,to lower or to increase?
Oh, also, what is exposure lock? If shutter speed and Fstop affect the exposure i guess that means to maintain the shutter speed and Fstop and re-focus?And after that recompose, which i have no idea what that exactly means as well.lol

If you want lens flare, I thought is to have aperture to the widest? .
Thanks for the tip, so just to comfirm, shld it be widest aperture or smallest? Maybe i misunderstood what "nightwolf" said about the F22?
 

gymak90

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Jan 5, 2008
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#9
wow, u replied just as i posted a reply,lol. Yeap, abt this part that you said and the rest have said, this is the part i still dont get. E.g, what should i lower and/or increase? Fstop,shutter speed, ISO? Is there a method to follow or is it purely trial and error? If so, which should factor should i adjust first,to lower or to increase?
Oh, also, what is exposure lock? If shutter speed and Fstop affect the exposure i guess that means to maintain the shutter speed and Fstop and re-focus?And after that recompose, which i have no idea what that exactly means as well.lol



Thanks for the tip, so just to comfirm, shld it be widest aperture or smallest? Maybe i misunderstood what "nightwolf" said about the F22?
First, about lens flare, IIRC, it's open widest aperture to get lens flare. But i maybe wrong.

Ok this is not meant to be confusing :bsmilie:
What nightwolf75 suggested, is you zoom in on your subject, such that now your subject fills up majority, if not the entire frame. Now if you were using Partial Metering, it will meter your subject to give good exposure on your subject. Supposedly ur cam gives you the readings: 1/60s f/8. So now you zoom back, and compose - do you what you intended to do, while maintaining 1/60s f/8. Because according to the cam, 1/60s f/8 will properly expose your subject. If there is a bright background behind your subject, most likely the background will be overexposed. It's up to you whether you care or not.

While in Spot metering, it's another type of metering. On your viewfinder, you may see a small circle at dead centre of the frame. The cam will meter on things within that circle. It doesn't bother about things outside the circle. That's why I said, it works well if your subject is at the centre of the frame. But that's not the case, you first fit your subject at the circle, so Spot metering applies on your subject. Again, if the cam gives the readings: 1/60s f/8, you now move away, recompose - do what you intended to do.
Exposure lock, means you lock/retain/maintain/keep the exposure settings at e.g. 1/60s f/8 so that you get a properly exposed subject.
Focus lock, means you lock/retain/maintain/keep the focus at your intended subject. So if focus is locked on your subject, no matter where your subject is, at left right up down centre of the frame, your subject will still appear sharp.
 

Pokka

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#10
Thanks for the tip!!:D. What if i want the lens flare to be there?



I want to know how to do this without a flash. Haha, also, sometimes the subject is pretty far from you and the flash would't reach it. Spot metering would mean that the sun has to be somewhere in the middle of the frame right(correct if wong:))?, what if i want my subject to be on the left and the sun to be on the right?

If you want your subject on the left and the sun to be on the right, meter your subject in the middle of the camera. Then move your camera to the right, then you'll have your subject on the left and the sun on the right. Haa, this sounds confusing but its not. It is much easier than typing this out.:)
 

nooboy

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Dec 11, 2007
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#11
Thanks lots to gymak90 for the detailed write up, I understand the stuffs now. Thanks to pokka too for emphasizing the point!:D

But just checking, doing all that would ensure that my subject remains clear but with a overexposed background right[using spot metering method]?Any ways to counter that?
 

Pokka

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#12
Thanks lots to gymak90 for the detailed write up, I understand the stuffs now. Thanks to pokka too for emphasizing the point!:D

But just checking, doing all that would ensure that my subject remains clear but with a overexposed background right[using spot metering method]?Any ways to counter that?
Hmm

You can spot meter your background first, exposure lock, re-compose on your subject. fire with fill flash.

Both background + foreground would be properly exposed.
 

gymak90

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Jan 5, 2008
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#13
Hmm

You can spot meter your background first, exposure lock, re-compose on your subject. fire with fill flash.

Both background + foreground would be properly exposed.
Hmm flash. A different realm altogether.. ;p
 

Octarine

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Jan 3, 2008
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#14
Oh, also, what is exposure lock? If shutter speed and Fstop affect the exposure i guess that means to maintain the shutter speed and Fstop and re-focus?And after that recompose, which i have no idea what that exactly means as well.lol
Exposure is defined by the parameters of f-stop and aperture based on available light and ISO speed. You need to lock this combination of all parameters in order to get the right exposure when reframing your shoot. Check the manual of your camera how to do this. Each camera has certain functions and certain ways to lock exposure.

Thanks for the tip, so just to comfirm, shld it be widest aperture or smallest? Maybe i misunderstood what "nightwolf" said about the F22?
Widest aperture in the meaning of biggest opening equals to the smallest number of f-stop.
http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=309544 Aperture is on page 5.
 

nooboy

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Dec 11, 2007
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#15
Hey dudes, once again thanks for all your help and stuffs. Went to sentosa to do some shooting on saturday. Weather was bright and sunny. Of which, after taking advices form you guys, my subjects turned out mostly clear, with some of them blurred cause my hand wasn't too steady(darn...).
Ok, now the part about the images. getting a focused subject wasn't the problem, my problem was that i was either getting quite a number of overexposed picts, if the background wasn't overexposed the subject was, if the subject was fine, the background is overexpose, and such, i made a decision that it was better to have an over exposed background rather than a overexposed subject. Of which, sadly i got a few overexposed subjects.
Another thing that intrigued me was that if the background was too bright i decided to use the flash,but i ended up having an over exposed background and subject. Oh which after a few flash tries, i avoided that and just messed with the shutter speed to get the picts as best as i can and for those that were background overexposed, hope that photoshop can help it.
Also, i need to ask if it was a major mistake that most of my picts of these subject were, if not all mostly taken with a fstop of 2.5 and lower. I'm getting a sinking feeling that that was a major mistake, but well, its over alr, sadly.
Thanks once again to the dudes who help me with this topic, the metering did help, if not i'll probably get even worse pictures. All in all i felt that taking all those photos was good experience and exposure for me as i'm really really noob and i started photography as a hobby like....2 weeks ago? LOL:D. Thanks once again to the dudes who help me with this topic, the metering did help, if not i'll probably get even worse pictures.
Btw, i was using a Canon 450D with EF50mm f/1.8.
 

Octarine

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#16
What's wrong with f/2.5 and above? If the distance between subject and background is sufficiently big then the background is still blur at f/4. Read more about Depth of Field: http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/depth-of-field.htm.
For your flash you need to read about Flash Exposure Compensation and Fill Flash. The camera will treat flash as the single source of light by default. But you want to blend ambient light and flash light - and even override the ambient light in the foreground. You need to adjust the flash and the exposure depending on light conditions and the intended result.
Another way to brighten up the foreground could be using a reflector.
 

nooboy

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Dec 11, 2007
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#17
What's wrong with f/2.5 and above? If the distance between subject and background is sufficiently big then the background is still blur at f/4.
Oops, haha, sry. When i said fstop 2.5 and lower i meant >2.5. 1.8,2.0 etc.... The correct term to use is 2.5 and bigger ya? Cause i described it based on the numbers, not aperture size.

For your flash you need to read about Flash Exposure Compensation and Fill Flash. The camera will treat flash as the single source of light by default. But you want to blend ambient light and flash light - and even override the ambient light in the foreground. You need to adjust the flash and the exposure depending on light conditions and the intended result.Another way to brighten up the foreground could be using a reflector.
Ok, thanks lots, i'll be reading up on all that!!:D
 

nooboy

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Dec 11, 2007
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#18
What's wrong with f/2.5 and above? If the distance between subject and background is sufficiently big then the background is still blur at f/4.
Oops, haha, sry. When i said fstop 2.5 and lower i meant >2.5. 1.8,2.0 etc.... The correct term to use is 2.5 and bigger ya? Cause i described it based on the numbers, not aperture size.

For your flash you need to read about Flash Exposure Compensation and Fill Flash. The camera will treat flash as the single source of light by default. But you want to blend ambient light and flash light - and even override the ambient light in the foreground. You need to adjust the flash and the exposure depending on light conditions and the intended result.Another way to brighten up the foreground could be using a reflector.
Ok, thanks lots, i'll be reading up on all that!!:D
 

Pokka

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#19
Hey dudes, once again thanks for all your help and stuffs. Went to sentosa to do some shooting on saturday. Weather was bright and sunny. Of which, after taking advices form you guys, my subjects turned out mostly clear, with some of them blurred cause my hand wasn't too steady(darn...).
Ok, now the part about the images. getting a focused subject wasn't the problem, my problem was that i was either getting quite a number of overexposed picts, if the background wasn't overexposed the subject was, if the subject was fine, the background is overexpose, and such, i made a decision that it was better to have an over exposed background rather than a overexposed subject. Of which, sadly i got a few overexposed subjects.
Another thing that intrigued me was that if the background was too bright i decided to use the flash,but i ended up having an over exposed background and subject. Oh which after a few flash tries, i avoided that and just messed with the shutter speed to get the picts as best as i can and for those that were background overexposed, hope that photoshop can help it.
Also, i need to ask if it was a major mistake that most of my picts of these subject were, if not all mostly taken with a fstop of 2.5 and lower. I'm getting a sinking feeling that that was a major mistake, but well, its over alr, sadly.
Thanks once again to the dudes who help me with this topic, the metering did help, if not i'll probably get even worse pictures. All in all i felt that taking all those photos was good experience and exposure for me as i'm really really noob and i started photography as a hobby like....2 weeks ago? LOL:D. Thanks once again to the dudes who help me with this topic, the metering did help, if not i'll probably get even worse pictures.
Btw, i was using a Canon 450D with EF50mm f/1.8.
In such a situation whereby the background is bright and the subject is dark, you can utilise fill flash to brighten up your subject. How much flash to power would depend on the end image you want. Should there be too much flash, lower the power (if you're using an external flash). If not, set the shutter faster (1/80, 1/160?), or turn the aperture smaller (F5.6, F7.1), or set Exposure compensation to - 1 stop?

What you're experiencing here is the metering. To go spot, central or matrix? If your subject is a portrait kinda style, I would think go for central weighted. Of course in this case if your background is the direct sunlight, there would be an overexposed part in the picture. Well, photography works in a way that the sunlight direction is dead but the models are alive. Get your friend/model to pose in another direction/angle/pose which will eliminate the sunlight. Even better, put on a CPL, at 45 degrees to the sun, and you'll get (fingers crossed) blue sky at the back, a nicely metered portrait of your friend/model.
 

calebk

Senior Member
Jul 25, 2006
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#20
... Even better, put on a CPL, at 45 degrees to the sun, and you'll get (fingers crossed) blue sky at the back, a nicely metered portrait of your friend/model.
No you won't.

A CPL works worst when it is pointed at or near the sun.
 

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