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metering outdoor


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#1 anthony derose

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 01:29 AM

Hey, I was just wondering what would be a better method for metering a scene outdoor's when the subject and landscape are both important to the scene reflected or incident? I know the best would probably be a spot meter but I do not have access to one.
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#2 Rupe Whiteman

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 10:34 AM

Hey, I was just wondering what would be a better method for metering a scene outdoor's when the subject and landscape are both important to the scene reflected or incident? I know the best would probably be a spot meter but I do not have access to one.



This is a very vague question! - what are you shooting, what focal length, what conditions & what are you shooting on??? Why do you know a spot meter would be best?. On average traditional meters measure both incdident and reflective readings. It's all down to interpretation and to help you need to give more info...
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#3 anthony derose

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 02:30 PM

Sorry, I should of been more specific. If your filming on 16mm and you have a subject agaisnt a landscape that is far away what would be the best meter to use? I understand that if they fall in the same light (which is most of the time) the incident will work and you can braket to be on the safe side. But what if the person is in deep shade and the landscape is in bright light? Won't a reflected meter read the bright light resulting in underexposure of the subject? Also don't I run the risk if I meter for the subject in shade of letting the background go overexposed?

THanks
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#4 Michael Nash

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 05:48 PM

Won't a reflected meter read the bright light resulting in underexposure of the subject? Also don't I run the risk if I meter for the subject in shade of letting the background go overexposed?

THanks


It sounds like you may be confused about how to use a reflectance meter.

A reflectance meter measures the amount of light being reflected by a subject. It does not tell you how to expose the shot; that's up to you. If you set your lens to the same value the meter reads a subject, that subject will be exposed as a medium gray value. But if your subject naturally reflects more or less than medium gray, you have to adjust your exposure from what a spot meter might tell you. For example Caucasian skin tones are about one stop hotter than gray; a white piece of paper about 2-1/2 stops.

So reflected readings are good for knowing what values are going to the film, not so much for "proper" exposure. You have to decide how bright or dark you want a given subject to look on film, and then adjust your aperture up or down from the meter's reading to create that brightness on film.

An incident meter measures the light hitting a subject. Setting your lens to the f-stop shown on the meter means that all subjects will be rendered at "proper" exposure on film (of course there are nuances to this such as the angle of the light, but this is the general idea).

As far as exposing for two subjects in different values of light, you just have to decide how you want the image to look. If you meter for your friend in the shade and expose for that, the background will naturally look overexposed. But if you meter the sunlit background and expose for that, your friend will naturally be underexposed. There's no exposure that's going to render both foreground and background as "proper," since they're not equally lit.

So what do you do? Assuming you're not adding any fill light, you'd usually want to "split" the exposure somewhere between the two readings. You could average the two readings and expose 1/2 way between them, holding the most amount of detail in both shade and sun. Or, you could bias the exposure 2/3 of the way toward your subject, if it want it to appear closer to normal. But really, it becomes a matter of taste as to how dark is "too dark" for the film stock you're using, and how you want the shot to appear.
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#5 Frank Barrera

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 12:15 AM

[quote name='anthony derose' date='Feb 22 2007, 11:30 AM' post='156468']
Sorry, I should of been more specific. If your filming on 16mm and you have a subject agaisnt a landscape that is far away what would be the best meter to use? I understand that if they fall in the same light (which is most of the time) the incident will work and you can braket to be on the safe side. But what if the person is in deep shade and the landscape is in bright light? Won't a reflected meter read the bright light resulting in underexposure of the subject? Also don't I run the risk if I meter for the subject in shade of letting the background go overexposed?
you could expose for your incident reading for the foreground and then use a graduated ND filter to control the background. how heavy an ND would be determined by how much over the background is to your foreground.
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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

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Willys Widgets

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