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Need Help With Outdoor Film


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#1 AJ DeRose

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 05:10 PM

I'm shooting a 16mm MOS color negative film on a bolex for my final first year project.

I shot a B&W reversal tri-x indoors in a studio and it came out very good, with lighting and exposure. I used the incident meter and was very pleased.

Now my question is I will be shooting in the woods with a large stream almost a vally/mountain type setting. And alot of my shots will be taking in the landscape but there will also be a main subject walking through.

My first time I shot on film it was outdoors and I used the reflective meter and was pretty happy with the results. But upon reading more in books, etc. I've come across that the meter read subjects as average grey's and if its white it will be under exposed and black will be over.

My question is if I use the incident (go up to my main subject take a reading) then fall back to my shooting posistion will the background landscape be unproperly exposed? Also if I use reflective from my camera posistion to subject wont the background take over the reading and either over or under expose my main subject?

I want both my subject and my background to be properly exposed.
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#2 Rupe Whiteman

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 07:06 PM

I'm shooting a 16mm MOS color negative film on a bolex for my final first year project.

I shot a B&W reversal tri-x indoors in a studio and it came out very good, with lighting and exposure. I used the incident meter and was very pleased.

Now my question is I will be shooting in the woods with a large stream almost a vally/mountain type setting. And alot of my shots will be taking in the landscape but there will also be a main subject walking through.

My first time I shot on film it was outdoors and I used the reflective meter and was pretty happy with the results. But upon reading more in books, etc. I've come across that the meter read subjects as average grey's and if its white it will be under exposed and black will be over.

My question is if I use the incident (go up to my main subject take a reading) then fall back to my shooting posistion will the background landscape be unproperly exposed? Also if I use reflective from my camera posistion to subject wont the background take over the reading and either over or under expose my main subject?

I want both my subject and my background to be properly exposed.


- If you're taking a relective reading from the camera to the subject you're betting off using a spot meter so you can isolate the area(s) that are most important to your metering exposure. You can take a reading of the shadow area then the highlight area and then calculate an average reading to set your stop (most spot meters have an average button and memory and will automatically calculate the average). With an incident meter to get an average either try to take a reading where both shadow and highlight hit the dome'd receptor and hence give you an average reading or again take a reading in both shadow areas and highlight areas and do an average to get your stop...

Another way of reading with a spot meter is to take a reading from the midtone (not the brightest lit part and not the darkest lit part) of the skin-tone and then stop down by one stop to give your f-stop for the camera...
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#3 AJ DeRose

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 09:44 PM

- If you're taking a relective reading from the camera to the subject you're betting off using a spot meter so you can isolate the area(s) that are most important to your metering exposure. You can take a reading of the shadow area then the highlight area and then calculate an average reading to set your stop (most spot meters have an average button and memory and will automatically calculate the average). With an incident meter to get an average either try to take a reading where both shadow and highlight hit the dome'd receptor and hence give you an average reading or again take a reading in both shadow areas and highlight areas and do an average to get your stop...

Another way of reading with a spot meter is to take a reading from the midtone (not the brightest lit part and not the darkest lit part) of the skin-tone and then stop down by one stop to give your f-stop for the camera...


Thanks, I dont have access to a spot (I wish I did) so should i try to find the midtone with the reflective and go down one stop?
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#4 Rupe Whiteman

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Posted 10 March 2007 - 03:19 PM

Thanks, I dont have access to a spot (I wish I did) so should i try to find the midtone with the reflective and go down one stop?


Stopping down like I described is based on zonal metering (do a google and you'll find out loads - it was pioneered by the great Ansel Adams) so it's best to learn a bit more about it. If you're doing a wide I'd take several incident readings to camera and get your average. And when you go tight on your actor obvious take the reading from their face to camera. It does also depend on what stock you're shooting on to but as you're shooting on colour neg (I presume around 100asa) then you've got reasonable latitude. If you've got a grey card you can take a reflective reading off of that to get your stop...

- I'd also advise doing a google on how to use a light meter - you should come up with an article by Gerald Hirschfeld asc which is very helpful and easy to understand..
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