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How to expose for clouds/blue sky


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#1 Wai Choy

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 11:39 PM

What's the correct way to meter for shooting cloudy sky, exposing so that the color of the sky is visible and the clouds are clearly distinguishable?

I'll be shooting 35mm Kodak Vision2 200T.

Thanks!
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#2 anchorlessfilms

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 08:31 PM

do you have access to a spot meter?

If so just use that and it's simple enough. Measure your zones and and then your good to go.

Here's my mini-tech session.

To use a spot meter, pick out an IMPORTANT single-toned surface (like a cloud or the pure blue sky) and determine its NORMAL exposure (what the camera thinks that it is the correct exposure for that surface but actually creating an 18% Gray image tone from that surface). This exposure then is interpreted by the skilled photographer and is often overridden to determine the correct exposure for that surface (i.e. you may want to meter the pure whit part of a cloud and then open up about a half a stop to one full stop to compensate for your reading. the greyness and details should pop out.). Once this is done, then you can use that exposure to correctly expose the entire subject (the sky). The idea behind this method is that "once an important tone of a subject is correctly exposed, the rest of the tones that matter will follow and be correctly exposed".

Edited by Ryan Nethery, 08 February 2008 - 08:33 PM.

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