Metering?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by laam999, Nov 10, 2008.

  1. laam999

    laam999 TPF Noob!

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    I am self taught at photography, I think I have a pretty decent understand of most of the terms, rules and general guidelines, even if I'm not great al applying them or I dont know every little detail about all of these.

    What I have not been able to understand is about the term of metering. I have no idea what this involves how, how it works and what the different types mean, I think it has to do with the exposure but I'm not sure.

    If anyone would be kind enough to explain of link me to a website that I can read for myself i would be most greatfull.

    Thanks guys
     
  2. Chris Stegner

    Chris Stegner TPF Noob!

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  3. confused_in_the_darkroom

    confused_in_the_darkroom TPF Noob!

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    There are also great books on the subject. I personally like Lee Frost's books through Amphoto books.
     
  4. zen_and_ink

    zen_and_ink TPF Noob!

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    The best explanation I have ever heard concerning metering, and exposure went like this.
    Imagine you have a bucket, this bucket represents your image. To achieve a perfect exposure you need to fill the bucket exactly to the middle. Not enough water and your image is too dark or underexposed, too much water and it's too light, or overexposed.
    Now imagine that your bucket is under a spigot. This spigot represents your aperature and shutter speed, and can be turned to allow a lot of water out, for a short amount of time, or a trickle for long time.
    In order to figure out where that middle line is you need some type of measuring device, or meter.
    Unless of course you cheat and learn a few tricks. Find out what the sunny sixteen rule is and how to use that, everything will fall into place for you, and you won't even need a meter a lot of the time.
    As far as what specific "types" of metering that you use really depends on what you are shooting, and what you want exposed "correctly". My personal favorite is spot metering, and the way I use it is to average things out myself, based on what I think should actually be an 18% gray tone in my image. I meter the brightest spot, then the darkest, then I average based on a bias of what I want, shadow detail, with the loss of some highlights, or highlight detail with the shadows going 0% black.

    Also you might want to look into Ansel Adams' "Zone System" it helps a lot with this stuff.
    Best of luck to you, though you won't need it, you'll have a hang of this in no time !
     
  5. yogibear

    yogibear TPF Noob!

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    So is the difference between center-weight, partial, and spot metering just where you choose to take your light meter reading in a frame? Or is ita setting used on a camera?

    I get that you can set the EC value on the camera itself. Im just a little unclear about if the rest is technique or settings.
     
  6. Davey Jones

    Davey Jones TPF Noob!

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    its a setting on your camera that determines what part of the image it sees
    is measured for light levels.
    spot metering will take a small portion in the middle, something like 5% of the total image and get its info from that.
    with that u can meter individual elements of your target area.
    my cam also has 'average' wich meters the entire area in frame and derrive an average value from that, and 'multi' wich is some sort of 'smart' appraoch where
    the cam does some kinda scene recognition thing.

    different cams will have different options, but anything with manual controlls
    should have spot and average.
     
  7. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Take a look at here. And click on Chapter 3 at the bottom.
     
  8. yogibear

    yogibear TPF Noob!

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    Thanks guys. That helps a bunch. Now both lessons are much clearer. Pretty sure i just heard and audible *click* in my brain. :D
     
  9. mitko007

    mitko007 TPF Noob!

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    i have the same problem...i understand the idea behind metering but i don't really know how i should use it. I tried several times and i didn't find any difference between the shots..(i probably did something wrong :( )

    I read above that a guy measured the darkest part, then the brightest part.....how is that done as the metered results are always overwritten....

    Basically how i understood it, i should choose a object, then i must meter on it and then shoot ? What is the difference if i don't meter..... ?
     
  10. yogibear

    yogibear TPF Noob!

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    I believe the metering helps you better set your aperture, shutter speed, and ISO settings to pull out a nice exposure. From what i understand, metering is the process by which you measure the light in your photo in order to more accurately decide the settings for correct exposure.

    In the case of the two photos i believe you set your setting to take one photo to pull detail from the darker elements ( and over expose the light elements) and one photo to pull detail from the lighter elements (and underexpose the dark elements). Then using photoshop you can combine the two photos to get the best of both or something like that. Im kinda a noob when it comes to that technique. I believe its sometimes called an HDR exposure?
     
  11. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It really depends on what type of metering mechanism you use. I am referring to the in-camera-body meter. If you choose a Center Weight type metering method, you may not able to see the different whether you point your center AF point to the object or not. Because the camera use the whole scene to determine the proper exposure.

    However, if you use a spot meter, you may see the difference. (i.e. point at the bright object with a dark background.)

    If you use manual mode on Shutter Speed/Aperture/ISO, and you know what settings you need to use, you can simply ignore the metering.

    For example, taking a picture of the moon at night.
     
  12. Davey Jones

    Davey Jones TPF Noob!

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    the way it works is you point your cam at something and it gives you
    a readout of what the light levels are as they enter your camera with
    the current settings.
    u look at what the display is telling you and adjust your settings accordingly.
    the indicator will change to show the results of the new settings.
    tweak untill the display shows what u want it to and then take the picture.
     

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