Question about a metering technique

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Vinny, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. Vinny

    Vinny TPF Noob!

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    I did pick up the book Understanding Exposure as my son said he's interested in photography and I figured he can read and learn whatever's in it and we can go and shoot. He picked it up the first day and hasn't since so I'm reading it. I will agree that it is a good beginners book.

    Here's my question - he mentions a few times how he points his camera to the sky (blue sky to be exact) and gets his correct exposure that way - why would he do that?

    I understand why you want to meter on the sky if you're shooting into the sun but it doesn't make any sense to me if you're shooting a field of flowers unless the sky is the subject.

    Can someone please explain this?

    Thanks!

    Vinny
     
  2. Polyphony

    Polyphony TPF Noob!

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    He's saying meter on the sky and then frame your shot. That way the sky isn't blown out. The subject will probably be a bit darker but you can edit that in post.
     
  3. Vinny

    Vinny TPF Noob!

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    Thanks!
     
  4. Robin Usagani

    Robin Usagani Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    When you meter the sky, then your subject will be dark. Then you use your flash to make the subject lighter. By doing this you will have blue sky and perfectly exposed subject. If you dont do this you either get blue sky and dark subject, or properly exposed subject with white sky. When I say subject it more like a person or something... not a field full of flowers.
     
  5. Polyphony

    Polyphony TPF Noob!

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    I assumed he meant a field full of flowers and not a human or something because that's what he said.
     
  6. Vinny

    Vinny TPF Noob!

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    Thanks to both of you! I do understand both techniques that you both mention. He does have a photo in his new edition of a woman in a field of sunflowers with no sky showing and he used this technique. He specifically mentions how he pointed his camera up to the blue sky, I guess that's the part I don't understand - why would you do that for a field shot.
     
  7. Robin Usagani

    Robin Usagani Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    If it is field of flowers then there is no reason to meter the sky
     
  8. Polyphony

    Polyphony TPF Noob!

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    If you don't want the sky blown out, you meter for the sky. It's easier to recover darker pixels than brighter ones. More noise, but at least you'll have something to work with.
     
  9. Robin Usagani

    Robin Usagani Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    He said there is no sky on the frame. There is no reason to meter the sky.
     
  10. Polyphony

    Polyphony TPF Noob!

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    Didn't catch that.
     
  11. Vinny

    Vinny TPF Noob!

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    I would scan the photo with the caption but since it's copyrighted I won't ... don't want no photo police after me. :lol:

    The photo that I'm referring to is on page 116 of his 3rd addition.

    I'm glad it doesn't make sense to you guys as well, maybe he'll explain the technique somewhere toward the end of the book, of course it could just be an idiosyncrasy of his!
     
  12. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    I suspect that he is referring to metering off a deep blue sky, which can be a reliable, known midtone. This is similar to metering off the palm of your hand, off green grass or off the sidewalk. In some cases you can use the unadjusted reading, in some cases you need an adjustment.

    Best,
    Helen
     

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