Understanding Exposure

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by dEARlEADER, May 6, 2008.

  1. dEARlEADER

    dEARlEADER TPF Noob!

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    I am reading Understanding Exposure...

    Peterson uses center weighted exposure measuring techniques, but suggests noobs use the superior matrix metering... He claims that matrix metering uses predefined algorithms to create the proper exposure...

    So my question is.... is there any point in using his metering techniques if one is shooting matrix? Techniques like taking meter readings beside the sun... or meter something green and back up 2/3....

    If I use his technique should I be using center weighted metering?
     
  2. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Center Weighted assigns the most weight (as far as determining exposure) to what is. . .well dead center of the camera. IIRC Matrix evaluates the entire scene, and runs through various "photos" in its internal memory to figure out what kind of scene you have (for example, if the top 1/3 of the photo is light, and it gets progressively darker the camera might think you're shooting outside in sunlight). Most folks like spot-metering as it FORCES the camera to meter off what you are pointing the camera out.

    Having said all that, its probably the LAST thing you need to worry about at this point. I mean not the last and it is good to know just WHAT the camera is doing in each of these metering modes, but you can get away with just using Matrix (thats what its called on a Nikon - no idea on other cameras) until you get more comfortable using your camera.
     
  3. Senor Hound

    Senor Hound TPF Noob!

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    I'm gonna get crucified for saying this, but no, you shouldn't. His techniques are for when you don't have matrix metering. Use the camera's algorithms and you'll be fine 95% (or more) of the time.

    Nowadays having such a expert comprehension of lighting isn't nearly as crucial as it was, say 15-20 years ago. Most people can get away with knowing squat about lighting and still have great photos for 95% of their shots. His techniques come in handy for those other 5%, or if you're one of those people who think you must know every calculation your camera is making for you in order to be a good photographer. Some people figure out the lighting in their head, even when using matrix (so they can tell something is up if it comes up with a funky setting). If you plan on becoming one of these people, then by all means, you'll need to know everything that book is telling you.

    I, for one, am not of this school, though I admit I have my faults because of my belief. I think its great knowledge to have, but I trust my camera 95% of the time, and if it starts messing up the lighting, I bracket it, or adjust it manually. With instant feedback, these formulas are becoming less and less necessary (though they are greatly helpful). Some people will tell you you're not a real photographer if you can't do lighting in your head, but that's bull. Photography is about the photo, and everything that happens before that is irrelevant as long as you get the shot. It may increase your odds of getting a great shot the first time, but there is more than one way to skin a cat, and if the end result is the same, then it doesn't matter.
     

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