Using the in camera meter

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by indeedies, Jan 8, 2010.

  1. indeedies

    indeedies TPF Noob!

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    I know I just started a thread a few minutes ago but this is a complete different topic and am hoping for complete different answers. When shooting today I was very comfortable in manual and using the meter but by the end I was kind of using it as a crutch. Constantly looking at it to make sure my settings would provide the correct exposure and if it wasn't changin my settings so it would be. I kind of feel I lost some of my artistic touch in the photos. There were times when I realized the camera wasn't realizing what I was looking for and ignored it but more often than not I was just flipping the dial to fix the compensation.

    My question is: Am I doing this correctly or should I be ignoring the meter and going it alone to figure out compensation? I just feel like if I'm going to be doing this then I may as well shoot in the Auto mode.
     
  2. burnws6

    burnws6 TPF Noob!

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    Well, you have found honesty. Yes, using your in camera meter is as dependable as a 9 year old condom. Do some research, understand exposure, and it will all become second nature.

    It will be intimidating at first, but it's simple really.

    Grab a book called understanding exposure. All I learned was online and just practicing. Get out there and don't change your dial from that M.
     
  3. Incognito

    Incognito TPF Noob!

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    Problem with using the meter is you dont know WHAT the camera is metering. Could be the skin, could be the coat, could be the sky.... but I wont lie - I still glance at the histogram from time to time to keep from clipping.

    And I second "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson. Best book ever.
     
  4. y0aimee

    y0aimee TPF Noob!

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  5. burnws6

    burnws6 TPF Noob!

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    Which is why even if you had a correct exposure on someone....the artistic touch, as you said before, is being lost. Dramatic portraits, underexpose parts of the picture, etc.You're letting the camera do the work for you.

    You should visualize what you want the picture to look like and then shoot it. Remember, you have full control over a camera.
     
  6. indeedies

    indeedies TPF Noob!

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    I have a pretty good understanding about what it's metering. I know about spot, matrix, grid metering and how to compensate for each. I guess I just get nervous when on location with someone and revert back to the beginning. It's like my brain goes "duh, what do I do now" :lol:. I'm hoping this is normal and will go away with confidence. It is by far my largest weakness at this point. Not being able to communicate with the client on what needs to be done and then being afraid my judgement may be wrong and just going along with the camera.
     
  7. Incognito

    Incognito TPF Noob!

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    You could always mix it up - do some "safe" shots and some artistic ones.
     
  8. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    If your not fully confident yet use aperture priority and expose compensation if the light is constant it shouldn't need altering much. When i'm shooting on manual i'm altering it without thinking about it, take when i'm shooting equestrian if i see a white horse coming i'll up the shutter speed and then as soon as it passes set it back to what it was, to get a quick idea of the exposure i will need i take a reading off the grass, first i'll set aperture for DOF i need then meter the grass and set the shutter speed and it is usually very close
     

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