Metering mode facing the sun

gossamer

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Hi, I have a D500 with a 24-70mm f/2.8 VRII and I have an opportunity to take pictures of a woman doing yoga poses on a pier off the shore of a small lake. I normally use matrix metering, but it's possible I'll be shooting into the sun, so wanted to make sure I chose the proper metering method.

Would spot metering be preferred in this situation? Maybe center-weighted?

The shoot is at 10:30am and will probably be a bright, sunny day with the sun facing me.

I'd like to use natural light, but I'm concerned about shadows. I'll also bring my XPLOR 600 strobe. I also have an SB700 hotshoe flash.

I believe this is a picture of the area I'll have access to shoot.
 

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KmH

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If your subject is back lit the only way to correctly expose the subject is to spot meter the subject.
Without fill light from in front of the subject to help balance the shadows and the back lighting the background will be over exposed - a lot.
 

Frank F.

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Hi, I have a D500 with a 24-70mm f/2.8 VRII and I have an opportunity to take pictures of a woman doing yoga poses on a pier off the shore of a small lake. I normally use matrix metering, but it's possible I'll be shooting into the sun, so wanted to make sure I chose the proper metering method.

Would spot metering be preferred in this situation? Maybe center-weighted?

The shoot is at 10:30am and will probably be a bright, sunny day with the sun facing me.

I'd like to use natural light, but I'm concerned about shadows. I'll also bring my XPLOR 600 strobe. I also have an SB700 hotshoe flash.

I believe this is a picture of the area I'll have access to shoot.


Into the sun? D500? I use Matrix +1.3eV ... works all the time. Do one control shot at the start.

Do use spot metering only if you understood the AF-System, because the AF-System of the D500 has some sofisticated cross dependency with the Spot metering point. RTFM or better buy the Tom Hoagan guide. And take time. It is really very complicated.

In a model shoot I would prefer a huge white reflector to a strobe for soft skin tones, but it depends of what you want to achieve. Crisp hard contrast? Underexpose and compensate by opverpowering the sun with your flash. Trouble? 250th X-time, so you might want an ND-Filter.

I would definitely go for the soft skin look
 

benhasajeep

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If your subject is back lit the only way to correctly expose the subject is to spot meter the subject.
Without fill light from in front of the subject to help balance the shadows and the back lighting the background will be over exposed - a lot.
What he said but there are more options if you want to experiment some. If you can possibly change the time. I would go at least 2 1/2 hours earlier or more! At 10:30 the sun is going to be high enough to take away some options. Also starting to get into hard light.

But one great way to take some very good pictures is to have the sun direclty behind the subject! Being a pier / dock may not be an option anyway. But if you can. You can get that golden ring / halo around the subject. Even without fill, dramatic photos. Also with the sun partially hidden, partially exposed by the person can bring in the wow. But going to have to do some big bracketing as that's extremely hard to meter. Make sure you have a lens hood. And even something you can hold over the lens to block the sun (guessing your taking a tripod so will have a free hand).

First hour of light is the golden hour!!!
 
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gossamer

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Into the sun? D500? I use Matrix +1.3eV ... works all the time. Do one control shot at the start.
I shoot in manual primarily, and I'd imagine I would particularly in an environment where I'm using spot metering.

Do use spot metering only if you understood the AF-System, because the AF-System of the D500 has some sofisticated cross dependency with the Spot metering point. RTFM or better buy the Tom Hoagan guide. And take time. It is really very complicated.
I don't completely understand that cross-dependency. I have the Darrell Young Mastering the Nikon D500 book. If there's something online that you think would be helpful, I'd love to read it.

In a model shoot I would prefer a huge white reflector to a strobe for soft skin tones, but it depends of what you want to achieve. Crisp hard contrast? Underexpose and compensate by opverpowering the sun with your flash. Trouble? 250th X-time, so you might want an ND-Filter.
I thought about bringing my reflector - I'm no expert there either. I may have someone else there that can hold it for me.

I would definitely go for the soft skin look
You mean something that's done in post?
 

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.. it's possible I'll be shooting into the sun, ..
If you're not sure about the position of the sun, you should try to visit the site at around the same time of day, so you will know for sure.

If you will be shooting into the sun as you suspect, you should have a look at how other photographers set it up. See where the sun is relative to the model, and the resulting photos. You should be able to see some good examples as well as some not so good for comparison.
 
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gossamer

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If your subject is back lit the only way to correctly expose the subject is to spot meter the subject.
Without fill light from in front of the subject to help balance the shadows and the back lighting the background will be over exposed - a lot.
What he said but there are more options if you want to experiment some. If you can possibly change the time. I would go at least 2 1/2 hours earlier or more! At 10:30 the sun is going to be high enough to take away some options. Also starting to get into hard light.

But one great way to take some very good pictures is to have the sun direclty behind the subject! Being a pier / dock may not be an option anyway. But if you can. You can get that golden ring / halo around the subject. Even without fill, dramatic photos. Also with the sun partially hidden, partially exposed by the person can bring in the wow. But going to have to do some big bracketing as that's extremely hard to meter. Make sure you have a lens hood. And even something you can hold over the lens to block the sun (guessing your taking a tripod so will have a free hand).
Bracketing? I know what that is, but is there any expectation of being able to use it with potentially moving subjects? It always necessitates a tripod, correct?

First hour of light is the golden hour!!!
I may just try and move the time for that reason.

.. it's possible I'll be shooting into the sun, ..
If you're not sure about the position of the sun, you should try to visit the site at around the same time of day, so you will know for sure.
As it turns out, that's what I'm going to do tomorrow. It may be a little more cloudy, but hopefully representative enough.

Is there an expectation that photographers should be able to just go on site and start shooting? Or is it understood by the client that evaluating and taking some practice shots is okay too?

If you will be shooting into the sun as you suspect, you should have a look at how other photographers set it up. See where the sun is relative to the model, and the resulting photos. You should be able to see some good examples as well as some not so good for comparison.
I've looked online and haven't been able to find any, but will keep searching.
 

benhasajeep

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If your subject is back lit the only way to correctly expose the subject is to spot meter the subject.
Without fill light from in front of the subject to help balance the shadows and the back lighting the background will be over exposed - a lot.
What he said but there are more options if you want to experiment some. If you can possibly change the time. I would go at least 2 1/2 hours earlier or more! At 10:30 the sun is going to be high enough to take away some options. Also starting to get into hard light.

But one great way to take some very good pictures is to have the sun direclty behind the subject! Being a pier / dock may not be an option anyway. But if you can. You can get that golden ring / halo around the subject. Even without fill, dramatic photos. Also with the sun partially hidden, partially exposed by the person can bring in the wow. But going to have to do some big bracketing as that's extremely hard to meter. Make sure you have a lens hood. And even something you can hold over the lens to block the sun (guessing your taking a tripod so will have a free hand).
Bracketing? I know what that is, but is there any expectation of being able to use it with potentially moving subjects? It always necessitates a tripod, correct?

First hour of light is the golden hour!!!
I may just try and move the time for that reason.

.. it's possible I'll be shooting into the sun, ..
If you're not sure about the position of the sun, you should try to visit the site at around the same time of day, so you will know for sure.
As it turns out, that's what I'm going to do tomorrow. It may be a little more cloudy, but hopefully representative enough.

Is there an expectation that photographers should be able to just go on site and start shooting? Or is it understood by the client that evaluating and taking some practice shots is okay too?

If you will be shooting into the sun as you suspect, you should have a look at how other photographers set it up. See where the sun is relative to the model, and the resulting photos. You should be able to see some good examples as well as some not so good for comparison.
I've looked online and haven't been able to find any, but will keep searching.




No tripod needed for bracketing unless your using slow shutter speeds. Braketing does not matter if the subject is slightly moving as long as the shutter speed is not too slow. In situations where you don't know if the meter will read correctly. You can set the camera to bracket shots. For example 3 shots with 1 shot one full stop below metered exposure, one shot at meter, and one shot 1 full stop over. You can choose what the difference is between the shots. Like 1/3, or 2/3, or 1, or even 2 stops each shot. Your camera may allow you to bracket 5 shots (or more). So if you chose 1 stop per shot it would be -2, -1, 0, 1 2. Now if you want to photo stack a couple shots. Then you need the model fairly still. If your shutter is fast and your camera has a decent continious high fps rate. Could take all in less than 1 sec maybe.

The client doesn't need to know your practicing! Or you could say I'm waiting for better light. But we can try some now.
 
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No tripod needed for bracketing unless your using slow shutter speeds. Braketing does not matter if the subject is slightly moving as long as the shutter speed is not too slow. In situations where you don't know if the meter will read correctly. You can set the camera to bracket shots. For example 3 shots with 1 shot one full stop below metered exposure, one shot at meter, and one shot 1 full stop over. You can choose what the difference is between the shots. Like 1/3, or 2/3, or 1, or even 2 stops each shot. Your camera may allow you to bracket 5 shots (or more). So if you chose 1 stop per shot it would be -2, -1, 0, 1 2. Now if you want to photo stack a couple shots. Then you need the model fairly still. If your shutter is fast and your camera has a decent continious high fps rate. Could take all in less than 1 sec maybe.
Ah, that's what I assumed you were talking about. You're talking about more for convenience, so I don't have to manually adjust the exposure. That's a great idea.

The client doesn't need to know your practicing! Or you could say I'm waiting for better light. But we can try some now.
Thank you :)
 

benhasajeep

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No tripod needed for bracketing unless your using slow shutter speeds. Braketing does not matter if the subject is slightly moving as long as the shutter speed is not too slow. In situations where you don't know if the meter will read correctly. You can set the camera to bracket shots. For example 3 shots with 1 shot one full stop below metered exposure, one shot at meter, and one shot 1 full stop over. You can choose what the difference is between the shots. Like 1/3, or 2/3, or 1, or even 2 stops each shot. Your camera may allow you to bracket 5 shots (or more). So if you chose 1 stop per shot it would be -2, -1, 0, 1 2. Now if you want to photo stack a couple shots. Then you need the model fairly still. If your shutter is fast and your camera has a decent continious high fps rate. Could take all in less than 1 sec maybe.
Ah, that's what I assumed you were talking about. You're talking about more for convenience, so I don't have to manually adjust the exposure. That's a great idea.

The client doesn't need to know your practicing! Or you could say I'm waiting for better light. But we can try some now.
Thank you :)

Good luck. And if you do bracketing or use exposure compesation settings this session. Make sure you reset both before your next sessions or use of the camera. Or you will be dissapointed in that next set of pictures like many of US has in the past! :dejection::allteeth:
 

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When using a powerful electronic flash unit, the camera's metering mode is of little usefulness! You will need to determine the proper f/stop for the flash-to-subject distance; the shutter speed will be determined by the type of electronic flash unit and the modes it offers (high-speed sync or not?).

Basically, you need to figure out what the ambient light exposure is for the ISO in use. And, you need to figure out what f/stop the flash unit requires at whatever flash power level you will be using,m for the distance the flash is from the subject.

YES, a photographer ought to be able to go onto the site, and begin shooting, at least after properly assesing the situation, the equipment available, and the desired end result.
 

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Into the sun? D500? I use Matrix +1.3eV ... works all the time. Do one control shot at the start.
I shoot in manual primarily, and I'd imagine I would particularly in an environment where I'm using spot metering.

Do use spot metering only if you understood the AF-System, because the AF-System of the D500 has some sofisticated cross dependency with the Spot metering point. RTFM or better buy the Tom Hoagan guide. And take time. It is really very complicated.
I don't completely understand that cross-dependency. I have the Darrell Young Mastering the Nikon D500 book. If there's something online that you think would be helpful, I'd love to read it.

In a model shoot I would prefer a huge white reflector to a strobe for soft skin tones, but it depends of what you want to achieve. Crisp hard contrast? Underexpose and compensate by opverpowering the sun with your flash. Trouble? 250th X-time, so you might want an ND-Filter.
I thought about bringing my reflector - I'm no expert there either. I may have someone else there that can hold it for me.

I would definitely go for the soft skin look
You mean something that's done in post?

No, using the reflector. The bigger, the softer AND mirror = hard reflection, white = soft reflection
 

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I don't think there will be time before the shoot, but from now on get outdoors at the same time of day and get this figured out. Use whatever is available as a subject to practice on. I've done sports and events but I wouldn't expect a client to have to wait while I was figuring out how to set the camera.

Is the sample photo from the same time of day? Notice which way the shadows are going and think about how that will work when you figure out how/where to have the subject stand/sit/pose. If the subject is squinting into the sun that doesn't sound ideal. From now on, scout the location and figure out where the subject needs to be for a good background and how the sun will be hitting at a certain time of day.

If you're still at a level of practicing and learning then probably you need to just get out and practice with the camera, and then go out with friends or family who may be able to help you learn and could wait while you set up. I don't think you can expect clients to wait while you're figuring out how to use equipment; there's probably an expectation that you already know that.
 

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Wait, if the picture is where you think you'll be shooting, then you don't know for sure and haven't been there before I guess. What I'm thinking is you may have some room to adjust the way the subject's facing and still keep the trees etc. as a background. I don't know if the tables/bushes would be a good background. Maybe do a quick test shot.

Is the subject going to be moving? posing and moving? You'd need a fast enough shutter speed to avoid blur, which should be doable on a sunny day.
 

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If your subject is back lit the only way to correctly expose the subject is to spot meter the subject.
Without fill light from in front of the subject to help balance the shadows and the back lighting the background will be over exposed - a lot.

I never use spot mode. The OP can use any mode. It is just a matter of how he uses the metering system. As an example, he can meter the ground and recompose while holding the shutter button half way. I use matrix metering for anything but I don't always accept the exposure it recommends.
 

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