The camera meter

Evertking

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When I'm taking natural light, landscape images, I always have taken a shot and then adjusted till my histogram was pushed as far right as I could get it.
Well, I was reading Bryan Petersons book and he suggested that one meters off the sky but if the frame is filled with green to under expose -2/3.
So, does one have a benefit over the other?? Does it even mater with RAW capture?
 

Overread

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Bryan's method is a good one because you can meter off the sky; dial in the underexposure and take a shot and have a half decent chance of getting a good shot of the green fields with a decent exposure in the scene all with one photo. There's a load of other tips like that such as the old "sunny 16" rule (or its something like that I forget its specific name). There's also systems like the "zone system" which were developed during the film era (when you didn't have instant review and you did have limited shots) which can also improve your chances to get an exposure right in one shot.

Your own experience will also fill in a lot of the gaps and give you your own tricks to work with. If you shoot a lot of landscapes you'll start to get a feeling for the rough exposure for the scene; where metering works and what kind of settings you'll need. Bryan's suggestion is simply one of those boiled down into a very short simple to understand concept that will likely work more times than not.

Your method of shooting - checking the exposure on the histogram- and adjsuting settings to get the most light data in the camera; is a very valid approach. With digital it gives you the most light data to work with in edition and it can be a useful way to give you a "target" to work towards if the scene is such that you're not limited by your settings. In editing you can then adjust values for shadows and bright regions to balance the exposure to a pleasing display.
Digital also lets you work in situations where the exposure difference between sky and land is too great to capture in one shot (or to capture how you would like it to appear); thus you can shoot once for the ground and once for the sky and blend the two in editing.
 

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Not sure if this is the right way, but for me, with my equipment it seems to work. Unless I'm using fill flash, or another reason that would require manual, outside I use one one of the program modes (aperture, shutter, both), and use EV plus camera shadow, highlight, and noise correction, depending on the circumstances. I first meter the brightest and darkest spots in the scene. If the DR is within camera capability I adjust EV accordingly (+/) depending on the basis Im using and apply in camera settings noted above as needed. If the DR is outside the range then I shoot a composite.

Which is somewhat the same as Peterson is suggesting. His comment has to do with the Light Reflective Value of colors (LRV). The color green will reflect more then black, but less then white. You encounter the same thing on portraits in dealing with skin color.
 

Soocom1

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Ive heard of the sunny 16, but not the loony 11.

I was taught this years ago and forgot the general rules, but it does work.
 

Braineack

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I meter for what I'm shooting. if it's a landscape scene, then I'll probably meter for the sky and recover the shadows.

if I had the D810 and not the D800, I'd probably use highlight metering all the time -- but I use spot metering and lock EV per shot.
 

Ysarex

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When I'm taking natural light, landscape images, I always have taken a shot and then adjusted till my histogram was pushed as far right as I could get it.
Well, I was reading Bryan Petersons book and he suggested that one meters off the sky but if the frame is filled with green to under expose -2/3.
So, does one have a benefit over the other?? Does it even mater with RAW capture?

It depends on your exposure goal -- you're describing different practices that have different goals.
Do you want:
1. A camera JPEG that appears to be well exposed?
2. A raw file that is optimally exposed?

Peterson has #1 above as an assumed goal. You're metering then for the result produced by the camera's internal processing software and that comes with assumptions eg. you're metering for the ISO of the camera's sRGB JPEG and the camera software's applied tone curve.

You asked, "Does it even matter with RAW capture?" A lot of people shoot raw + JPEG and when doing so still operate with assumption #1 in place which typically produces a sub-optimal raw file. You also noted using a technique referred to as ETTR -- pushing the histogram to the right. That's meant to improve the raw capture by applying more exposure.

So you need to decide what's your goal. Do you care about the appearance of the camera JPEG? Do you want the best possible raw file? Those are different goals. If you want #2 then you can ignore Petterson. A raw file gets better with more exposure. There is no downside or trade off to that. Everything about a raw file gets better with more exposure up to the point where the sensor reaches saturation. That's the point of ETTR. If you haven't exposed the sensor to the limit of it's capacity then more exposure will give you a better raw file. That distills down to a very simple exposure practice: Expose to place the diffuse highlight at the sensor's saturation limit -- click. That method however will usually produce a ruined JPEG from the camera -- the two goals are not the same.

Joe
 

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Depends, somewhat, on the actual camera in use. Nikon has LONG had color-aware, distance aware, and reflectance-aware light metering.The so-called "3-D" metering, which reads not only reflectance on objects, but also their COLOR, using RGB values, so the meter "knows" if the sand is white, gray, brown, or in a rare case, black. This "smart metering" is thrown out with the bathwater, when one treats say,a NikonD810 meter like a dumb, 18% gray meter from 1972..

These days, shadow recovery is AMAZING on the newer sensors, hence Braineack's comment:" I'll probably meter for the sky and recover the shadows. And the D810 was the first Nikon that I know of to offer a highlight-centric metering option. Canon premiered what it referred to as highlight tone priority some years ago.

Spot, center-weighted,or matrix metering?
 

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