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Spot meter from a white dress? Are you having a laugh?...
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I find it best to meter from the sun
and then call all my shots avant-garde impressionistic modernism meets retro kitch in a dark alley - effect ...
what do you say lucian ?
Metering? Just set the camera on "professional mode" and let it do the work! If I take 10000 images, I should get enough that aren't too bad for an album!
You can meter from the white dress, then add a couple of stops, and you know it won't be highlight blown when you come to process the images. Better slightly underexposed than over.
Quote: So to continue this great subject...
How do we all meter? I'm thinking spot metering from the brides dress is a safe one to go by?
Dresses can be difficult because 'white' is not always 'white' and then you have reflectance to factor in, but metering off the dress and add 2 stops as Sooty suggests can work well. You could zoom in, take a shot and check the histogram and make sure the curve is not bouncing off the right hand side.
If I do want to meter off anything I meter off the palm of my hand and add about 2/3 stop (metering off my hand in the same lighting conditions as the main subject!), or off green grass and reduce exposure by about 2/3 stop, or off clear blue sky and shoot with those settings.
Meter off a standard 'grey' card, anyway it will probably rain like hell or be dull and metering by any method will do then.
In the film days, one of the tricks that I employed when the sun was shining, to keep the contrast down was to overexpose the picture and underdevelop the film. Another was to give an extra wash to the film but in the middle of the developing process. Both worked a treat, but before putting it into practice I had to have a few dry runs to determine times etc.
We didn't have the benefit of 'raw' files then so we had to do whatever worked without the benefit of seeing the results immediately. In the early days, my first few weddings in lousy or brilliant sun weather, caused a raise in blood pressure until I saw the negatives coming out of my final wash in my dark room.
Quote: Metering? Just set the camera on "professional mode" and let it do the work! If I take 10000 images, I should get enough that aren't too bad for an album!
I love it Nick.
I remember the first time I 'did' a wedding. I was just doing a lot of shots for a friend of my step-son's as an extra gift, (he'd engaged someone to shoot the day). The next time I saw him he expressed how happy he was with my images and how much better they were than the pro's.
I thought he was being kind until he showed me the album - the bride looked like she was dressed in a lightbulb in just about all of them! Personally I wouldn't have paid [and it wasn't a cheapie].
I'd just got my first digital SLR and the 'official' photographer was still on film [he had some very expensive glass with him] - it did encourage me to go on to take on commissions - although that's not the standard I was setting myself to exceed!
I suppose it goes without saying you will meter differently indoors and out and whether or not you are in direct sunlight. Naturally you'll always attempt to do outdoor portraits/groups with backs to the sun, but sometimes people will insist they want certain backdrops [if you have a beautiful vista with the sun behind you versus a hotel wall, sometimes you've no option than to forget the 'rules']. In such circumstances, as others have said it's always better to err on the side of underexposure, because you've much more chance of recovery than the much more limited headroom you typically get shooting RAW (although it's best to get the exposure right and not have to adjust afterwards, I'd hate to rely on JPEGs alone).
Quote: If I do want to meter off anything I meter off the palm of my hand and add about 2/3 stop (metering off my hand in the same lighting conditions as the main subject!), or off green grass and reduce exposure by about 2/3 stop, or off clear blue sky and shoot with those settings.
I always found the safest and truest method of determining exposure was to use an incident light meter with an invercone fitted. One still had to make adjustments for a few varying circumstances, but the 'palm of your hand method' as you describe it, is probably very close to the invercone way.
Thanks for the tips guys!
Scottish tours, why would I be having a laugh? It was a genuine question. I'm not photographing a wedding for laugh. I was lead to believe people were helpful here .
I must be lucky, my skin seems to correlate to 18% grey naturally! But sunlit grass, red brick, tarmac etc all work well.
I used a Weston V meter with an invercone as well (still do for LF - works just as well as it always did).
Once upon a time I read an article that suggested that a relected meter reading taken from a Caucasian skin should be adjusted by +.75 of a stop; Asian skin was about right and such taken from Black skin should be adjusted by -.75 of a stop.
I would not use a spot reading from a bride's dress as my reference reading and then have to calculate a degree of overexposure depending on how much light is being reflected from the dress also after having confirmed that the dress is ivory, white, black, green or red ... yes I have seen bride's dresses in all those colours.
I prefer the KISS principle in the rush and hurly burly of a wedding: on a dull day I leave it to the camera's dynamic range to capture all my tones; if it is pouring with sunshine and I am in doubt I will take a reading from brightly lit grass, stone or wood and use the result as my reference exposure.
In any event a quick histogram check will confirm if I am wrong or right.
Whatever works for you works though I eschew the mud on the wall approach to wedding photography.
Better to type it as 'tog. Showing it's a shortened word i've heard the term loads. I'm way too young to be listening to Wogan
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