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Photography Question 
Frank P. Luongo

Metering High-Contrast Scenes: Sidelight

I enjoy the challenge of shooting sidelit scenes. For the following scene:
A large urban park with lots of grass in the foreground - with streaks of sunlight and shade falling upon it, buildings and sky in the foreground.

I read, when using color film, there is more latitude for overexposure (3 1/2 stops total) than underexposure. Therefore, one should take a meter reading off the shadows, and shoot one or two stops higher - e.g., if reading from shadows is f/16 1/4 sec, then shoot at f/16 1/2; and f/16 1sec. Does this make sense?
Alternatively I could shoot frontlit landscapes only, BUT I don't want to constrict my creativity.

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8/18/2004 11:11:31 AM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  If you meter off the shadows and open up a stop or two, your highlights will wash out completely (especially the distant sky).
Think about composing only the foreground that is sidelit, and meter off something bright that's important to the scene. Use that setting as a starting point and bracket 1/2 stop both ways.

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8/18/2004 1:23:46 PM

Frank P. Luongo   Thanks, Bob! I'll give that a try.

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8/18/2004 2:38:02 PM

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