BetterPhoto.com - Become a better photographer today!
EMAIL:
PASSWORD:
remember me:     
     


Photography QnA: Exposure Settings

Browse by Category | All New Questions | All New Responses | Q&A Home

Category: All About Photography : Photographic Field Techniques : Exposure Settings

Wondering about indoor photography exposure settings? Maybe you are more interested in outdoor settings. This Q & A and Exposure Control in Digital Photography article covers it all. For in-depth instruction, check out Bryan F. Peterson's Understanding Exposure online photography course.

Page 4 : 31 -40 of 63 questions

<< Previous 10 skip to page
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | ...7
Next 10  >>
     
 
Photography Question 
Dawn L. Penich

member since: 6/19/2005
  31 .  Balancing Outdoor Vs. Indoor Lighting
How do I balance outdoor light and indoor light while photographing homes? The windows seem to be blown-out when shooting interiors. I am having problems with everything else looking flat and bland. I have a Canon Digital Rebel.

6/19/2005 12:15:10 AM

John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/27/2001
  The problem is disparity in lighting levels. The interior of a home is typically quite significantly lower in lighting level than the exterior during daylight hours. While your eyes and brain can deal with this as they have enormous latitude and can adjust quickly, neither film nor digital have anywhere near the latitude.
I have been faced with this imbalance issue more frequently at wedding receptions and similar events during daylight hours in venues with enormous expanses of glass and the clients want the view of the great outdoors as the backdrop for the photography. The solution I have used is lighting the interior using bounce or highly diffused daylight balanced flash or strobes set up in a manner that simulates the ambient lighting. The exterior, as seen through the windows, is metered and the flash (or strobes) are set up to provide the same level of lighting. One must be careful about the reflectivity of the window glass and set things up so there is no reflection of the flash/strobes off the glass to the camera lens.

6/19/2005 12:27:37 AM

Dawn L. Penich

member since: 6/19/2005
  Thank you very much. I have umbrella lighting but I only have 2 lights, and these homes are usually 2-story, wide-open homes. I feel like it wouldn't be enough light. When I turn in the photos from last week, the marketing company I work for will be very upset and probably ask me to re-shoot the homes on my own penny. If you have any suggestion of how I can professionally explain the problem so they understand, that would be great. I usually don't have this much of a problem, but the homes were unfurnished and the walls were all white. There were absolutely no blinds or cover of any type on any of the windows. I am so frusterated.

6/19/2005 11:19:03 AM

John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/27/2001
  Explanation: Outdoor daylight is much brighter than indoor lighting ... more than can be recorded within the range of a digital or film camera. Exposure for the scene outdoors results in gross underexposure of what's indoors. Exposure for indoors results in gross overexposure of what's outdoors. If you cannot get enough lighting indoors to bring it up to the outdoor lighting level, then shoot one for proper exposure of the outdoors as seen through the windows, and another for proper exposure of the indoor area. Use PhotoShop to rope the windows of the first and replace the windows in the second with them. This would require using a sturdy tripod, and taking great care to not move the camera even a little while making each double shot.
With the great care required to do it this way, along with all the back-end PhotoShop work to make one photo out of two for each pair shots, it would be much better if you could do it in one shot with enough light from your monolights to bring the indoor light level up to the outdoor level. What lights do you have? Make, model, power level?

6/19/2005 7:38:09 PM

John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/27/2001
  BTW, one other issue with double shots ... if you use only the indoor ambient lighting for the inside exposure ... is the color temperature imbalance. You'd also have to do two color balancing measurements ... one for outdoor using it for the outdoor exposure and one for indoor for the indoor exposure. One more reason for trying to get the indoor lighting level up to that of the outdoor scene (as measured through the windows) using daylight balanced strobes.

6/19/2005 7:41:55 PM


BetterPhoto Member
  Dawn
What you need is more lights and power to bring the interior brightness up to the exterior brightness and two lights wont be enough. I take 10 and ususally use half of them. Keep in mind the possibility of shooting at dusk when the outdoors is darker. Many architechture photographers work through the night.

John has some great tips regarding the double exposure follow his advice on the double exposure and blending in PS. I have done this technique many times, but you need to watch out for flare. If it wraps around the inside of the window to much, it is very difficult to combine them in PS. So what I do if need be, is get a bunch of black bed sheets and clamp/tape them outside the windows of the house. Shoot the interior with the ambient strobe mix, then remove the sheets and shoot seperate outside images before blending in PS. The only problem could be 2nd story windows, which I then cut black posterboard to size and push it all the way against the window from the inside. It has worked for me every time.
Charlie

6/19/2005 8:48:51 PM

Brent W. Smith

member since: 9/22/2004
  Dawn, have you tried shooting in the early morning or late afternoon? You will be very limited in the amount of time you have for shooting your shots when the amount of light inside and outside will be closely balanced relative to the number of lights you have. This limiting factor will require good prior staging and bracketed exposures to increase your odds. Color temperature imbalance at these hours could help with the mood, or hurt.

Good Luck,
- Brent

6/21/2005 6:53:15 AM

H. William Lewis

member since: 12/17/2004
  When I used to shoot real estate photos in Florida for a real estate magazine I tried to schedule interior shots on a day that was predicted to be cloudy, or if I didn't have to make an appointment, a time when it was cloudy. That way with my limited strobes, in bounce mode, I could match both interior and exterior light intensity.

6/21/2005 7:50:23 AM

Dawn Penich

member since: 8/22/2004
  Thanks so much for all of your help. You guys are consistant with your advice and it helps a lot. The problem I have with the marketing company is that they expect me to do this quickly and would never give me the time to set up that much lighting and such. I think I will start recommending that I shoot later in the evening. Maybe start the exterior shots in the afternoon and then go back for interiors in the evening. Thanks so much guys. I really appreciate it.

6/21/2005 9:32:53 AM

Ken Henry

member since: 9/16/2003
  The sun rules. And so do you as a professional photographer. f16 @ 1/125sec. or f11 @ 1/250sec. or f8 @ 1/500sec, etc.

I have a "fewwww" clients like yours. I pump up the direct flash, no bounce no diffusers, etc! or they pay my $200-$300 fee to merge the exterior and interior shot. They pay or take it.

As a professional photographer I show my clients the different photos and help them get what "They Want" to fill "Their Needs". (salesmanship 101)Most of them choose ambient with fill flash.

Surprisingly, some clients like the 'creative shadows' you can throw in by direct flash for no additional fees!

Sell it. You're the artist.

One large house I had three merge shots out of 27 interior and exterior shots. Planned ahead with the architect.

"I find that, as a professional photographer, I do not need to practice at my own home experimenting with all those different exposures, lightings, techniques, and boxes of photos, etc. Nor do I need to read all those dumb photo books." Hmmmmm......

Night shots... God, I hope I don't get that lazy! But it's an nice extra $300 fee. I shoot hotel lobbies, restaurants at 3am. I have 'night stalker' fees for this time of the day.

regards, Ken

6/22/2005 9:02:46 AM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Jessica Rae Hardy
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/12/2005
  32 .  Understanding Exposure
I just took a photography course, and I still have no idea when it come to understanding the meter. What exactly do I do when I want to make black look black and white look white?

3/13/2005 8:09:36 PM

Justin S.

member since: 11/21/2004
  One, you could take a meter reading off the black and then take a meter reading off the white to see how many stops of light difference there is, and just make your compensation from there. (Use a middle value.) If the black gives you a slow shutter speed and the white gives you a fast one, go for a shutter speed that will split the speed equally between the two of them. Another thing you can do that is really easy is buy a grey card from a photo store and use it to meter from in the same light. The grey card will give you a middle value between black and white. Hope I helped you some.
Justin

3/13/2005 9:25:11 PM

Justin S.

member since: 11/21/2004
 

3/13/2005 9:25:13 PM

Chris L. Hurtt

member since: 3/10/2003
  There is a book called "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson. I learned everything I know from that book. He also teaches a class here at BetterPhoto under the same name. I highly recommend the book and the class.
Chris

3/13/2005 10:21:30 PM

  I agree with Chris. Get Bryan's book; it's the bible of understanding exposure. Using the gray card is fine, but the card has to be in the same light as your subject. If your subject is beyond arm's length away, it won't work. The secret to exposure is knowing what an average tonality is. Average tonality is not only 18-percent gray, it's 18-percent everything (blue, green, brown, yellow, etc.).

But don't worry about the 18-percent thing. It takes time to learn average tonality. The process that I use is something like this: When looking at a subject, I ask myself the question, "Is the subject brighter or darker than average?" Let's say it's brighter. Then I know that I'm going to open up to let in more light than the camera meter says I should (so the meter will be on the "plus" side). Then I ask myself, "Is the subject a little or a lot brighter than average?" If I feel that it's a little, I open up to +1/2 stop and take a picture, then bracket by opening up +1 stop and take another picture. If I feel it's a lot brighter than average - like a very light subject - then I'll begin at +1 and take a picture, then to +1 1/2 and take another picture. You'll only have to do this process a few times to get an idea of how exposure works. TIP: Never meter black, and meter white at +1 1/2 and +1 2/3.

3/14/2005 4:02:59 AM

Melissa  L. Zavadil
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/26/2005
  OOOOH, I just ordered that book yesterday, I can't wait to get it. I hope I will start to understand all this better!

3/14/2005 5:53:06 PM

Robert Hambley
rlhambleyphotography.com

member since: 2/2/2004
  Greetings,
Thanks for jumping in, Tony Sweet. Your answers to the various questions have helped me a lot. (I can't wait to take your Fine Art Flower Photography course ... probably this fall ... I need Photoshop lessons first, since trial and error is taking too long.)
One thing I have learned, if there is snow in the frame, I start out at +2/3 and increment up to 1 1/3 using the exposure compensation. But, as Tony pointed out, bracketing is the key here.
Good Luck.

3/15/2005 8:34:36 AM

Marjorie Amon

member since: 4/8/2003
  I don't understand. If the subject is "brighter than average", why would you be letting in more light?

3/15/2005 10:21:04 AM

Robert Hambley
rlhambleyphotography.com

member since: 2/2/2004
  This is because the meter gets "fooled" by bright scenes, like snow, and will set the exposure too low, resulting in greyish/blue snow, instead of white.
So you let more light in through exposure compensation, in order to get the snow white.
Hope this helps ...

3/15/2005 1:50:28 PM

Maria Melnyk

member since: 5/2/2004
  Hi, easiest way, if you have a hand-held meter: Use an incident reading (with the dome covering the sensor). This measures the light falling on the subject. Point it at the camera, and your exposure will be accurate regardless of the color of your subject or surroundings.

3/16/2005 4:29:32 PM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Emma Clinton
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/7/2005
  33 .  Selective Focus: Sharp Vs. Blurred
How do you focus on the main object in the frame and leave everything else out of focus (so the main object/person stands out)? I have seen this in photos before and would like to learn how to do it.

3/7/2005 12:49:48 AM

John Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 8/8/2001
  This technique is called Selective Focus and can be done relatively easily with traditional cameras. Setting a wide f/stop will minimize the depth of field. Focus on your subject and shoot. Note: You can check your image if you have a depth of field preview button.

With digital, things aren't so easy. Lenses for less-expensive digital cameras, point-and-shoot digicams are often found to have minimum f/stops in the range of f/8. Sometimes you're stuck with ranges of f/2.8-4.0. As a result, selective focus is often difficult, if not impossible. If you have a digital SLR and can use one of your "old" auto-focus lenses, you should be able to use selective focus.

Be sure to check out your results in the LCD display; don't expect too much unless you've have "lots of camera."

3/7/2005 5:06:04 AM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/18/2000
  Selective Focus is also called shallow Depth of Field. You limit the range of effective focus in front and behind the in-focus subject by: (a) selecting wide aperture (smaller f-number);(b) using longer focal length lenses; (c) getting closer to the subject; (d) moving the subject farther from background elements.

The problem with digital point-and-shoots isn't that the aperture is limited to f/8. Many/most have lenses with relatively wide maximum aperture of f/2.0. The problem with these cameras is that their lenses are very short focal length. Even though it might be advertised with an "equivalent 28-200mm" lens, it's actual focal length may be only 5.5mm-40mm focal length. Such short focal length lenses have relatively great depth of field, even at f/2.

On the other hand, with digital editing, you can add "Gaussian blur" or other similar techniques to portions of the scene that you do not want in sharp focus. This creates the shallow depth of field effect in the final image that the lens could not capture.

3/7/2005 5:23:28 AM

Emma Clinton
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/7/2005
  Hey, guys, thanks for your answers. At the moment, I'm using a Fujifilm Finepix s5500 ... do you have any more tips on selective focus with this camera?

3/7/2005 5:46:57 AM

Roy Blinston
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/4/2005
  I have a Fuji s7000, and here's how I create blurred background and foregrounds:
Set your lens to the largest aperture you can (my range is f2.8 to f8 digital). Set it to f2.8. Then move back a little, and zoom in on your subject (maximum zoom), making sure the background is a long way away from your subject. This should give you the desired effect. Cloudy overcast days can also help. Alternatively, the "Gaussian Blur" filter inside Photoshop is invaluable.

3/7/2005 6:24:53 AM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Ziad H. Dabash

member since: 8/12/2003
  34 .  Deciphering F-stops
There are f-stops and half f-stops on my camera. What are they exactly ? Are they related to shutter speed or aperture? How can I deal with it and calculate it? Thanks.

2/28/2005 12:42:10 AM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member
cammphoto.com

member since: 7/17/2003
  The aperture ring on your lens is broken down into f-stops. Each whole number represents a full stop (from f-8 to f-11, for example). In between any two numbers is a half-stop.

How you "deal with it and calculate it" depends upon your desired results.
The lower numbers will let in more light but will have less depth of field. The higher numbers will let in less light, but more of the frame will be in focus. Each aperture (f-stop) setting requires a corresponding shutter speed for proper exposure.

2/28/2005 2:16:14 AM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/18/2000
  F-stop numbers are a short and for expressing the diameter of the aperture opening as a ratio of the lens focal length. f/2 means the aperture diameter is 1/2 the focal length.

The "full stops" are a progression of the square root of 2 (~1.414).
1, 1.4, 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16, 22, 32 are full stops.
Each full stop change lets in 1/2 or 2x as much light as the next. Because the f-number is the denominator of the ratio, larger f-numbers mean smaller apertures and less light let in.

Smaller changes can be made in 1/2 stop (x1.1892) or 1/3 stop (x1.1225) steps. f/4.5 is 1/3 stop smaller than f/4. f/6.7 is 1/2 stop smaller than f/5.6.

2/28/2005 6:07:42 AM

Rodolfo Zarli
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/3/2005
  The answer is simple: f-stop is a measure unit of the light that hits your film in the camera: the light doubles from one stop to the next, as the shutter speed, that doubles the light from one speed to the next.

The formula is: light = speed + aperture.

So for the right light for your film(ASA) you can choose different speed and aperture.

Try it on ny camera simulator: http://www.zarli.it/photo/html/fotocamera.html

3/3/2005 4:48:41 AM

Rodolfo Zarli
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/3/2005
 
 
 
The right link:
Camera simulator

3/3/2005 4:50:24 AM

Ziad H. Dabash

member since: 8/12/2003
  thanks for all realy you help me to under stand it

thanks

3/3/2005 7:07:01 AM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Craig Fraiser

member since: 9/12/2004
  35 .  Aperture Priority Vs. Shutter Priority
I am trying to understand the functions of my new camera (Pentax ZX-L). Someone please explain to me (in layman's terms) the need for aperture priority and shutter priority. When do I need to use these functions?
Thanks.

1/2/2005 10:18:18 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  About as layman as you can get is that it's supposed to make it easier for you. You pick one setting without having to figure out what the other is supposed to be to get the right exposure.

1/2/2005 5:16:58 PM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/18/2000
  Choose shutter-priority if your main concern is to control motion - fast shutter speeds to freeze subject (and/or camera) motion, or slow shutter speeds to capture motion blur.

Choose aperture-priority if the primary concern is controlling of depth of field.

1/3/2005 5:35:01 AM

Craig Fraiser

member since: 9/12/2004
  Thanks John...That makes sense...Craig

1/3/2005 6:56:34 AM

Robert N. Valine
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 8/3/2003
  Craig,I use aperture priority when I have to use the Autobracketing controls.This way I can control the depth of field when I'm shooting something like flowers where depth of field is critical.Also the autobracketing controls on my camera don't work in manual mode where I do most of my shooting.I usually bracket flowers 1/2 stop over and 1/2 stop under.This will give me 3 exposures to choose from.I have shutter priority on my camera.But,never use it.You can control shutter speed by opening or closing the aperture.For Example if you want a fast shutter speed for sports,Open the aperture up all the way. It will give you a faster shutter speed.I hope this helps.

1/5/2005 6:13:54 AM

Robert 

member since: 12/10/2004
  Craig,

It can be confusing in the beginning. I have the answers to this question (with photos) and a lot more at the following site you may want to check out. Just copy the URL and paste it into your browser. I'd also be interested in your opinion on it...

If you don't take "WOW!" photos, visit www.best-family-photography-tips.com to learn how.

1/5/2005 7:20:49 AM

Craig Fraiser

member since: 9/12/2004
  Thank you Robert...I'm going to your site right now...I'll be in touch...

1/5/2005 9:48:27 AM

Craig Fraiser

member since: 9/12/2004
  Thanks Rob...It makes sense what you said...

1/5/2005 3:37:43 PM

Greg McCroskery
BetterPhoto Member
imagismphotos.com

member since: 2/27/2003
  Craig,
Since the lens aperture (opening) and shutter speed control camera exposure, the Aperture and Shutter priority modes simply allow you to choose one of those settings most appropriate for your subject. If you select the aperture (Aperture Priority), the camera automatically selects the correct shutter speed, based on the camera's exposure meter reading. If you select the shutter (Shutter Priority), the camera selects the correct aperture. As a general rule, Shutter Priority Mode would be used for action shots where freezing motion is critical. The Aperture Priority Mode would be used for still life, or portrait shots where motion is not an issue, and focal depth is a more critical consideration. Hope this helps.
God Bless,
Greg

1/6/2005 6:48:38 AM

Victor J. 

member since: 7/29/2003
  Craig, With all due respect (certainly all the responses have been right on.)why haven't you gone to the library and read a basic book on photography? Better yet take one of the beginner course at BP. VicP

8/8/2005 8:27:13 PM

Brendan Knell
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/17/2005
  Victor that's really not necessicary. Have you considered that maybe his library doesn't have any photo books? Or that all of the sites that he may have looked at are a little to technical? Also the courses here at BP are probably wonderful, but you have to admit that they are pricy. I'm sorry if I sound rude, and I'm sure that you didn't mean to rude either.

8/8/2005 8:35:58 PM

Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/14/2005
  Or you could consider the fact that Craig asked this question over 7 months ago. From the looks of his gallery, I don't think a trip to the library to read about shutter speeds is really necessary any more.

I think it's safe to say those waterfalls probably weren't shot on Auto.

What's with this trend lately of responding to really old questions?

8/8/2005 9:42:27 PM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Aravinda  Subasinghe

member since: 10/11/2003
  36 .  Shooting Against the Sun
 
  Stuffed
Stuffed
© Aravinda  Subasinghe
Canon EOS Rebel Ti...
 
I shot this photo against the sun. It was sunset, but as you can see, it didn't work out the way that I wanted too. The details of the ridges and the coastline was just too dark, even though it is fixable on the computer. I want to know how to fix it when I shoot again. I am familiar with my Canon EOS 300v and know the importance of shutter speed and aperture in this situation. Please don't hesitate to criticize my technique and help me out.

12/22/2004 11:32:20 PM

Kerry L. Walker

member since: 12/21/2004
 
 
  Sunset at the Beach
Sunset at the Beach
 
 
OK, I will try to answer your question to where you can get what you want. The problem is that there is just too much difference between the light reflecting off the foreground and the light coming from the sky. You could try using a 2 stop graduated neutral density filter to eliminate some of the light from the sky and meter off the foreground. This would keep the sky from being blown out too much and would make the foreground properly lighted. The question I have is why would you want to do that? You have a very nice picture. You could use a 1 stop or 2 stop graduated ND filter, and meter off the sky, thus maintaining a beautiful silhouette with the sky being a little darker than it is. I would shoot two shots, one with the 1 stop grad. ND and one with the 2 stop filter and see which you like better. Just don't try to fight the light. You will wind up with a muddy picture that isn't as pretty as the one you have here. Silhouettes are great. You just don't want the sky too light. Take a look at the picture I have posted. The foreground is dark in it too but the sky is also darker.

12/23/2004 9:48:32 AM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member
cammphoto.com

member since: 7/17/2003
  Kerry is correct that strong silhouettes can improve a great sunrise/sunset. If you want to illuminate some of the closer foreground elements, you can meter off the sky and use flash to add extra light to the foreground. Also, take a moment to see what is going on BEHIND you. The setting sun will illuminate everything from that direction.

12/23/2004 11:22:43 AM

Patricia A. Cale
BetterPhoto Member
photosbyphotobug.com

member since: 3/25/2002
  I agree with Kerry and like this photo. With the light difference, you have to make a decision on which part of the scene is the most important, then you can meter for that part of the scene. If you wanted the sky to be prominent, you could have metered off the sky AWAY from the sun to find a middle tone in the sky. With the middle tone metered, the exposure will fall into place and the sky would have more color and the foreground would be silhouetted. If you wanted the foreground to be the subject, you will blow out the sky. I just took a nature photography class with Willard Clay and he said this is a choice you have to make and live with. You may not be able to have everything in the scene exposed the way your eye sees it. One thing about graduated ND filters: be careful where you have the line situated in your scene. If you can't hide the line in your horizon or a line of trees, the line will be noticeable in your sky.

12/28/2004 6:44:03 AM

Tiffany L. Cochran
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 4/27/2004
  Also, when using silhouettes, be aware of your composition. Taking the other responses into account, if the silhouettes are the focus of the scene, they may need to dominate more of the image. Be aware of how you feel your eye naturally leads you. The eye is drawn to contrast, so if the sun is the focus, the silhouettes may lead to it or frame the sun. But if the sihouettes are the focus, the sun hidden behind them or peeking through an openingin the silhouette may add dramatic effect. Also, consider adjusting your vantage point ot accomplish this.

12/28/2004 10:04:32 AM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Marty 

member since: 11/5/2004
  37 .  Light Meter Readings
When using a light meter, I find I get a different reading when taking a reflective reading than when taking a incident reading. Most of the time the incident reading requires 1 stop more exposure. Is this normal for comparing these two readings?

12/12/2004 8:37:40 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  Different readings, yep. How many f/stops difference depends on the color/reflectivity.

12/13/2004 3:43:17 AM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member
cammphoto.com

member since: 7/17/2003
  If your hand-held meter reading requires a stop more exposure than the reflected light meter recommends (in the same light), it's because the (reflected) metered object is a stop brighter than neutral gray.
As Greg pointed out, the metered object reflects more light back into your lens and onto the film (or sensor), and can give you a false reading. (This is similar to metering white snow, which can be TWO stops off.)
In this scenario, your incident reading will be the most accurate. You will find that a gray card placed at the same location, and in the same light, will yield similar exposure recommendations.

12/13/2004 5:49:07 PM

David King

member since: 9/12/2004
  The issue actually goes deeper than most texts indicate. The age old adage that all exposure meters are based on the 18% gray card is true ONLY for incident meters. ANSI standards for reflective meters allows a range of from 10% to 14% with the average being around 12%. This yields about a 1/3 to 1/2 stop difference in readings from an incident reading and a reflective reading from a gray card all other things being equal. The solution is to calibrate your reflective meter and/or to calibrate you system including meter and camera to yield an exposure based on where the actual exposure threshold is for your film. To do it precisely requires a densitometer and some mind numbingly boring exercises but is the only way to be truly accurate.

Digital, by the way, did not escape this issue and digital cameras need to be calibrated just as film cameras do for accurate exposures.

Once the camera/meter/system is calibrated then the issue remains mentioned above about what you have a reflective meter pointed at or how you are handling the incident meter. If real exposure precision is your goal then the best way is to follow the approach of film and video DPs and use a spot meter to set the lighting ratios (or to check them for compatibility with your medium) and then use an incident meter to determine an exposure. For B&W shooters, zone System reading where a spot reading from a shadow or dark tone you wish to place in a given zone is taken and the exposure adjusted accordingly. For digital or transparency film you are better basing the exposure adjustments on a reading of a highlight tone.

All of this pre-supposes you really want precise and accurate exposures in order to give you the maximum image data for your final prints. If that is not critical, then there are any number of "rules of thumb" for basing exposures on the readings of various objects and then making adjustments. Those are guesses. They may be consistently close, but 'close' only counts in napalm, horseshoes, and non-critical shooting. From the fact that you have two meters I'd assume you want your readings to be consistently perfect, not consistently close. among my beginning students, right after soft images from hand-held camera movement, the biggest quality issue is imprecise exposures yielding negatives or files that simply cannot be made to yield a perfect print.

David
www.ndavidking.com

12/14/2004 9:13:25 PM

Norbert Maile

member since: 7/28/2004
  I am not sure what type of meter you are using. The one that I use is very old, but it has a filter which you atatch to the front for incident readings. I have tested this many times, and it gives an exact same reading as a reflective gray card reading. Norbert

12/19/2004 7:44:53 AM

Larry T. Miller

member since: 9/29/2003
  I agree with Norbert. My meter does the same thing. I'm using a Calculite XP.

1/4/2005 12:54:59 PM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Don K. Hewey

member since: 11/21/2004
  38 .  Aperture/ Shutter Speed Chart?
I am new to the settings-capable digital format. I have been reading the QnA selections regarding aperture and shutter speed settings ... apparently you need to make sure the settings jive for success in different situations. Is there a chart that tells what the best combination of settings are for aperture/shutter speed/ISO settings?
Thanks.

11/21/2004 3:28:14 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  Estimations are for general situations like bright daylight and overcast days ... because it all depends on light levels.
The F/16 rule is a general bright daylight that's pretty accurate. F/16 for aperture and shutter speed is 1/film speed. Go from there if you change film type or apertures.
Fpr overcast days, open 1 1/2 stops, but some overcast days are darker or lighter than others.

11/21/2004 9:52:28 PM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/18/2000
  Use your camera's meter. Shoot in shiftable Program (or aperture-priority or shutter-priority) and the camera will choose the appropriate exposure, then you can shift it to get the aperture (to control depth of field) or shutter speed (to control motion capture) you desire. If the combination is not to your liking you can further adjust it by changing ISO.

Example: ISO 200, P mode gives you initial f/8 1/250. For less depth of field, you can shift to f/5.6 1/500, f/4 1/1000, f/2.8 f/2000. If instead you want greater depth of field AND faster shutter speed to stop motion, switch to ISO 400, which will then get you to f/8 1/500.

The same applies in aperture-priority and shutter-priority modes, where you can directly set the aperture or shutter speed you want.

11/22/2004 7:05:58 AM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/18/2000
  Oops, error in my change to ISO 400 example. That's just a 1 stop change from ISO 200, so instead of f/16 1/500, it should be f/8 1/500.

11/22/2004 7:08:40 AM

Kathy Kult
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/19/2003
  There is a calculator (slide-rule) you can buy at www.FotoSharp.com that charts the aperture, shutter and film speeds for several different situations, particularly low-light, night-time and day-time shots. The link for this particular calculator is: http://abetterphotoguide.bizhosting.com/day_night_exposure_calculator.html . Hope that helps!

11/23/2004 6:33:48 PM

Don K. Hewey

member since: 11/21/2004
  Thanks everyone for the information. I have tried a few of your examples and have some better success. I think I will give Kathy's suggestion of purchasing one of the calculators.

Thanks again, you all have been a great support... keep up the good work.

Don

11/25/2004 1:58:58 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  I hope it's cheap because a slide rule is still going to work on generalities.

11/25/2004 3:07:42 AM

Jeff Lovinger
BetterPhoto Member
lovingerimages.com

member since: 3/21/2004
  Don, I know this can all be very confusing. It can all be very simple as well. It all became very clear to me after reading Bryan Petersons' new book "Understanding Exposure" revised edition. I also took his online course here at B.P. which was great. Then I went on to read and take his "Learning to see Creatively" course. These 2 were the best things I ever did, photographically speaking that is. Good luck.
Jeff

11/28/2004 8:18:49 AM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 

BetterPhoto Member
  39 .  Alternative to Gray Cards
Hi everyone,
I just read a thread somewhere that mentioned a trick/tip if you will - about alternatives to using grey cards. The hand and a brown paper bag, but - without a whole lot of detail. (It said that, provided you knew how to do this, the method works as good as grey cards)
As an alternative to grey cards, has anyone used this trick/tip? To what success/failure? And how is this method for each done? Is there any f/stop value change? Is it front hand, back of hand? And, lastly, what's a brown paper bag? I only get white/brown plastic ones.
TIA

11/11/2004 5:03:31 PM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member
cammphoto.com

member since: 7/17/2003
  There are many alternative ways to meter, but none are as reliable as "the card". The "hand trick" works in a pinch.
One day when you have time, meter your palm in bright sun and in deep shade. Then meter a gray card in the same light extremes and compare the difference. For me, my palm reading is about a stop brighter than the card, so I would open one stop over my palm reading and bracket from there.
Other "neutral" areas to meter are green grass, fall foliage, gray asphalt roadways, and flower petals ...as long as they're not white.
I've never heard of "brown baggin'"

11/11/2004 5:37:58 PM

Jason G. Gainey

member since: 2/26/2004
  I too have never heard of the brown bag trick, but I have heard of the palm as being 1 stop brighter, green (not dead brown) grass, and weathered asphalt/concrete. And also one of my favorites is the blue sky on a cloudless part of the sky opposite the sun. I've used this one many times, as well as the green grass, and it's been wonderful for me!

11/12/2004 1:09:06 AM

doug Nelson
DougNelsonPhoto.com

member since: 6/14/2001
  Think in terms of middle gray and meter off something you think comes close. At a recent peace demonstration, faded army jackets seemed about right. Your meter should give you the flexibility to pick up a portion of the scene without having to walk up on someone's shirt. One reading should do it; all the other tones will fall into place.

Alternatively, at this event, I could meter off a white banner with some print on it and open up two stops, because I thought it deviated from a middle gray by two stops.

11/12/2004 7:48:35 AM

Julie L. Erickson

member since: 4/22/2002
  I too have used the sky opposite the sun on a few occasions. I also have used my cat who is grey and the pictures came out spot on. I guess he's an 18% grey cat, but that only works at home. :)

11/16/2004 4:23:07 AM

Scott Pedersen

member since: 11/18/2001
  Chase, you must be pretty young if you don't remember brown paper bags!

11/16/2004 4:32:13 AM

Carolyn Barkow

member since: 4/27/2004
  Chase, it's time to throw away your grey cards and brown bags. Learn the Zone System for color. Like everything else in photography, it takes practice, but works like a charm.

11/16/2004 7:09:23 PM

Jacques G-L

member since: 11/9/2004
  I did not hear of a car running without energy! But if Julie's 18% gray cat get kitten I would buy one (but not to pic a dog:))))

11/16/2004 7:36:29 PM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
 
Photography Question 
Kasandra  Torres

member since: 6/29/2004
  40 .  Combining Aperture and Shutter Speed
I don't understand how to combine aperture and shutter speed.

8/20/2004 7:56:04 PM

Brenda Tharp
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 6/9/2003
  Kasandra, aperture and shutter have a relationship to each other that gives you the correct exposure when you make the picture. Camera meters are designed to measure a certain amount of light, and you must set the shutter and aperture to expose your film or sensor correctly. Many modern cameras will do this automatically, in certain settings, but they are not always accurate and you must learn to understand when to override the settings to get a great picture.

I would suggest a basic course on photography and using your camera's controls, as your question tells me that you are not certain of what a camera can really do to help you make better photographs. I do not teach a basic one, but there are several offered through this site. "Getting Started" by Jed Manwaring is a very good one, and there are others, too. Hope this helps you!

8/21/2004 1:59:16 PM

Steven Chaitoff
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 6/22/2004
  Kasandra, I've got an awesome analogy that is really helpful and can go a long way relating to photography. I think it's pretty popular ... maybe they teach it here at BetterPhoto. Here goes:

An exposure is like a bucket filling with water from a faucet above. Film is the bucket. Light is the water. Now you start with an empty bucket and the goal is the fill it to the brim by turning on the faucet. If you don't fill it enough - that's an underexposure - the shot is too dark. If you overflow it, the shot is too bright.

So you have two controls in your arsenal for filling up the bucket appropriately. First is how long you leave the faucet on, which is analogous to the shutter speed. Second, you can control the size of the flow. You can have a little dribble coming out - a tiny aperture - or you can turn it on full blast so a lot of water comes out at once. The latter is a large aperture.

So to fill the bucket to the top you could let a little dribble flow for a really really long time, which is a small aperture with a long shutter speed. Or you could blast the water out for a quick time, which is a large aperture and a fast shutter. Or you can do anything in between - just as long as the combination will fill the bucket up.

Now say you let the water dribble out for a very very short time. The bucket won't be full at all, just a puddle at the bottom. So your picture will be extremely dark and unsatisfactory. That's why you have to be careful not to use a small aperture and a fast shutter together. Likewise, a large aperture and a slow shutter will have water seeping all over the floor.

So that's basically it. There's film speed too. A slow film like ISO 50 would be analogous to a very large bucket. A fast film like 1600 would be a very shallow bucket ... more like a frying pan. This way you simply don't need very much water no matter what combination you use. So you can work with smaller apertures or faster shutters to get more depth of field or freeze action. But that's as far as this well crafted analogy goes ...

8/21/2004 9:47:48 PM

Dennis Creaghan

member since: 10/21/2002
  Kasandra, You sound as if you're just getting started and if I may offer some advice, I think the greatest favor you can do for yourself is to take Bryan Peterson's course "Understanding Exposure" at this website. It's a great course which will answer all your questions and get you started of on the right foot. I took it and it's great

8/24/2004 8:25:11 AM

L. Francis

member since: 8/27/2004
  Kasandra, I know where you're coming from, but I think I can help you out.

Remember what your camera is and how it works. Your camera is a little box that allows you to take pictures by exposing light to the film inside it. If you expose too much light to the film, the pictures will come out faded. If you don't let in enough light, the pictures come out dark.

OK-- to your aperture/ speed question. Your camera (box) lets in light through two controls: one, the aperture size (a hole that opens at various widths) and the speed, something that determines how slow this little *door* slides open and shut to allow the film to be exposed a certain amount of time.

Now these two ways of bringing light to your camera work together, so a dynamic exists in terms of compensation, that works much like a scale. If you set your camera to a small aperture size where the light meter says there is not enough light, you will have to compensate for this by selecting a slow enough speed where a combination of it and the aperture size will *work.*

The opposite is true. Let's say you select a really fast speed when taking a picture (the door opens and shuts really fast, letting a minimun amount of light go through). And let's say that your light meter says, "Uh uh. At this shutter speed, 1/1000 won't allow enough light to expose the film properly." You will have to compensate for this by opening your aperture wide enough where there's a balance. So generally, the smaller the aperture, the slower the speed you'll need. The larger the aperture size, the faster the speed you'll need.

It's all about balance. I think Kodak put out a very good book on this. You might want to check it out.

8/27/2004 1:31:24 PM

Respond | Ask Your Own Question
<< Previous 10 skip to page
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | ...7
Next 10  >>

Copyright 1996-2014 BetterPhoto.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved.