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SPOT METERING: who uses this and when?

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Salva
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SPOT METERING: who uses this and when?

Unread postby Salva » Mon Jun 26, 2006 10:27 am

Hi all,

bit by bit I'm learning to handle my camera and more important all the features on it. Till recently I only used the 3 dimensional light meter. I now try to master spot metering.

My questions:

1. Does any of you find this is useful when photographing wildlife? If you do use it, when (close-up, dawn or dusk,....)?

2. Do you over- or underexpose when using the spot meter and when?

Not the most evident questions I know but there are some real specialists on this forum and I was hoping they could share a bit of their knowledge on this subject.

(If this subject has already been treated on this forum, please forgive me and just put the link)

Thanks
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Unread postby DuQues » Mon Jun 26, 2006 10:32 am

I use it in most of my shots, especially it the subject is small & light and the background is dark, or the opposite. So in all kinds of light.

I prefer my subject to have the correct exposure, and the background can be a few stops off for all I care. People do not really look at the background.

Also when doing sunsets or -downs I just spotmeter the area that is around 18% grey, lock the time in and recompose.
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Salva
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Unread postby Salva » Mon Jun 26, 2006 11:24 am

Thanks DQ! Very useful info!

So when photographing sunsets you meter the light not too far away from the sun but not the sun itself? (that's what I would think is about the 18% gray zone?)
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bert
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Unread postby bert » Mon Jun 26, 2006 11:30 am

Salva wrote:Thanks DQ! Very useful info!

So when photographing sunsets you meter the light not too far away from the sun but not the sun itself? (that's what I would think is about the 18% gray zone?)


If dont have spot metering just aim at the average light and on most camera's you can program the exposure for the shot.

But when your subject is filling the frame, or at least 2/3 i wont bother to much.

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Unread postby richardharris » Mon Jun 26, 2006 11:58 am

I sure I have mentioned this before but! The most difficult things to expose correctly (at least this is my experience) are animals (usually birds) with white areas in bright sun. They are often overexposed (ie the white is 'blown out'). This is especially so when the animal is a fairly small part of the picture - if it fills the frame the autoexposure will probably get it right.

So - autoexposure will possibly need underexposure (my camera about 2/3rd stop). Spot metering as found in 30D, 1Dmk2 etc (not 20D) can be used but may have opposite problems. Expose on the white and the camera may try to make it grey - so a bit of overexposure will be needed. However you may find an area of the animal which is grey - and that should give the correct exposure.

This is where digital cameras really score as you can see the result - especially as most have some means of showing overexposed areas (flashing on the Canon SLRs).

If you are waiting for the perfect shot and don't have time to adjust exposure etc, then use the bracketing feature with the multiple shot drive setting.

A new idea is available on one camera (I think its one of the Olympus SLRs), where you can set the spot as the white exposure (or black) rather than grey.

Richard

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Unread postby DuQues » Mon Jun 26, 2006 12:15 pm

Salva wrote:So when photographing sunsets you meter the light not too far away from the sun but not the sun itself? (that's what I would think is about the 18% gray zone?)

Yep! A bit hit and run in the beginning, but with digital you quickly pick out the right spot.
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bert
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Unread postby bert » Mon Jun 26, 2006 12:42 pm

richardharris wrote:
So - autoexposure will possibly need underexposure (my camera about 2/3rd stop)
Richard


I myself and quite a few people using tele on digital always underexpose .

Very important is that when photoshopping its easier to adjust darker pictures that to light ones

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Unread postby j-ms » Mon Jun 26, 2006 2:00 pm

And always remember to shoot in RAW so you can more successfully adjust the exposure if you have to. Remember, friends don't let friends shoot in JPEG !

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Unread postby Jay » Mon Jun 26, 2006 7:46 pm

or you can shoot in JPEG, gradually becoming a better and better photographer rather than a software fundi :tongue:
j-ms I am so teasing you :lol:

BTW,used my spot metering for the first time last week to take close ups of spring flowers with awesome results, also bracketed with .3 stop, the .3 underexposure were the nicest in all the shots.

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bert
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Unread postby bert » Mon Jun 26, 2006 8:19 pm

Jay wrote:BTW,used my spot metering for the first time last week to take close ups of spring flowers with awesome results, also bracketed with .3 stop, the .3 underexposure were the nicest in all the shots.

:thumbs_up:

Try to take lots of shots and then you will get the feel of the camera.

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Unread postby Salva » Tue Jun 27, 2006 9:17 am

bert wrote:Try to take lots of shots and then you will get the feel of the camera.



That's what I am doing right now! Thank you all for some most valuable tips.
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Unread postby Jay » Tue Jun 27, 2006 7:37 pm

bert wrote:Try to take lots of shots and then you will get the feel of the camera.


parctice makes perfect? :wink:

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Unread postby bert » Tue Jun 27, 2006 8:21 pm

Jay wrote:parctice makes perfect? :wink:


Doesnt it always :wink:


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