Light Meter - Help - $250 to $350 Range

Started Apr 25, 2013 | Discussions thread
newtoy
Regular MemberPosts: 382Gear list
Like?
Re: Light Meter - Help - $250 to $350 Range
In reply to Sailor Blue, Apr 27, 2013

Sailor Blue wrote:

newtoy wrote:

Don't you think photoshop is a easier solution to your problem? Even with a spot meter, it cannot garrantee you a perfect exposure. With the dynamic range of today DSLR. It easy to correct small problem like the samples. If you use a light meter, you may blow out some highlight area that would become impossible to fix!

Photoshop is a great program and I use it all the time, but I always try to get my images as right as possible in the camera then do things in Photoshop that just aren't possible in the camera.  Basically every post processed image is a fake, but it is a fake that I try to make look better than the real image.

No light meter is going to work in all cases, but a spot meter or an incident light meter plus the 3 pound computer between your ears will give you the best chance at getting a good image.  With ambient lighting a close second is the HA-ETTR technique (see below).  HA-ETTR can be used with artificial lighting but it is more difficult than using a light meter, either spot or incident.

Using a spot meter immediately gives you all the ambient light exposure information you need to get the highlights properly exposed and tells you what shadow will be blocked up.  This is more information than you can get any other way, but it is up to you how to use it.

The second best ambient light exposure technique is the Expose To The Right technique, but it doesn't work well if there is only a small highlight area(s).  That small highlight area simply isn't big enough to show up in the histogram. To avoid blowing out the highlights you need to use the Highlight Alert, which will show up even the smallest blown out highlight.  Unfortunately you don't get any information about blocked up shadows.

Sailorblue - Digital Photography Review - HA-ETTR: An Easier Way To Expose To The Right Using The Camera's Highlight Alert

You are right about the dynamic range of a digital camera being limited.  With portraiture you control the dynamic range with lighting so the limited dynamic range isn't very important. When you are using artificial lighting is when an incident light meter comes into its own and is far better to use than the camera meter.  A properly calibrated incident light meter can make getting the exact exposure every time possible and can help you adjust, then keep track of lighting ratios so you can reproduce them anytime in the future.

With scenics you are at the mercy of the ambient lighting, which can easily exceed the capture range of any digital camera.  This is when you need to use a spot meter or HA-ETTR to determine the exposure that will absolutely capture the highlights.  You then chose the base exposure and bracket enough to get be sure you get details in the highlights and shadows before combining those images into a HDR image.

Personal view:  Many people over process bracketed images to give what is commonly thought of as a HDR image.  Fortunately if you can also produce a completely normal looking image that simply looks like it was taken with a camera that had a much greater dynamic range than any that is available.

-- hide signature --

Living and loving it in Bangkok, Thailand. Canon 7D - See the gear list for the rest.

Why bother with all those? There is a function built in most DSLR - "Histogram". But I just check the histogram of the samples from the OP. They are perfect. So the only way to enhance them is using shadows recovery and curves adjustment!

 newtoy's gear list:newtoy's gear list
Nikon D70 Nikon 1 V2 Fujifilm X-T1 Nikon D810 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR +23 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark post MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow