Questions about Light Meter and correct exposure during shoot.

Started May 7, 2013 | Discussions thread
bm bradley
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Re: Questions about Light Meter and correct exposure during shoot.
In reply to Clueless Wanderer, May 7, 2013

Clueless Wanderer wrote:

bm bradley wrote:

Clueless Wanderer wrote:

I was taking some still life shots of a bunch of black (dark red) grapes on a black background. I was using one softbox with a Nikon SB900 and wanting the grapes to fade into the shadows/background. I have a Sekonic L-358 that is calibrated to my camera and I followed the exposure readings it gave and set my light as such. However in the back of the camera, the grapes looked underexposed, so I turned up the power on the flash, now the exposure looked good. When it came time to shoot the Xrite colour checker passport for Post process WB. The blown High's on the colour checker confirmed that the Light meter was indeed correct.
Im thinking that the image looked under exposed because it consisted of only dark and non reflective subject matter. 
 My Questions: Should I have stuck to the light meter and finished with a dark looking shot. Or was I right to brighten it up? 
In future what is the best way to deal with this kind of situation? Just expose until you see clipped high's within the composition then back off slightly or stick to the Light meter readings?

okay you have wondered into 'quantum photography' 2 things... the grapes don't reflect light like the color checker does so you are getting more light on the color checker with the same exposure and 2. the chips capture colors differently and going out on limb I'm going to say the saturation of the grapes colors are going to handle light differently possibly producing a deeper shadow and the appearance of low exposure.

my thinking is this,  light the grapes 'upstage' and 'fill from the front' this will give the grapes beautiful dimension and the dynamic range across the shoot with highlight the colors...

place the key @ 125deg camera right and bit high.. sun works great for this and the fill @30deg camera left level with the lens ... just ball park numbers... you'll see right away where the lights go after a few shots.

you can just use the camera meter BTW.. I do it all the time... I set the ISO and shutter speed I want, the put the camera to shutter priority... look around take readings of the situation. make a decision then set the camera back to manual.

hope this makes sense

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Thanks for the info..
"Quantum photography" :-o
I should have mentioned Im shooting at 1/250th F22 to kill all ambient and lighting with a single softbox approximately 45 degree's camera right, adjusting to control fall off and loose the subject into the shadows..

a light placed opposite the key, unfiltered, might produce interesting 'highlights' to set the shadows a bit and add dimension to your vision...

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'when I ask you what time it is, don't tell me how to build a watch'

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