What exactly does "reading the light" mean?

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
ggbutcher
ggbutcher Contributing Member • Posts: 550
Re: What exactly does "reading the light" mean?

Great thread, great responses.  I think sometimes we get lost in all the other aspects of image capture - composition, color, motion, etc. - and we miss the  primary influence, the light.

To add a maybe pedantic aspect to the discussion, my personal challenge in light reading has been to comprehend how the dynamic range of a scene will map to my camera's capability.  Even right now, staring at my computer on the desk, the dynamic range is deceiving because the rest of the room is "lit" by a north-facing window, all looks fairly uniform to my perception, but I know that my D7000 would struggle with the background shadows. I recently procured a Z6, which I now know would better capture those shadows, and it gave me a useful insight tool - highlight-weighted matrix metering.  I assigned a function button to it, so I can toggle back-and-forth from regular matrix to the highlight-weighted mode, and it's interesting to see how much, if any, change the camera thinks is warranted to protect the highlights in the JPEG rendition.

No, it's not ETTR, but it's quite instructive to my assessment of the light...

 ggbutcher's gear list:ggbutcher's gear list
Nikon D50 Nikon D7000 Nikon Z6 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-140mm F3.5-5.6G ED VR +1 more
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