Expose for shadows/highlights

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
peripheralfocus Veteran Member • Posts: 4,691
right, except that it's underexpose

Bags27 wrote:

It goes back to the zone system in which you meter the shadows, and the meter automatically places the shadows in zone V (18% grey). But then highlights could get lost, and you want your shadows in zone III. So, overexpose by 2 stops (moving shadows from zone V to zone III) and develop normally.

This is right, except that you made an inadvertent error. To move shadows from Zone V to Zone III, you underexpose by 2 stops from the meter reading -- i.e. you need to reduce the exposure by two stops from what the meter is recommending, by choosing a faster shutter speed, a narrower aperture, or a combination of both (or even by using a neutral density filter).

As you know (but the OP may not), if you point a reflected light meter at a black object (shadows), it will recommend an exposure that will reproduce the object as gray (i.e. lighter than it is). To reproduce it as black, we have to reduce the exposure from whatever was recommended by the meter.

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