Expose for shadows/highlights

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
Overrank Senior Member • Posts: 2,473
Re: gray cards and incident readings

Autonerd wrote:

tassienick wrote:

Wellll, with an incident meter, "metering for the shadows" doesn't matter.

What do you mean by this?

The concept of ‘metering for the shadows’ (ie. to preserve shadow detail and take advantage of colour neg’s highlight latitude) is equally relevant for incident and reflective meters.

I use an incident meter for probably 90% of my work, and almost always use it to meter for the shadows (if the shadows are relevant for the composition).

Im not sure if I’ve missed your point?

It's very possible I'm wrong, as I'm still learning my incident metering, but aren't you just looking at light falling on the overall scene? If the subject you're metering is in the shadows, that's where the meter is, and you're looking at the light falling on that subject. If I'm shooting, say, a small building on a bright day, I'll meter for the light hitting the building, as opposed to putting the meter under the eaves and taking the reading there -- unless the area under the eaves is the subject of my photo.

Edit: To clarify, I was also thinking of the shot the OP posted -- in a scenario like this, I wouldn't be metering in the shadows; I'd be holding the incident meter in front of his model's body to get the light falling on him.


You just need to put the incident meter in the light that the subject is in (dome pointing back to the camera).

So if I’m taking a picture of a ten acre field with a hedge at the back, the sun is behind me, the field in front of me, and my subject is the field, then I can hold the incident meter in front of me at arms length and take a reading (with the dome pointing to me) and it’ll be OK.  But if my subject was in the shadows under the hedge I’d have to walk across the field and take a meter reading under the hedge.  (Or more likely I’d take a meter reading at arms length and add three stops )

In the shot posted you’d just hold the meter in front of the model and point the dome back to where the camera will be.

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