Metering for ND Grad

Started Apr 23, 2013 | Discussions
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Andrea Crema
Andrea Crema Contributing Member • Posts: 844
Metering for ND Grad

Read a fair bit on this subject, but still had a question.

My understanding is that you would meter for the foreground without the filter. Then use this setting with the Grad.

You'd meter for the sky also to work out the difference of stops between foreground and sky to decide on which strength Grad to use.

However, is it not the same just sliding in your Grad and letting the meter work out exposure? (obviously hit and miss as to what strength Grad to use, but you would see visually the effect of what you were achieving through the histogram anyway).

Just needed confirmation of my understanding.

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Nigel Wilkins
Nigel Wilkins Senior Member • Posts: 1,006
Re: Metering for ND Grad
1

Yes, no need for calculations...as long as it looks the way you want it to & everything fits into the histogram the way you want it to.

Andrea Crema
Andrea Crema OP Contributing Member • Posts: 844
Re: Metering for ND Grad

Nigel Wilkins wrote:

Yes, no need for calculations...as long as it looks the way you want it to & everything fits into the histogram the way you want it to.

Thanks Nigel

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DanlB Regular Member • Posts: 184
Re: Metering for ND Grad

Spot meter the sky and then spot meter the foreground in manual mode and calculate the difference.

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hirejn Regular Member • Posts: 341
Re: Metering for ND Grad

If you meter through the grad, technically you're changing the information the camera is metering. Instead of a bright sky, you now have a darker sky, so it's technically not the same. You can't be sure exactly what decision the camera will make. It's better to take control of the metering and settings, knowing how the grad will affect the scene. If you have time for a grad, you have time to meter.

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Joel Nisleit Photography
A camera or lens can't take good or bad photos any more than a brush and canvas can paint themselves a masterpiece.

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Nigel Wilkins
Nigel Wilkins Senior Member • Posts: 1,006
Re: Metering for ND Grad

hirejn wrote:

If you meter through the grad, technically you're changing the information the camera is metering. Instead of a bright sky, you now have a darker sky, so it's technically not the same. You can't be sure exactly what decision the camera will make. It's better to take control of the metering and settings, knowing how the grad will affect the scene. If you have time for a grad, you have time to meter.

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Joel Nisleit Photography
A camera or lens can't take good or bad photos any more than a brush and canvas can paint themselves a masterpiece.

If you have time for a grad, you have time to look at the LCD & histogram & make changes as required...you really don't need to know the numbers to see if your shot looks the way you want it.

In the days of film there was no choice, but digital gives you the choice & more importantly, the confirmation.  Use the best tools you have, rather than rely on old methods would be my advice.

bravozulu Contributing Member • Posts: 897
Re: Metering for ND Grad

Set your meter to spot. I posted images of a white Corvette in the California shun on another forum. The shot came out dull looking. I shoot with a Nikon, which offers Matrix metering. That's the usual solution because it compares your shot with a database of 30,000 images.

But it doesn't work correctly when an ND filter is thrown into the mix. The result I got was flat, as if the white paint had been in a dust storm.

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