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Metering off the palm of your hand.


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#1 DigitalManifestations

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 15:54

I didn't start getting the hang of armchair photography until I took a photography course at college. During the course I learned a lot of useful information and discovered that yes, like everything, the more I did it the better I got (within reason...I still wouldn't attempt to sell any of my prints ha ha!) One thing I've taken issue with however is the "metering off the palm of your hand" when you do not have a grey card. The instructor told us it is the next best thing. However, when I do meter off my hand, the image is almost over exposed. I'm holding my hand up, focusing and adjusting until the exposure value is 0. Am I doing it wrong?




#2 Draconian Guppy

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 13:13

Can really say i've used an off camera light meter so :/



#3 HawkMan

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 13:34

I think your teacher was using techniques that was required(or near so) during the age of analog photography and thinking they apply to digital.

Metering is practically useless on digital.aince the camera does it. The only real metering you might want to do is white card white balancing, but even this is unnecessary in most all situations and you can change the white balance at will if you shoot raw.

#4 Stealthy_Singh

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 17:47

I think your teacher was using techniques that was required(or near so) during the age of analog photography and thinking they apply to digital.

Metering is practically useless on digital.aince the camera does it. The only real metering you might want to do is white card white balancing, but even this is unnecessary in most all situations and you can change the white balance at will if you shoot raw.

 

Surely the in camera metering can be fooled?



#5 Mark

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 18:11

Pretty sure that metering your hand is only useful in particular if you're shooting a portrait of someone with a similar skin tone to yourself. When doing so, you'd need to make sure your hand is in the same lighting as the subject too, which means you might as well just meter on them to start with.

 

Why not just use the built in light meter anyway? They're quite accurate these days and as long as you're in the right ballpark to start with, (assuming you're shooting raw with a decent camera) you can go either down or up a full stop in post if required.

 

I know, shooting right in camera is best, but if you're not a pro, this is fine imo.

 

As for white balance, you'll never get it spot on manually, a gray card can help drastically if you're going for colours as neutral and 'true' as possible.



#6 HawkMan

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 18:12

Surely the in camera metering can be fooled?


That's the beauty of digital, you see it right away and you can just take another picture.

#7 Stealthy_Singh

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 19:51

That's the beauty of digital, you see it right away and you can just take another picture.

While that is good. It's better to understand the photographic essentials so you don't have to keep checking. I'm definitely not at that point but that's the aim!



#8 HawkMan

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 22:32

While that is good. It's better to understand the photographic essentials so you don't have to keep checking. I'm definitely not at that point but that's the aim!

 

 

Using lux meters for monitoring is  waste of time on digital. The built in metering does as good if not a better job, it also allows you to use area or pin point metering depending on the shot. 

 

So again, the only metering that makes sense to use is White balance. the disadvantage to that is that auto does a good enough job 90% of the time, 9.9% of the time you'll have perfect result manually correcting the white balance in post in Lightroom. 

 

it's only a a very few sub percentage of shots you need PERFECT white balance that require metering. say professional wedding shots. of course in the end the difference between a metered WB shot and a auto/manually corrected one, is so small it can't even be detected on the print. which makes all the extra work metering the WB require rather pointless. as you need to use the menu of the camera to take the metering shot, place the whiteboard and then apply it. and then if you're using natural light any change in shadow, sun position, clouds or anything will require you to redo all the work. 



#9 Stealthy_Singh

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 19:27

Using lux meters for monitoring is  waste of time on digital. The built in metering does as good if not a better job, it also allows you to use area or pin point metering depending on the shot. 

 

I don't mean using off camera meters. But I mean having an understanding of exposure and metering. Then you can either over or underexpose as you see fit using the meter reading in the view finder. While we can rely on our digital cameras for a lot they are but a tool and deeper understanding of the principles allows us to better utilise them for better photos. Since if done some reading on some very basic photography my shots have improved a hundred fold. Even with a basic point and shoot. Not to any kind of awesomeness but that they were that s$*t to begin with! 



#10 Draconian Guppy

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 20:37

I don't mean using off camera meters. But I mean having an understanding of exposure and metering. Then you can either over or underexpose as you see fit using the meter reading in the view finder. While we can rely on our digital cameras for a lot they are but a tool and deeper understanding of the principles allows us to better utilise them for better photos. Since if done some reading on some very basic photography my shots have improved a hundred fold. Even with a basic point and shoot. Not to any kind of awesomeness but that they were that s$*t to begin with! 

Pics or it didn't happen :ninja:



#11 Stealthy_Singh

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 20:40

Pics or it didn't happen :ninja:

What? The crap pics? I would never dream of showing them. And I've only got a few decent ones that I put up on flickr!



#12 OP DigitalManifestations

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 20:56

Thanks for the replies. I figured it was fine to just let the camera do it, especially since I shoot in RAW+JPEG but when she said to meter I started to second guess myself. I've noticed if I'm off by 2 posts of exposure it's hard to correct in photoshop but one or so isn't picture wrecking by any means. It also didn't make sense because of what was mentioned earlier - skin tones, etc.



#13 Draconian Guppy

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 00:48

What? The crap pics? I would never dream of showing them. And I've only got a few decent ones that I put up on flickr!

why not? We all learn!