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03-22-2010, 04:05 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
If they were underexposed, that would imply that you were metering incorrectly in the first place. Using a gray card and metering the same way you have previously done might just give you the same under exposure.
It would also depend on the amount of underexposure and whether it is with all or some lenses. Most photographers get to know the nuances of their cameras meter and compensate accordingly. Doing some research on exposing to the right (ETTR) might also help you.
If snow was grey in your shots, that could also be to do with your WB settings.
In that particular case, the metering was influenced by the bright white snow and gave an underexposure. A Grey Card would have remedied that. But obviously using a grey card needs some practice.

Quite as you, I usually just use exposure compensation of app. +1.5 EV in snowy conditions and usually do not get the grey card out, though I have some at hand (or in the bag) most of the times.

The grey card is also helpful as a neutral reference for getting white balance right.

Ben

03-22-2010, 04:57 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
In that particular case, the metering was influenced by the bright white snow and gave an underexposure. A Grey Card would have remedied that. But obviously using a grey card needs some practice.
That could depend on where exactly the grey card was in relation to the light and the light reflected from the snow Ben.

Quite as you, I usually just use exposure compensation of app. +1.5 EV in snowy conditions and usually do not get the grey card out, though I have some at hand (or in the bag) most of the times.

The grey card is also helpful as a neutral reference for getting white balance right.

Ben
On the subject of grey cards, I came across this interesting essay by Thom Hogan discussing the origins of 18% grey.
http://www.bythom.com/graycards.htm

Last edited by Damn Brit; 03-22-2010 at 05:51 PM.
03-22-2010, 05:48 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
On the subject of grey cards, I came across this interesting essay by Thom Hogan discussing the origins of 18% grey.
Is he the fellow who talks about grey values at 12% to 13%? I think I just read it, too, along with a couple other pieces. Pretty interesting.
03-22-2010, 05:51 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by grey goat Quote
Is he the fellow who talks about grey values at 12% to 13%? I think I just read it, too, along with a couple other pieces. Pretty interesting.
Forgot the link, fixed it now. Yes, same guy.

03-22-2010, 07:29 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by grey goat Quote
I think you mean we should open up a couple stops for snow, right? Because the meter reads it as something very bright and wants less exposure, averaging out to 18%--or 12% or whatever I've read that camera manufacturers actually use.
Yep that's what I meant. I was thinking snow is Zone 8, so you underexpose by 3 stops to get to Zone 5 (middle gray), when in reality, snow is metering as if it were in Zone 5, so you want to overexpose by 3 stops to put it into zone 8 where it belongs.
03-23-2010, 07:41 AM   #21
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Snow is still about!

QuoteOriginally posted by grey goat Quote
Our snow's all gone here, glanglois--unless there's some hiding on the north side of the hills north of Spring Green.

And our rhubarb has just started coming up, too! And soon, the mosquitoes. . . .

Everything's a trade-off, I reckon. . . .
I was just out on the county roads south of 14 and as far west as Arena - not quite to Spring Green. Yup, snow here and there but as an interesting accent rather than a blanket. And it's still hanging around on the north side of my Madison roof.

Rhubarb - reminds me I've got to get back in the rhubarb mode. Too late for this year, I expect.

Now, how do I get from rhubarb back to 18% gray so it doesn't appear too OT?
03-23-2010, 03:55 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by glanglois Quote
Now, how do I get from rhubarb back to 18% gray so it doesn't appear too OT?
My guess is that mature rhubarb is closer to Zone IV--unless you use a green filter.

Just a guess, though.

Here's another medium grey marker: we had blue skies today here in SG (and low humidity--I just brought three loads of clothes in from the line).

But somewhere in my head is an association of clear blue skies with either 18% grey or skin tones (Zone VI?). Am I remembering that right? (I could look it up, I know, but I figure there are some folks who know more than I do reading this thread, and one of them may know off the top of his or her head.)

Edit: Okay, I looked it up: clear blue northern skies, Zone V. And dark foliage (say, rhubarb) is Zone IV. Caucasian skin tones, Zone VI. (Thank you, Wikipedia.)

Sunset's coming. Time for a Furthermore ThermoRefur. . . . (Nice to live in a tiny town with its own little brewery. . . .)

Last edited by grey goat; 03-23-2010 at 04:16 PM. Reason: clarification, confirmation
03-23-2010, 08:35 PM   #23
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For basic exposure, meter the palm of your hand and +1 exposure. It's easier to carry than a card. Will not set the WB, though. Shoot RAW.

03-24-2010, 12:21 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
For basic exposure, meter the palm of your hand and +1 exposure. It's easier to carry than a card. Will not set the WB, though. Shoot RAW.
Well only for Caucasian skin. Darker skin can range anywhere from zone 5 (middle gray) to zone 3 I believe
03-24-2010, 10:10 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by PeteyJ Quote
Well only for Caucasian skin. Darker skin can range anywhere from zone 5 (middle gray) to zone 3 I believe
What is caucasian skin? White folk vary in tone almost as much as black folk do.
03-24-2010, 11:16 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by graphicgr8s Quote
What is caucasian skin? White folk vary in tone almost as much as black folk do.
I'm just going by what Ansel Adams said. Right now I'm probably a good Zone VII myself, but during the summer I'd probably meter at Zone V or IV.
03-24-2010, 12:22 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by PeteyJ Quote
I'm just going by what Ansel Adams said. Right now I'm probably a good Zone VII myself, but during the summer I'd probably meter at Zone V or IV.
What does he know?

But in all seriousness it's not really hard to take the first shot of a shoot and have the model hold a gray card. Or in PP you can sample something you are fairly sure is gray and use that to set WB.
03-24-2010, 12:44 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by PeteyJ Quote
Well only for Caucasian skin. Darker skin can range anywhere from zone 5 (middle gray) to zone 3 I believe
Actually, the palm is very similar.
03-26-2010, 03:01 AM   #29
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I'm a big fan of the art of chimping. You know, take one test shot, zoom in on it, if it looks like crap adjust. I also like a bit of bracketing just to save my butt =)

Actually come to think of it wouldn't it be ever so sensible to store 1 jpg on the camera which shows all the values in the zone system and then, if your camera can, use the side by side comparison feature to work out what the compensation really ought to be? Hmmm.
03-26-2010, 04:08 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by glanglois Quote
Gee, I was taught the "meter for the grass" trick by the PJs in my unit in 1969 and hadn't heard much about it since, probably owing to my absence from photography (for which photography is grateful) and our current 3.75 giga-element exposure systems.

I still meter for the grass. When I can. In Wisconsin.
same here

I use roads, tree trunks, what ever I can find, that is about 18% grey,

Ii have done this ever since my first SLR, and except for snap shots where I rely on the camera's metering I usually still shoot manual mode metering in this way.

a note for the OP and for proponents of having the histogram balanced in the middle. when there is a lot of snow, unless you are spot metering off something different, the camera will try to meter such that the snow is a middle tone. The camera simply does not understand what is in the image, all it is trying to do is put the exposure to make the average screen in the middle of the histogram. Understanding the scene and the exposure is always the job of the photographer. Sorry.....
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