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12-21-2006, 06:23 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by jfdavis58 Quote
Better get the blender with titanium blades, those old bodies are all metal!
I am afraid I miss the point. Mind elaborating?

Regards,

12-21-2006, 06:28 PM   #17
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Inspired by the Zone System, but not exactly the same (my approach is somewhat simplified and remapped to 5 shades of gray).

But I think the primary thing is understanding metering and exposure. I've read many technical books with diagrams and exploded camera views and it did not help me to make better photographs.

But some time in the early 90's I found an interesting book by Freeman Patterson "Photographing the World Around You" (or was it "Photography and the Art of Seeing"?). No technical details at all. No diagrams, no charts. But somewhere in the book was a stunning revelation, many other sources had failed to clearly explain: camera meter sets exposure parameters to record everything as mid gray. PERIOD! Then, he continues, it is up to a photographer to use metered exposure as a starting point and then think about the context or intended result and compensate for brighter or darker tones in the scene.

Ansel Adams and his zone system was just one convenient way of thinking about using that metered starting point and remapping it to the physical world, but it is not the only approach. I sometimes use +3 mapping of a brightest area in a scene (excluding specular highlights of course) no matter what tonal value it really has, then "develop" to my taste (raw is a must for this). This is to maximize signal to noise ratio, but I seldom use this approach. Instead, I use spot meter and explore the scene, visualizing final result before I press shutter release button. All post processing required is usually related to contrast adjustments only (similar to using filters with ILFORD Multigrade IV paper) and rarely require any significant exposure corrections.
12-21-2006, 06:38 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by regken Quote
I am afraid I miss the point. Mind elaborating?

Regards,
It's a reply to this quote:

QuoteOriginally posted by doggydude Quote
OK, first you'll need a large blender - we're going to make one camera from all that stuff.
Which is a reply to this:

QuoteOriginally posted by jfdavis58 Quote
Spotmatic, K1000, M, ME Super, Super Program, ZX-M, ZX-10, ZX60, PZ1-p, *ist-D, *ist-DL, K100D, K10D. Also a Yashica Mat124G and a Holga.
12-21-2006, 06:42 PM   #19
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I only use spot for macro/closeup work where a dark/light background fools the matrix/cw metering..

12-21-2006, 06:43 PM   #20
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Regken,
Sorry, I'm using the Hybride viewing mode. there are about three or four active 'thread-lets' in this thread. Beth got me off-line and told me I should use the quotes and peoples names because I was causing confusion---I'll do better.
12-21-2006, 06:53 PM   #21
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What works, works; don't break it! You have the fundamentals of both the Zone System and the digital 'lean right' methods in a simple practical technique--it works.

The Zone System depends on spot metering. The highs, the lows, their difference. Then the subject and it's placement on a scale of grays. Development to match the highs and the subject on desired the print tones. Expanding or contracting the development to line everything up, but still letting darks fall wherever.

Your method pulls out the subject placement and lean the histogram to the right. Did you ever shoot slide film; it's the same approach?
12-21-2006, 07:54 PM   #22
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Exposure nightmare

QuoteQuote:
Take the camera exposure suggestions, regardless of metering, pop the shot, read the histogram and spin the wheels to move the graph to the right as much as possible.
I agree, it is unfortunately very common approach.

I see that for some people the experience in photography evolves like this:

1) I believe my expensive camera can think. I set some sort of AUTO mode (P and such) and matrix metering for maximum automation expecting artificial intelligence to do the rest. (Well... no matter what camera manufacturers are telling us, cameras can not see and think about what they see.)

2) I take a picture. As usual, in daylight everything looks underexposed with dull colors; in low light always blown highlights and lots of noise. Damn camera! (In fact: great camera! It manages to consistently render any scene as middle gray, precisely as designed.)

3) I dial in exposure compensation and take another shot. It is now better but still too dark or too bright. Damn camera! (In fact: damn photographer! Is your initial exposure the same? Unlikely! Reframed shot or objects moving around would force evaluative metering to set new initial exposure parameters so exposure compensation compensates unknown future value leading to better but still unpredictable results. And it always seems like I am getting there but some higher power is ruining my shots every single time. What it could be other than broken camera?)

4) Then I go to on-line forums and rant about exposure problems, sell my equipment, buy another brand (preferably more expensive = better), still trying to understand how come that my stupid cameras can not see and understand that my friend's white T-shirt in bright sunlight should be white, not gray and that the same T-shirt in a night club later that day should remain white, not come out as overexposed along with the face of my friend! Damn, stupid, broken camera!

5) I sell everything again and call it bad luck to have had several camera bodies and lenses in a row all with unexplainable problems no camera repair shop could have fixed. Damn manufacturers and their quality control!

I am afraid 80% of DSLR users are going through this nightmare.
12-21-2006, 10:02 PM   #23
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the 'thinking' camera

>>>>"I believe my expensive camera can think." Too bad this forum is "G" rated-that line nearly killed me. My sides still hurts from laughing.

Very funny scenario; very funny!

Oddly, the P&S picture modes and the competitions picture/metering modes do cover a vast number of shooting opportunities; luckily, the Pentax design paradigm covers all shooting situations. Assuming one takes some time to learn the controls.

12-21-2006, 10:15 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by regken Quote
...It slowly dawned on me that the subject of the shot was what needed the best exposure. If getting that right meant blowing some highlights or shadows so be it.
I'm more or less with regken on this one. For example, this afternoon, I was shooting birds in my back yard. I noticed that a squirrel was watching me from a safe spot - peeking around the side of a tree. I took several pictures that were exposed correctly for the TREE - but caused the squirrel's face to be much too dark. Switched to spot metering and got the attached shot. I know, it's a boring, useless photo, but it was the kind of shot that, I think, just about required spot metering, even though getting the squirrel right means getting other parts of the shot "wrong".

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12-21-2006, 10:41 PM   #25
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P&S metering

QuoteQuote:
Oddly, the P&S picture modes and the competitions picture/metering modes do cover a vast number of shooting opportunities;
Based on most P&S photographs I suspect some P&S cameras (or all, perhaps even some DSLRs?) are simply programmed to perform some sort of automatic exposure compensation: lower the light meter reading is and camera "underexposes" (setting say 1/30s for a dark scene instead of 1/15s required for middle gray rendering); higher the reading is and camera "overexposes" (setting say 1/500s instead of 1/1000s required for middle gray).

That system would provide some sort of "perceptual metering" as opposed to standard "middle gray" calibrated metering and I find it quite useful for P&S cameras: bright scene would be rendered as a bright scene and dark scene as a dark scene, instead of both being rendered as a middle gray scene. Perhaps that simple trick is the whole secret?
12-22-2006, 06:12 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by i.glisin Quote
1) I believe my expensive camera can think.
Thanks for that laugh, that's a great (and sadly accurate) scenario!

I'm very glad I started out on a "stupid" K1000, because after it became clear that my DL wasn't able to think, I at least had some half-remembered notions to fall back on. This whole discussion is inspiring me to go back and properly re-learn that stuff, if I ever have time, I'd probably get more keepers.

Julie
12-22-2006, 07:17 AM   #27
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i prefer centre weighted mostly.. i never bother with a histogram.. i fire off a couple of tests shots if not sure look at the results in the lcd (blinkies set) and go from there..

i tend to under expose slighly as the norm.. and with landscapes like useing a coking grad.. i dont do much printing and view my pics on a largish bright lcd monitor.. sadly what looks good on my monitor loses shadow detail and looks too dark when printed smallish..

trog
12-22-2006, 09:48 AM   #28
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QuoteQuote:
sadly what looks good on my monitor loses shadow detail and looks too dark when printed smallish..
Your system is not calibrated. Believe me, calibrate it and expect a HUGE differences. Theoretically your prints should match you monitor, but there are several things to understand before that happens: monitor calibration, color gamut, color proofing, printer ICC profile for each ink/paper combination, print drying time to stabilize colors, and finally choosing the right color temperature of the light source used to view final prints to avoid metamerism.
12-22-2006, 11:18 AM   #29
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there are many variables.. including how the image is viewed.. my monitor just like my camera lacks dynamic range.. its biased towards the dark side of things.. very good for picking out dark detail.. but loses the white detail a little..

if i attempt to get it any darker it starts to lose contrast..

not much i can do about it.. lcd monitors have their plus points nice bright colours and very sharp.. but.. he he

overall i shoot for lcd monitor viewing.. i see a fullscreen image about 16 x 11 inches as the norm..

for print it would be a whole new ball game.. i like large size.. large size prints cost a little too much for me which is why i dont do many of them..

and no matter how much i tried it would not be possible to get something that looked the same on my back-lit lcd as it does in print..

i know "will it make a large size print" is one criteria.. but the vast majority of images are simply going to get viewed fullscreen on an lcd monitor.. mine do anyways.. as default i set them up for that.. it makes sense..

trog
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