Understand Your Meter


Foundations of a Working Photographer


Lesson Info

Understand Your Meter

Setting up your camera thinking about um thinking about your exposure and all of that kind of we're going toe you shoot away if you need to take a picture that but uh we're gonna put someone we're going put canada here in front of the camera because what is the exposure? All right, we have to find that exposure what is it? What is the light? So can I have a seat on the apple box and you're just going to be kind of hanging out there for a bit? All right uh I want to change the source on this. We're going teo alive you out of the five d mark to do you do there we go. All right, so in our cameras we have a light meter. All right um so we have a light meter in our cameras and it is a reflective light meter. All right, so it is reading the light reflecting off of the subject in through the lens all right? And how our cameras are set up just basic architecture. Tio we have our prism up the top of our camera all right and our view finder here that we look through and then arlen's all right an...

d so light that's coming in through our limbs and it hits this mirror and it bounces up into the prism and up and here is math and stuff all right, algorithms and craziness are auto focus is handled up in here are our exposure is handled up in here on light meters up in there, so it is really reading the light there's a certain amount of light reflecting off of our subject and and from our environment coming through this lens bouncing up into the prism, and our meter is reading that now, how much light is it? Is that a whole ton of life? If I took eight of those banks of lights and put on kenneth should get a lot brighter if if I only put one little light bulb in there, she would be a lot darker, so as that light value goes up and down, our meter needs to figure out how much light is following on our subject. Okay? Now, as smart as our cameras can become, they're still fairly stupid and somebody somewhere at some point sometime who was real? Smart said, we have to come up with a standard that this meter is trying to come to, and the standard came to eighteen percent great, not seventeen percent nineteen percent not half grad I don't even know what that means, but I do know that this is eighteen percent gray and what our camera is doing is it's trying to read the amount of light coming through and turn that value into eighteen percent grade so I guess they went around and they took value readings of all sorts of things off lightly colored things and darkly colored things and whites and blacks and grays and mid tones and highlights and shadows and averaged it all out to the world is an average of eighteen percent grade all right, so this is what our camera wants to do it wants to take whatever is in front of our camera and turning eighteen percent great all right now is cannot eighteen percent great like most likely not like you got to go hang out in the sun longer for her to be eighteen percent grade that window is not eighteen percent great what's that no not see it line nobody eighteen percent greater seattle um so the bricks are eighteen percent gray they're darker then that most likely right might be in the middle. The window is not eighteen percent get gray it's brighter than that if you put your black sweater on, it would be darker than eighteen percent grade and hasn't working photographer you have to know I've turned my meter on I'm looking at my subject and I have to know like my cameras trying to make this happen and I've got to say that's not what I need to have happen you get a white girl with blond hair in a white dress against a white wall and the camera tries to make that seen this she will be under exposed you're trying to make something white gray so it's under exposing all right, you get a black guy and a black suit against a black wall and it tries to make it eighteen percent gray then what you're getting is overexposure all right, so you're getting over exposure um we have this one target over here I don't remember who makes this thing but it has white the gray in the black all right, now if your meter it falls on the gray part it's going properly expose their if it puts it on the black it's going toe over explosive puts on the whites when you're exposed all right, so you have to set up a portrait now let's cut over here to, um to the big screen watches I I'm going to just say that this meter is this little box is my meter so when it falls on kenneth's face it wants to make one value for that if it goes up here to this the window it wants to make a different exposure value for that if it falls down over here in the shadows it wants to make a different exposure value for that and basically we have three kind of meters in our cameras most modern day cameras we have three kinds of meters we have an evaluative meter or value two meter we have a center waited meat and a spot meter is a three main meeting modes you will see in most modern day cameras so what that means is we have our view finder I have this big rick rectangle when looking through and if you're in a valued of meat oring mode your camera is taking readings all throughout you're seen here all through the scene trying to find an average of all of those readings to come up with one exposure two point eight at one twenty fifth of a second so this might be five hundredth of a second this might be thirtieth of a second and it's going to average that out somewhere in the middle and try to bring it eighteen percent gray average and find it center waited you think of this big soft kind of fuzzy circle in the center of your viewfinder and then another one inside it kind of like a donut it reads you khun find tune them but it's usually an eighty twenty split it reads eighty percent of the information in the middle twenty percent of the information on this soft edge on the outside and then averages that out to give you a meter reading okay then you have spot meandering but razor and spot littering is exactly that it is a spot a lot of times it's the center spot like the center a half point and your viewfinder read your manual excuse me read your manual sometimes it the spot will follow the f point some cameras, some cameras it just stays in the center and you can move your a f point around but it it's just going to be there all right? So when I'm trying to find exposure on my subject especially and right now we're talking portrait situations where the light is not changing all right? That is the scenario we're talking about right now where do shooting portrait or we're shooting a subject and the light on them is not changing if we look at canada right now, the light on her is not changing, okay? It's just staying where this light hasn't changed light hasn't changed like hasn't changed it's just a very consistent light, so I need to find out what that light is on her now I'm shooting a portrait the most important part of this portrait is her and we're gonna bust that down to its her face so I need to know the exposure of skin tone of her face. I need to find out how much light is falling on her and I'm going to use my in camera meter to do that. All right? So if I come over here and put this meter let's just say on her face and zero out my meter you see at the bottom of the screen there we have this little scale where we have minus one minus two when goto plus one plus two kind of thing what I'm usually doing is I start out with it and I just zero it out, so I meet her I usually see their spot me tearing or center waited I put that meter on my subjects face I have an idea of the aperture let's say I want to shoot this it to eight what is my shutter speed at two point eight? All right, I'm it I s o one hundred I'm a two point eight and zero out my meter and it gives me eightieth of a second, which is basically where close to one hundred twenty fifth of a second minus a third, but I've got to remember is I'm as I meet oring my subject holland she's brighter than eighteen percent grade, so I usually add about two thirds of a stop to what my meter says now you gotta know your gear you have to know your equipment, my cannon five d that I shoot when I meet her with it, I'm typically wanting to give it an extra stop of whatever it says my nikon, I find my meter to be a little more accurate and a little more debt on um, but but my cannon meter I'm usually giving it more exposure than I I thinks necessary which kind of tells me like, ok, it has great I s o eight hundred performance, but is it truly just I s o four hundred and they just kind of cheated my eyes so a little they called a they called they took four hundred called at eight hundred that's an easy way to, you know, increase so performance now that you know, I'm not saying that's what they did, but what I am saying is my cannon is really slower by one stopped in my nikon, meaning the exposure I need to give at I s o eight hundred here is about to stop more of light than if I switched my nikon out put my nikon up here at the same I so I'd have one stop faster shutter speed at the same time, so you've got to know you're here, and this is where I'm a big proponent of as a working photographer, you need to working camera bodies at all times you could start with one, but you're on a wing and a prayer airlines right there because that one goes down on you on a paying job in your host, and I'm a big proponent having to camera bodies and their two matching camera bodies you have to sixty days, you have two d three is you have to five g's same one so when one you pick up one to the other it's the same feel it's the same meters it's they're not the same ok, so uh we could take a picture at uh let's say let's just take it eightieth take a picture all right and she looks a little dark all right um I need a little more exposure here so it's taking her lighter skin trying to get that to a tone of eighteen percent grave and it's under exposing her a little bit that's why typically especially with caucasian skin I'll meet her the skin and and just push my meter about two thirds of a stop more than what it says. All right, so if I go two thirds of a stop more all right and taking a shot I like this exposure on her a little better I'm not losing detail here in the skin I never want to like lose detail in the skin I want to retain as much detail in the skin is possible um I like having my blinking highlights on this typically always on by default the any highlight that's getting blown out I just want to see what that is I'm not worried about the windows the windows not my portrait she is my portrait right it's really chemo so here's the deal this is where aperture priority and stuff can get you into problems all right? So if I have this and I say ok I meant to eighty fiftieth but now I want to change my exposure all right, let me let me do this let me zoom it in let's see rohit out back to eighty they're hundred were on call that zeroed out if I simply change my composition look at my meter jumped see how much my meter is jumping as its reading different things so here's, what happened? Do you have the your light meter turned on in your camera and your shooting pictures and I'm shooting portrait of camp and I put it in whatever evaluative meet a ring or center waited spot or whatever and I go aperture priority and I'm shooting her under controlled lighting scenario and I'm not just saying it's she's lit she could be sitting next to the window and that window light has not changed in half an hour that window light has remained constant but as I go in and I start shooting different compositions I'm shooting a picture you david I'm shooting different composition the light on your face is not changed but as soon as I zoom out and the meter starts to read other values in the scene through that lens it re evaluates exposure and it exposes here and then I zoom in really close it's re evaluates everything and sets a different exposure so this picture to this picture if I'm shooting aperture priority can change exposure on me right? Aperture priority mode is you set the aperture it sets the shutter speed right? You say I want to shoot it to a camera you set whatever shutter speed I need to but what can happen is aiken sit back here, shoot this picture at one hundred twenty fifth of a second and then come in here and shoot this a sixteenth of a second. So I have two pictures of you under identical lighting scenarios under the same amount of light at two different exposures when those pictures pop open in like room or whatever guess what? I have one picture ofyou wide. One picture of you close and exposure changed. So kenya is sitting under one lighting condition as that meter moves around in different parts of the scene it wants to change the exposure. All right, it comes back up here if it starts reading too much of the windows look what it does it's now telling us I'm over two stops over exposed here it's telling me I'm under exposed here somewhere somewhere in here we were zeroed out we'll see you right back out again I bring it back over here it's telling me I'm a stop in the third under it exposed I bring it back up here to two stops over exposed again up to the window if I'm an aperture priority mode my exposure can be changing when we look at cana the light on her is not changing, so to take away if the light is not changing, your exposure should not be changing. If the light isn't changing, your exposure shouldn't be changing. You said some kids down in a park and it's cloudy day and it's just cloudy and it stays cloudy and the sun hasn't popped out and you just shooting kids in the park? Then you find out what that exposure is on them. You lock that exposure in in manual mode on your camera and you shoot and you come in close and you should head shots you pulled back why'd you shoot bigger environmental pictures and as they're staying in the same amount of light, your exposure should not be changing. But if you stay opera chur priority in that situation, you confined your exposure, starting to shift sometimes by great amounts sometimes aperture priority will throw you three stops range from under tow over simply because you're meter is seeing different values, different things and sometimes it's pretty narrow. If you're in a fairly flat lighting and it's fairly flat tones throughout your photograph, you may only see two thirds of a stop shift, but when all those pictures come up and these shots are at this rate at this exposure in these shots, or two thirds of stopped more than that, you still have to get all those exposures toe look normal, but if your light is it changing, there's no reason, like, if I'm taking fortunes of you, there's just no damn reason in the world I need to be shooting here right now after a priority. Not in fact, that's the worst thing I could be doing because my camera then can change exposure on me mid sheet you and I now have to deal with that in post production on we get into business more time, you have to sit your butt in a chair dealing with stuff, the less money you're making, the more time you're sitting here. But in the chair. The last time you have playing with your kids, you put your kids to bed and you're back to work. Why? Because you're an inconsistent photographer. Your exposures were going all over the place. You have to go fix all of this stuff. You're on deadline you have to, like, deliver it's, your business, it's everything. Like I said, when I push this button, that is my business. You know I don't wanna learn about actors I wanna learn how they counter market make money didn't learn how to push this button correctly and how to run that camera and when it gets put in your hands you know exactly what's going on with it I'm looking at her skin tone she's not eighteen percent grade but that is exactly where I will be meeting her so in my head I'm going ok she's not eighteen percent grand when I need to knock that up two thirds of a stop or something from whatever my meter tells me I need to make a change from that all right now helpful little things and meet a ring before we get out of meeting um uh I think that I think we're good thank you can head back uh uh where you are um our hand held meters let me change this back but all right hand held meters ae I have to appear to sick onyx and this weekend we have ah a sick comic light meter to give away so it's a comic con mac group came through s we have a meter to give away and our meters are doing reflective light meetings all right I like these meters because with these little white domes they're incident meter readings there's reflective light meter readings and incident meter read he's and instead of reading the light reflecting off of the subject you take a meter like this and you gotta wear your subject to standing and you take a meter reading of the light falling on your subject and when I'm taking that kind of reading, I'm not sitting there trying to calculate eighteen percent or eighteen percent great so I go over there I take a meter reading and it tells me two point eight at sixteenth of a second I come over here to my camera I set it up two point eight sixty of the second and click and I'm there I don't have to spot meter I don't have to like meet her on the face and then figure it out now a good meter like a good near is this one ah this is the three o eight and it's about two hundred thirty dollars. All right, this one is the five fifty eight they're kind of like bmw's got the five siri's you got seven siri's everybody wants to seven siri's all right um we got the three siri's here. What kind of thing? Um about two hundred fifty bucks this five fifty eight's worth about five hundred dollars. I paid. I think one hundred bucks for it because in the days of digital you kind of don't need a meter anymore you shoot a couple pictures, you look at the back of your camera go ok? I'm there right? I've found my exposure and you lock it in and you can live in the days of digital without a light meter don't listen to the old farts who tie oh no it's even more important now you must have it it's even more important in digital if you don't have a light meter know how to use it you're not a professional I heard I heard it did spouting off on facebook about a month ago saying if you don't have a landline you're not a professional if you run your business office cell phone you're not a professional is like what do you think we're pimps and drug dealers like I haven't had a landline ten years so I guess I'm not a professional and I go out on jobs and I don't use the light peter I guess I'm not a professional but the beauty of it is is it's quick and it's simple I walk over I need to know what the light falling on you is and if I'm shooting ah that camera right over there I need to shoot let's see two point eight at sixth of a second on you all right I know exactly the light falling on you and then I could go set my camera to two eight six now if you get a of a meter you're going to have to calibrate it to your camera this meter to the exposure I want on that camera is one and one third stop difference from each other what that means is when I'm shooting that camera at I s o one hundred, I set this meter toe eso forty, because what I needed to do is give my camera needs a stop and a third mohr exposure than what I s a one hundred on this meter says would have have you seen what the difference is between that night? No, I've only tested this to my cannon. Um, and the reason I have the small one is because I'm going to more film, which we can talk about at some point this weekend, and I want a I need a small pocketable meter as I'm out shooting film that I can pull this out, take a meter reading set and click where I love this meeting. Five fifty eight is fantastic. Um but it a bit of a bulky situation here. Um and I got one hundred dollars and why they sell it for under bucks because he thought it was antiquated technology, uh, one hundred bucks worth. I'm just gonna put it on my shelf next to my d one hundred. Just reminding the good old days. Right? Um, can you live without a light meter? Yes, a good ones to three hundred something bucks. All right in the days of digital you can live without it because this is your light meter back here and that's typically two or three hundred dollars you could spin somewhere else on something else like your electric bill groceries gasoline kidsbirthday things like that uh monitor calibrate hours we'll talk about that this weekend so when I'm setting up for a portrait situation just final finalized bring this back um I set my subject down I'm on a single point single servo one shot whatever auto focus that's not changing um I'm in manual mode on my exposure I'm not shooting aperture priority I'm just zeroed out on all my picture styles just zeroed contrast zeroed saturation zeroed sharpness because I shoot a raw file um I'm usually in spot to center waited me during for most situations if I just I need to meet her I need to see what my life is doing on my subject I'm usually in a spot to center waited meters situation um and that's about it on that where I start to deviate off of those things when I go who I need to goto aperture priority crap is I'm in the limo with the bride or the groom were at a wedding and we're in the in the limo and she's waiting on the limo driver to open the door and then she's got to get out of the limo and she's gonna walk into full sun and then walk under a shade tree and go into the shape and then into full sun and in the shade and in the full sun and then upstairs to the church into the portico under open shade of that and then into the foyer and down the aisle like a bit of a vote that means my life is changing rapidly right? So she's in the limo it's dark and I want to shoot the pictures that door opens and the sun comes in and I usually go to a new evaluative metering mode I just read everything for me camera all right read it all give me an average and I usually take my exposure compensation and I usually put it at point plus point three or two thirds plus a third or two thirds so my exposure compensation let's set this up real quick when we switch back tio this screen so you know what I'm talking about in uh, exposure compensation we'll see if we'll get on our info but come on the o n feature of the five d it is pretty cool turned it on its all sorts of crazy stuff starts happening right now all right, there we go okay, so let's was aged area all right, so this tell me on the f four I saw one hundred and I'm going to put that you see on the meter I'm zeroed out right now so when you're an aperture priority and this is a zero it's going to say, f or at whatever shutters trying to make everything eighteen percent great, all right, but you make the decision. No, I need a little more exposure than that, so typically I have mind set two plus two thirds turn meter on plus two thirds. So what I'm telling the camera is camera, you take a meter reading and whatever you decide to f for that shutter speed you think it should be? Give me two thirds of a stop more light than that, right? You're like telling the car okay, drive it fifty miles an hour if you think it's fifty miles an hour, give me ten miles an hour more because I would probably still won't get a ticket, right? I'm telling it, I need more light than you think it needs that's, where exposure compensation comes in and exposure compensation on ly matters is in some sort of automatic setting aperture priority shutter speed priority um, p for professional priority you're telling it, give me extra or give me less. You may find yourselves in situations where you need to bring this to minus two thirds or if you're shooting and heavily backlit situations europe plus to whatever you think, give me two more stops exposure than that so I'm following the bride from the limo into the sun, into the shade, into the sun, into the same shade intothe sunup to steps into the four year down the hot dial evaluated metering amateur priority. Give me a little bit extra than what you think is supposed to be, and we're gonna rock n roll and as I'm taking those pictures, I'm concentrating more on shooting, and I'm hoping my cameras get me close and I know that from the limo to the aisle, I'm probably not going to be the most consistent photographer in the world, but I'm not shooting a thousand pictures, I just need the limo shot, I need one in the sun, I need that one moment where the bridesmaids look at her and smile, and then I need up the steps and the foyer when dad shows up and the back of the dress of the aisle, and then I'm passing her off the mark and marks up there, ready to shoot the rest, and I'm back in manual, I'm back in meter reading, I bring it back in the situation because the light in the church is going to change for a while, and then we are back outside and sun shade, sun shade backto aperture priority, just praying to god it all works. When I'm in a amateur priority mode, I'm just sort of like shooting through the bear cage hope I'm not in a tornado like please don't screw up on me camera but I'm I'm not so much of a photo ninja that I'm back there on my shutters as the light is constantly changing but portrait situation sitting down lights not changing no reason no reason whatsoever you should be an amateur priority there just isn't it's just all you gotta do is find your exposure and once you found it you said you go good if this is a two hundred millimeter lens and I'm at one twenty fifth of a second that I saw one hundred and I just take my eyes so I bump into two hundred now I'm a two point eight two fifty eight of a second and the light doesn't change exposure doesn't change I shoot one hundred pictures I shoot fifty pictures I should however many pictures under the same exact lighting scenario and all those pictures pop up in light room I work on one of them I apply it to the rest of them I export it, I'm done I'm done and if I'm done that means my time per dollar made is better and then I get to go home and like I'm not sitting there just sweating or I'm not having to send it all off to somebody else to fix it for me and pay somebody else to do it if I'm a good consistent photographer my my post production really isn't all that that it's not all that bad at all. Okay, so a move hd in my mind a couple questions that let me see okay? Yeah, now I would like to take a cup of course right on cue. Right. Okay. Um question from christina camp if you could please explain metering for a high contrast situation specifically a caucasian african american couple in bridal white oh, yeah, and then with a ufo in the background and the tractor beam is adding another three stops a light, right? Ok, yeah. So so you have you got someone with dark skin and you got someone in light skin standing next to each other there is a happy medium one explore our our cameras can handle all right. All right. So, mikhail, andre, I put the two of you guys together, you know, on dh ivory, right? So I can I can pull a picture of both of you standing together. You aren't so lily white that I have to worry about it and you weren't so dark that I have to worry about it on ly what's in the last seven and a half years have I had a couple in front of my camera who were on the absolute extremes of of skin color I'm talking like dark, dark, dark, dark, dark and porcelain white and it was like ok and I had to find a happy medium in between um I exposed uh I first exposed for the bride who was white and then added a little extra so I made her a little brighter than normal but not blowing out skin and then in post production I just boosted shadows a little but that was like an extreme and I have shot a number of different colored skin tones together many times all bands, musicians, people and couples that have photographed and only once in seven years if I come across a point where it was like they were so vastly different in value ones like zone ten one zoom one kind of fear in the zone system is just like whoa ok, I got to figure this out another way I do it is with lighting I will expose properly for the light skin and then add a little extra punch over towards the side of someone with dark skin. But for the meter reading I'll typically just go to the lighter individual you go to either one but our cameras can handle I put the two of you together I confined one exposure it's going to meet you in the middle and I could expose for either one of you ray if I exposed for you, I'm going to like go minus a third if I expose for you mckell I'll go plus a third or something and I take a picture I look at on the back of my camera and I will find two point eight at x shutter speed you're both exposed well enough and I'm good now if you're standing in full sun and you're standing in the shadow mike my cameras can't handle that kind of contract but I could have two white people one in the sun and one in the shadow I need them in the same lighting conditions for that to work other questions do you guys have questions for starters here in the audience? Yes so typically chinna wedding you keep your metering on the night of the whole day um if I go valued have really helps me in aperture priority because I'm throwing in some I'm throwing some things to the camera to figure out for me and I'm saying just read it all an average it for me because my spot might be moving all over the place my spot meter maybe flying all over the place my center waited maybe flying all over the place so evaluative wherever it is it's reading all of it at once so it's typically giving you a little better idea of everything happening um you really start getting curveballs thrown at you when you backlight a subject so if I'm trying to shoot a picture of kenneth here against those that huge bank of windows over there and my meter is reading all of those windows it's going to keep making her a silhouette, okay? And if I need her properly exposed that's where I'm saying plus two plus two plus two plus two plus two and sometimes in those situations I have to just go off after priority and go right back to manual cause I might need plus three whatever my meter thinks I need remember your meter was programmed just imagine a little white room with a sixty cycle hum and a guy in a white you know like lab coat and a computer typing in algorithms into your camera and that all works in theory but at a wedding on a saturday backlit by windows and a working for you and you have to just override and go into manual um yeah, so and but when I just need I need to know the light on you you're the subject of my photograph, you're the portrait you're the most important part of it all I worry about is the light falling on your face and that's what I need to meet her so that's when it goes the spot or center waited ok? I don't need it I'm not worried about any of the other light around you just what like you're standing in so since we can't exactly toed around sixty inch wide screens while we're trying to evaluate whether or not our shots and focus we can we look at the back of the history graham feel like ok well I can't trust my lcd either right the instagram how much do you push that graham that's a good question because that's a great uh great way to evaluate exposure um and I'll give you especially wedding photographers I'll give you a challenge the last wedding a shot with mark um I took gaff tape and put on the back of my lcd screen but left a little corner out where I could only see my history so I could evaluate exposure on his two gram and but I couldn't see the picture and I was inspired by this photographer named daniel millner he runs a web site called a blogger called small branch um and daniel milner's his name and he's I love the way this guy thinks and I read this block post of handsome was like oh my gosh had an epiphany the next day I had a wedding I taped up my screen except the history and I loved it right so anyways so a hist a gram right we have our shadows down here at a value of zero and we have our highlights appeared a value of two fifty five and when our history graham's air spiking over here that means that that we have zero detail and when they're down here in the zeros, we have zero detail. This is pure black, no detail. This is pure white. No, tito now there's this myth that people are trying to always get the camelback hump of a history ram. But that ain't life like there's no telling you, you shoot the black guy and the black suit against the black wall properly exposed, it's not that or the other one is you shoot a polar bear in a snowstorm that is not going to be your history, graham, your instagram for that situation is going to be over here, right? And the grizzly bear in the woods at night is over here somewhere, right? So what I'm trying to do let's say I'm shooting your average sort of scene, whatever that may be, nothing like when I'm shooting back into those windows. I know those windows are going to be spiking to the right, and I'm gonna have a subject standing in front of them and that subject's going to be somewhere in the shadows, the mid tones and that's going to be a big spike to the to the white, but your average scene, I'm gonna take a picture here, mckell against your average tone your your shirt is an average tone, the backgrounds and average tone right? So I'm expecting I'm going to see some shadow detail and I'm going to see a lot of mid tones and it'll get over to the highlights here with your shirt and stuff and then drop off and I want my my instagram's to kind of be pushing out here to the highlights and not buried into this into the shadows, so if I took this picture here, you make it and suddenly this history graham looked like this with a sharp drop in the whole third is empty then looking at that history graham, I'm going to say you know what that's under exposed I should have some more detail over towards the highlights your skin is a little lighter you've got white all in your shirt um that stuff all should show up over start over here somewhere so it's again looking at the situation saying, what are the tones? How much shadow how much highlight how much mid tone am I looking at in this picture? Um and when I see it really buried over here and then dropping off before it gets the highlights, then I add a little exposure to it all right? Um yeah, you got that so on the other side of the history graham, if I'm shooting and let's say I've got a guy is wearing a black blazer uh he's got blue jeans on and he's uh there's a blue sky behind it kind of thing so he's got a black blazer hunt and darker blue jeans but there's a blue sky blue skies about like a medium blue kind of sky like a nice clean medium blue sky is about eighteen percent great you need a great card to get a blue sky sorry seattle uh go that green grass like a nice green grass that's about eighteen percent grade a lot of sports photographers will meet her off the field to find out what their exposure should be they just meet her the grass and that's about eighteen percent gray of whatsoever is falling on their so so this guy and he's white dude in a black blazer and blue jeans and blue sky and I look at my history graham and it's like this. I know I'm over exposed because those blue jeans and that black blazer should be here somewhere and the darker side of the photo and if all my darks air starting to push the highlights I know I'm over exposed right? So the kind of how I like my history grams on an average toe look as I like him to be rising right up out of the shadows do whatever the mid tones need to do and just a cz they get the highlights, they start to plunge. So what this tells me I'm looking at this history, graham this tells me that I have detail in my shadows and I have detail in my highlight and in post production this picture is going to be flat it's going to be kind of flat, but I got all my detail I need I've got all the parts and pieces of the pixels I need so in postproduction I'm going to take my shadows and bump him up a little bit. We're going take my contrast, I want to take this and and compress it a little bit to bring like that a sharp black back into the picture and keep my whites I don't want him to go to muddy kind of thing, so to me this is kind of a good exposure now there's aa lot of people will debate that I might should even push this a little further, saying that I think it's some like seventy five percent of the information digital information is held in the highlights and like twenty five percent of the information is held in the shadows should shoot a little brighter and then bring it down and post and I'm what I've seen all the math, I've read all the blood posts about that and I've gone and I've shot everything a little too hot to try to bring it down and I just I don't care for that too much, I liketo keep my shadow is pretty close to dark keep my highlights pretty close to blowing out, but not too much. I'm good, I'm good. Does that usually depend on whether or not you intend it to be viewed on a screen or versus printed? Because I've noticed all make something like this beautiful on my calibrated monitor together, print it and it's too dark, okay, I'm like right now, that's all whole different thing right there. When you're seeing on the screen to what's going to print right is like you've got to calibrate your monitor, what you're seeing, because what you're seeing is transmitted light, and then you'll see that reflected light, right? And then, like, what color temperature you're dealing with like, wait, I the whole lot of that will have going to have that conversation, but a lot of that I leave, there are people who all they do is color calibration, um and I think creative alive, you'll have some classes on on all of that as well. I'm not trying to push you to another class or anything like that, but there are people who that's what they live and eat, breathe. And I watch their videos when I'm trying to print we just got a new apps and printer and I'm trying to get that screen to print caliber oh my god you should see our first test prints or like night and day difference right and I'm trying to get that back together trying to if you want a class on that tweet tio creative life you need a class on that we'll be over if we really d'oh all right other questions well exposure all right we're gonna take a couple more questions at and uh lunch is ready and it's about our schedule one shot we don't beat each other questions got a question so for example let's say you're shooting a bridal portrait caucasian woman white dress but it's backlit on you said when you're taking a portrait he only worry about what's going on with the face so would you exposure compensate in camera and then post production due a highlight recovery the windows all blown out where you had just worry about what's going on between the face and address okay so question is you've got caucasian woman white dress backlit like my son like that do you expose for the face and then highlight recovery for the window whatever our cameras can only handle so much contrast change it's called a dynamic range and the brochures tell you it has a lot in reality doesn't have a lot so that kind of situation backlit by that bright of a light source I'm going to expose for the face and just know that that windows blown because when you highlight recovery is much like digital fairy dust that they're starting to put into these programs that I've done highlight recovery going oh my god, where did how did you do that? Like sometimes it's it's pretty amazing what it can recover it just make stuff up out of nothing but that's what it's doing is making stuff up about so in that situation where if I need detail in the window and I need detail in the subject, then she has to be lit or I've got to come in with reflect actors like I have to get if she's much darker than the window behind her but I still want detail in the window then what that means is that I need more light on her and that's where reflectors come in that's where a flash comes in and it brings her level of exposure up to start to match it to the window. I would much rather light her and get it right on camera then tried to get the fairy dust to fix it later and post all right there's always time and I'm gonna you know, there are those times when you just like rap, I have to go fix this and photoshopped and when you're saying that beat yourself to death right. Just beat yourself up, didn't get writer. I don't have the equipment. I don't, I couldn't get it done. I have to get this picture, but I don't have the lighter. I don't have this of that of the other crap. I have to fix it. Photoshopped. Your goal is to never have to say that that should never be anything. Photo shop is a tool I love jeremy cowards quote on it you know, if something like photo shops part of the game and sometimes photo shop is thegame, um and what I'm like, I don't see in photo shop and what I'm learning is there a certain few photographers who see in photo shop there's, a guy out of the philippines named manny that I met recently and he's seasoned photo shop and he captures, gets a pretty good capture out of us came in my life that's an awesome picture, but wait till you see what he does with it in post production because he sees it. I don't see in post production I see in camera and light and that's where I have to get it done, and if I can't get it done there, I feel like I didn't get my job done the internet's questions oh yeah, there's a bunch of internets questions mr sire I would like to know how do you find out the differential for setting the meter to the camera and doesn't change between lenses the difference between meter and camera it's just a matter of testing so you know what? What is that meter? You you test it. Um if you have a handheld meter, you you you go you take a meter reading with the hand held meters straight out the box, take a meter reading and then take a picture with your camera at those settings and look at and best is to take the card out, put it in the light room or whatever you know application that you're you know, doing post process processing in pull that picture up with no adjustments made to it, zeroed out, pull it up in light room and say that's a good exposure or no that's too dark or no that's too bright by how much? A stop two stops so you shoot a bracket and you may find that okay, whatever. My meter says, I need two thirds of a stop more like so whenever I take a meter reading and I look at it, I set my camera to two thirds of a stop more you can calibrate one thing I love about this five five eight here um is I can calibrate it on the back end so that I can just say it's basically like exposure compensation where I just say plus two thirds minus two thirds plus a half minus one whatever and that way when I said this the I s o one hundred and take it's giving me a meter reading based on my camera right so I don't have to remember if I'm like this little this little guy over here I have to remember if I'm shooting at I s o one hundred on this camera I have to set this diet so forty like it always has to be a stop in a third slower just initial findings that I'm finding but if I calibrated to that camera then go shoot it on some film base that's a different calibration right now the second part of the questions are where lindsey is it is different on lindsay's right so you have to calibrate your your meter even you're in camera meter you need to know whatever my meter says I always need to stop more or I always or it's dead on or it needs two thirds of a stop less you need to go meet her different things and then look at those pictures and say my meter is off by x amount so whenever I zero out my meter in my view finder I need to push it two thirds of here or two thirds there now lenses are different uh eso international standards organization all right. Uh s o the international statements organization. They're the people who decide what two point eight is two point eight is that this specific value and the camera manufacturers are usually given about a third of a stop sloppiness around so a two eight on this lens and a two eight on this linds could be this one could be a little third of a stop off this way. This one could be a third of a stop off this way you could suddenly have two lenses that air two thirds of a stop from each other, both shooting into a I know that my seventy two, two hundred two eight and my twenty four to seventy two eight that longer lin's is a half stop darker then this let's and if you ever buy some old winds is back in the days of film uh the old guys that shot slide and girls girls shots like to, um every looking it shoots lights, right so photographers back in the days of film when they shot slides they had, you know, five lenses in their bag. They would do lots of meter readings, lots of calibrations, lots of film tests and you'd see etched into the barrel of the lens they would take, you know, plus point five plus one minus one and everything would be calibrated to their handheld meter so when they put this on their land on their camera and took a meter reading they'd look at what oh, this is my plus one linds I need to add a stop for this linds, but for this linds I need half a stop less flee because from this lends to that wins they're not the same speed we call it the speed of the linens onda five six five six from two different lenses could be completely different now can lenses I have which are many ah they're all pretty close but that seventy two hundred is a full half stop off of this it states you pay the money for all that speed and you look at him and I just lost half stop here I want to debate what you're saying is do your work do you work it you're worth maybe daddy or you were asked so less were up on the rooftop shooting a couple pictures yesterday um and I was shooting with a new meter um and and it was not boring it was pretty boring and then shooting linds tests when six I hadn't shot was half these lenses so I was like, well, I need shoes someone's test I need to look at him I need to see what they looked like on okay just sit right there and don't move just keep looking to click click click, click click looking, looking getting all nerdy pixel peeping the whole nine yards and just getting to know ok all right but the beauty is is once you get to know your small core of equipment as you spent a year with it so as you add the next piece into it you immediately see how it's different than everything else you have and you learn that quick and then the next piece is that so like I had not shot with we have a one thirty five f two over here I had not shot with that lindsay it was like oh it's here okay let's try it john down over there than here bama's suze I took a picture and looked at it I knew immediately how different it was from all my other lenses. Ah that's a nice looking that day. Okay, all right. Put that on the wish list donna wish this thousand dollars you know, um other questions got a question from alexander? Uh cozy ken I'm not sure the prince the team from israel via twitter this question was so you have been showing we've been talking about focus and recompose his question to you was do you lock exposure together with focus when you're doing that when you're walking your folks um are you looking hey hoosiers? Yes like uh cameras set up in aperture priority when I lock focus whatever I've focused on whatever its reading at that moment when I have pressed that shutter release, it locks the exposure and the focus together and as I recompose it's not changing now I might see my meter moving because the meter is like, oh, hey, hey, hold on I'm seeing different tones I see a different exposure I don't care if that meters bouncing all over the place once I lock in on my subject and all that so when I'm in aperture priority and I lock in and recompose it is locking in wherever I focused all right? You can I think, go through all of million you know, menu systems and lock focus but keep the keep the meter still rolling, trying to figure it out and typically once I lock focus, I'm pretty close to taking that picture so quick and we go well so you like both? Yes, but in the situation like where I had you sitting there, it doesn't matter because I'm manually saying this aperture this shutter speed doesn't matter at that point in manual mode you have lunch way think that I'm afraid I just keep on going yeah, yeah, I got a ticket for internet stop jack o no, that doesn't have less so before we break for lunch we are going right into lenses right after lunch all right, um lin's choice is crucial to use a photographer if you don't know your lenses and you don't know what they're doing, and you don't know all the aspects of depth of field, you need to be seriously driving down the street. You see a location, and you need to think focal length. You need to walk in a room and think vocal links. The green code of photography matrix is focal length, right? You walk in and, like, twenty four millimeter, fifty millimeter, two hundred millimeter, uh, drive another twenty four millimeters, and it's your deal of the car. You're grabbing your twenty four millimeter lens because you know that that is the focal length with shot, that you're about to go shoot.

Class Description

Want to be a good photographer? Want to do it for a living? Want to rise above the bottom? Then join Zack Arias for this creativeLIVE course. Zack's first workshop was all about studio lighting. This time around, he's covering what you need to know to be a professional working photographer. Many people requested a class about business. Many requested natural light. Plenty wanted strobe + ambient. Everyone wanted more “client interaction” and posing guidelines. Zack's digging deep and covering as much as he can.



Outstanding! There are so many gems, any photographer aspiring to venture into business will gain much from this course. There are plenty of technical how-to's with superb examples, from choosing the right lens for a given situation, to learning about reciprocals, expressed in Zack's warm and fun style. He's a joy to watch. But, this class is much more than that. Zack is extremely generous in sharing very personal experiences and insight, on how he began from early days of struggling, to current projects, how he built his portfolio, and looking ahead to the future. And, in the final discussion with his wife Meghan, they open up and share their personal struggles balancing work and family life, and their strong support of each other. We can all relate to this. This class is a great guide on what it takes to start and become a successful pro photographer, and pulls no punches. It's not easy to do, but with some creativity and an insane amount of hard work, is doable and very rewarding!