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Re: Subject: Re: [OM] How to test "new" OM-4T

Subject: Re: Subject: Re: [OM] How to test "new" OM-4T
From: *- DORIS FANG -* <sfsttj@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 08:28:29 -0400 (EDT)

On Fri, 31 Jul 1998 EdMall@xxxxxxx wrote:

> You got it.  You must meter the part of the scene that you want properly
> exposed.  

  That's assuming the image will survive if you let everything else fall 
where it will. This is not always the case.

> Example:  Beautiful girl at the beach.  Sun to the side, blue sky, white sand.
> With the spot meter, meter the skin tones.  With the OM2n you should go to
> manual; move close to where the skin fills the viewfinder; set the exposure;
> compose, shoot.  Note that's in manual!! 

  The beach is a no-brainer IF it is sunny, and you're shooting
 highlighted subjects. Just use the Sunny-16 -1 stop, and bracket around
that. But spot-metering the skin tones means gambling big-time. Why ?
Because Caucasian skin tones vary wildly, from alabaster white, to
mahogany, a range of many stops on a tonal scale. Meaning that if you
spot-meter a very tanned lady, well, you will over-expose her (not to
mention everything else!). Conversely, if you meter a beach-newbie
with lily white skin, you will underexpose her. This is leaving aside
the matter of enormous contrasts at the beach, between light & shadow.
There's no way around understanding light & reflectance contrast.
  It is important to say that there is no such thing as THE correct
exposure. Slides for reproduction are usually a little lighter than 
optimum slides for projection. Plus, exposure is part of interpreting the
scene. What is right for Ed, may not be right for someone else. All of 
this emphasizes why it is to one's advantage to indulge in the apparent
film-wasting ritual of bracketing (besides if the pros do it --- and they
can usually peg an exposure better than most amateurs --- one can assume 
the practice has real-world value, and is cost-effective).
  Photography is not as simple as Xeroxing reality, and even Xerox
machines have "exposure compensation" dials!

> Same thing you will do next time
> you're on the bus trying to take shots out the window---Set the camera to
> manual; meter on the ground making sure that none of the sky is in the
> viewfinder; compose; shoot.

  If the ground is 18 0ray asphalt, that works. If it is new black 
asphalt, all the pics will be over-exposed. If it is light dust in a
gravel road, all the exposures will be way off. This example illustrates
how complex this can be. If the subject is in the shadows, it will be
near-black on a K64 slide. You still have to understand light and
reflectance. One way is to calibrate your hand, and letting the light fall
on it (the same type of light as on your subject!), metering off of it,
and inputting the correction factor.
  Remember, the sun is 93 million miles away from this planet (God, I hope
I got that one right, there's real astronomers here...eeeek), which means
bright light isn't going to vary a lot from minute to minute on a
cloudless day. Most of what you have to worry about then is subject
reflectance and shadow values. It's those days with lone, puffy clouds
or graded hazes that drive one crazy...:)
   Don't forget the use of flash-fill to cope with heavy lighting contrast
(as in backlit subjects, or those in harsh lighting). The flash normally
isn't thought of as of help with subject reflectance, but it can be, if
you understand light. Place the  less-reflective part of your subject
closer to the flash (or any type of lighting). Since flash exposure is
determined by flash-to-subject distance, the closer (darker) part will get
more light and the reflective contrast between the two will be lessened.
This can be used to great advantage sometimes. 

                            Apologies for the mammoth post...

                                   *= Doris Fang =*

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