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metering

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer GM5 Panasonic hand (1 of 1)ISO 4001-320 sec at f - 2.8

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While many street photographers tend to shoot with their cameras in shutter or aperture priority, lots of street photographers shoot in manual mode. If you’re looking to give this a shot, then we recommend a very handy trick (literally) to make metering a scene and people in the scene even easier.

When you point your camera at someone, it’s bound to try to meter for skin or for the person. In that case, a good place to start is to point the camera and lens at your hand, take a meter reading and adjust the shutter speed, ISO and aperture based on this. Then depending on if your scene is more dominated by shadows or highlights, you fine tune the exposure from there before even putting the camera up to your eye to shoot.

By metering off your hand, you’re exposing for a similar subject in most likely similar lighting and you’re that much more likely to get the exposure correct the first time around. Plus, folks don’t think that you’re posing a threat to them.

Go ahead, try it out the next time you go to shoot street photography.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony A7r review photos brooklyn bridge reddit walk (8 of 14)ISO 1001-60 sec at f - 4.5

We’ve talked before about getting better sharpness and about getting better colors in your images, but now we’re tackling the subject of dynamic range. We’re going to start off by saying that not every single image needs to be an HDR (High Dynamic Range) image in order for you to want to get better dynamic range. Sometimes it really just depends on what you want to accomplish creatively. But you should also know that this has everything to do with knowing how to meter with your camera to begin with.

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Chris-Gampat-The-Phoblographer-Zeiss-21mm-f2.8-review-images-at-night-and-stuff-10-of-11ISO-3200-680x453

Back when I still had my photography training wheels and still mostly shot film, I developed this instinct to always change my aperture and shutter speed based on the environment. In New York, it’s not uncommon to walk from a building’s shadow to bright sunlight within a couple of feet. So instead of constantly relying on my metering then changing the settings, I would remember approximate values. This lead to me actually losing less opportunities to get the shot that I wanted instead of fumbling with my metering.

For a long time, I thought I was the only one who did it and I instilled that value into the rest of the site’s staff. But a video that I found on YouTube seems to reiterate exactly what I learned. A photographer wanted to use an old film camera that didn’t have a light meter. So what we had to do was learn the differences in the shadows and lighting then adapted his settings to the situation and location.

This is the simple concept behind the Sunny 16 rule, but it isn’t as exacting. Instead, you’ll get estimated values and you can then fix all the rest in post-production.

Check out the video after the jump.

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Whether you’re thinking about getting into film, or you’ve magically picked up an old SLR and are confused about how to use it, hopefully this little guide can steer you in the right direction.

The actual process of shooting film isn’t that much different from digital. Assuming you understand how exposure works, then the principle is exactly the same.

If you come from shooting RAW on a digital camera then really you only lose three features.

– Ability to change ISO

– Ability to change White Balance.

– *shocker* Ability to preview your shot

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published at Peter Stewart’s blog. It has been syndicated with permission.

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Video thumbnail for youtube video Lindsay Adler on TTL vs Manual Lighting - The Phoblographer

Photographer Lindsay Adler has to be one of the better lighting instructors of our time. And in this recent video from creativeLive, she demonstrates the main differences between TTL metering and manual exposure metering when it comes to lighting.

While many folks seem to absolutely love and completely rely on TTL metering, Lindsay shows you that it can only do so much. Modern TTL flash systems deliver the exposure that it thinks that you want whereas manual exposures are set by you. So when working with TTL lights, you’ll need to usually find some way to compensate for their shortcomings–which can sometimes be frustrating in real life.

Check out the video after the jump.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Nikon D7100 golden hour and bar samples (11 of 13)ISO 4001-200 sec at f - 4.0

The Golden Hour: it’s one of the times that photographers talk about the most. If you’re new to shooting, this is a time when the Earth is bathed in lots of golden and orange natural light. Think about all the times in the movies when you’ve seen a couple romantically watching the sunset or the sunrise together. This romantic moment isn’t just because of the bond between the couple but also because of the fact that this daily occurrence is such a jaw-droppingly beautiful one.

So, are you ready to shoot?

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