Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Ivett becomes a Model

The photo classes get better and better! In the last few days we've looked at light measurement, light temperature and studio lighting (luz de flash and luz continua).  Here are some of the things I learned:

1. The meters built into our cameras measure ONLY reflected light (luz reflejada).

2. The other light to be measured is incident light (luz incidente)

3. Medium and large format cameras do not have built-in meters, oh dear!

4. All built-in camera meters automatically calibrate to medium gray (gris medio) aka 18% reflected light. What does this mean ... ?

Well, turns out that a camera doesn´t capture true white or true black automatically. You need to manually Overexpose (Sobreexponer) or Underexpose (Subexponer). I don´t want to bore you with the details but this info is great to know if, for example, you go skiing and want to capture the true white of the snow capped mountains.

5. Most cameras have 4 different settings for the exposure meter (fotómetro).  My camera (Nikon D40) only has 3 different settings.  These are:

a. partial measurement (medicion parcial) measures 9% of your frame
b. exact {punctual} measurement (medicion puntual) measures 3% of your frame
c. general measurement (medicion matricial/evaluativa) measures the entire frame and through various algorithms figures out which light is more dominant
d. average measurement with central preponderance (the Nikon D40 doesn't have this setting, but the professor is also of the opinion that this option is pretty useless)

I've been playing with options b. and c.

b. medicion puntual for when I have drastic contrasts. I can pick whether I want detail in the light or detail in the shadow.  I imagine with time I'll develop a knack for a nice in between so that I can capture detail in both the strong light and the shadows.  Stay tuned, but for now, here is the result of exposing to either the light or the shadow.

Exposed using exact measurement(b.)
Measuring the sunlit area of the frame

Exposed using exact measurement (b.)
Measuring the shadowed area of the frame

c. medicion matricial/evaluativa is great for landscape shots in which there is an even amount of sky and landscape in the frame.  The below shot is in the gardens of El Retiro Park.  The gardens are a bit too dark and I imagine it's because there is much more sky in the frame.  I'm practicing ... 

At the end of class we had one final exercise.  Portrait shot with sunlight behind the subject.  Unfortunately I somehow wound up being the model ... but, the lighting was perfect for capturing my classmates.

I'll save my studio lighting notes and examples for the next time.  Hasta luego.

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