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Forget your exposure meter...

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by Iliah, Mar 24, 2007.

  1. Iliah


    Jan 29, 2005
    ... for a moment.

    You are going to shoot traffic at night, and you do not want too much motion blur. What camera settings you guess you need - aperture, shutter speed, ISO setting?
  2. cwilt


    Apr 24, 2005
    Denver, CO
  3. cwilt


    Apr 24, 2005
    Denver, CO
    I must say, Iliah. Your posts always seem get so many views and so few replies. :wink:
  4. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    We are looking Charles to learn:) )))
    I check Iliah's posts all the time.
  5. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  6. Ok, I'm brave. My guesses:

    Aperture: As open as the wanted DOF allows.
    Shutter Speed: As short as necessary to get the motion as stopped as you like. Maybe 1/60 as a rough guess?
    ISO: base ISO

  7. Iliah


    Jan 29, 2005
    >I actually like the motion blur in such shots so would go for a looong exposure at low ISO and middle aperture to deliberately incur blurring.

    It was a kind of tricky (or poorly formulated:wink: )question. One of the ways to get a shot without strong motion blur is to go for very long exposure. This way you have trails only. It is also nice to have short exposure but very shallow DoF.

    But for the "real" answer, I would suggest the links Charles, Chris, and Tom provided. May I also suggest "The Manual of Photography" which was first published in 1890 by Ilford.

    This particular discussion is more about:
    - there is a way to predict exposure based on incident light in the scene, and that helps to know how much eV to dial in the camera overriding the reflective metering;
    - how to use this estimation in advance to choose proper lenses (working aperture range) and ND filters for the shot, which also helps to preset sensitivity (taking noise/grain into account), to know DoF we will be getting, to calculate distance needed, then to know the focal length that will work for the shot, shutter speed, decide on VR, monopod, tripod, bean bag ... less chances to experience difficulties when shooting
    - what are the good subjects for metering in different scenes under a variety of lightning situations;
    - how not to be carried away with false details in highlights which histogram shows;
    - in many situations there is no need to meter each shot;
    - and finally, that knowing the maximum brightness of the scene and contrast level, to figure out what kind of scene it might be - helpful when editing photos somebody else made, and helpful when trying to understand when not to use matrix metering.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 26, 2007
  8. All this sort of reminds me of my Rolleicord VA I had a long time ago. It had pictograms on the camera back predicting the EV value of different lighting situations. And of course the camera could be set to an EV value directly which was maintained while you varied the shutter speed/aperture.
    I am embarassed to say that I had fewer exposure errors with that system than with any of my cameras since. I also think composition was easier with a waist level finder too but that's definitely OT.
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