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Learn By Doing Photography

Assignment #1 – Metering off a Gray Card

Assignment #1 – Take a 2 pictures one with a gray card and one without. If you don’t have a gray card use anything you have that  is middle gray could be a gray shirt or just a gray piece of paper.

Picture 1. Find something where your entire scene is more white than anything else could be snow, bed spread zoom in on a white dress. Turn your camera to manual and expose correctly. This is what your camera sees.

Picture 2. Hold your gray card in front of your scene turn your camera to spot meter if you don’t have that use partial meter. Meter off the gray card. Remove the gray card from the picture.  Now don’t change your exposure even though it has a different reading and take the picture.

I wrote a post about how to meter in manual if you want to take a peek!

Here is the picture I came up with in my backyard using snow well what little bit of snow we have right now!

A little bit about our meter:

Our camera is designed to render subjects middle gray or 18%.  Most pictures tend to be average if you’re at the park with grass, trees, kids running around in different clothes. This would create a very average scene in your camera. Now if you put a black cat on a black chair your camera will overexpose to make your subject gray. Just the opposite if you have a scene of just white snow your camera will underexpose making your snow look gray.

Meters still confuse me and I  have to think what the heck am I suppose to do! Here is an example I took of three colors white, gray and black on aperture priority. I let the camera meter decide what it was going to see. The first picture with all three colors you can tell there are three colors. But when I zoomed in on the picture so it just showed the white black or gray they all just took on a different shade a gray. The camera thought way too white need to adjust, or way too black need to adjust the only one that felt just right was the gray itself.

Related posts:

Learn By Doing - Meter using dusky blue sky
LBD Photography - Seeing in Black and White
Photographing Roads - LBD Photography


2 Responses to “Assignment #1 – Metering off a Gray Card”

  1. Practiced metering with gray card. Wish these pics were closer together!

    Posted by S. | December 5, 2011, 5:06 pm
  2. Awesome job! I can’t believe how much this is helping me! Everything about my camera needs to be more second nature and this is helping me a lot!

    Posted by admin | December 6, 2011, 6:17 am

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