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Old Aug 18, 2011, 10:45 AM   #1
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Default What was he doing?

I was at a trade show in Chicago.

A photographer had been hired to photograph a large (30 foot x 30 foot) booth in the trade show. The exhibit had not opened yet so he was able to shoot the booth with no one in it.

So I watched and I observed two things that made no sense to me. Maybe you guys can explain it to me.

I saw him take a light reading with a fancy light meter. But rather than putting the light meter besides something in the booth, he waived it around in the air.

What purpose does that serve?

Then he station his camera on a tripod and took a photograph, then then turned the dial on his canon camera one click, then took another photo, he repeated this process at least 15 times. Depending on his set-up, he was either changing the TV setting or the AV setting one stop at a time. He was not changing focal lengths. He was spinning the dial at the top right of his Canon camera using his finger, not his thumb for the dial on the back of the camera.

If you're shooting from 20 feet away, and you're shooting something 30x30, what setting would you be changing?

To me, it looked like he didn't know what he was doing, and therefore took a bunch of photos that in post processing are identical. I can't image that he was changing the dof with all the dial changing. He wasn't shooting one item in the booth, he was shooting the entire booth.

So the only thing left to change is the tv. But why change tv when shooting objects that aren't moving? Especially after you've done light readings as he did in the first part of this note?

I have never used a light meter, so I'm probably sounding pretty silly to those of you who know how to use one. You're welcome to knock me on my tailbone for being this harsh on something I know nothing about. But I'm willing to learn.

What's your take on what I saw?

FP
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Old Aug 18, 2011, 11:11 AM   #2
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I'm confused. There is absolutely no reason to "Wave" a light meter. Move it yes, to take readings from different areas, but wave it no. The multiple shots makes no sense either. Bracketing only requires 3 or 4 shots. Maybe he saw a bad youtube video about HDR.
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Old Aug 18, 2011, 1:21 PM   #3
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Wouldn't bracketing require him to move the lens, as in pointing it left (shoot) center (shoot) right (shoot)?

He wasn't changing anything except the dial he was turning.

I am also confused.

Unless......... could it be that he was charging whole bunch of money and wanted it to look like this photography thing is not for amateurs, therefore I can charge big bucks?
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Old Aug 18, 2011, 4:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FaithfulPastor View Post
Wouldn't bracketing require him to move the lens, as in pointing it left (shoot) center (shoot) right (shoot)?
I was referring to exposure bracketing. You shoot above and below the meter reading to see what looks the best OR you combined them for HDR

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Unless......... could it be that he was charging whole bunch of money and wanted it to look like this photography thing is not for amateurs, therefore I can charge big bucks?
Nothing would surprise me
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Old Aug 18, 2011, 10:55 PM   #5
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Are you sure he didn't move the camera? I have taken HDR panoramas that use pretty much the same technique. Five bracketed exposures done manually, repeated three times for the different viewing angles. If his lens was almost wide enough for the full shot, there would be very little camera movement.
Using an ambient light meter to check the exposure and then doing that much bracketing sounds like overkill to me, but for enough money.......

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Old Aug 19, 2011, 1:13 PM   #6
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Hey Vt, thanks for the followup question. I'm absolutely sure he was using his finger on the camera, not his thumb and finger on the lens. Also, if he was panning, on a tripod, he'd be moving the tripod's head by moving the handles on the tripod.

Given the wheel he was touching on a Canon, and as gently & quickly as he was touching it, if in TV mode, he was changing the fstop, or AV mode he was changing the dof. In manual mode, he would be changing fstop as well.
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Old Aug 19, 2011, 5:33 PM   #7
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G'day Mate
I'll have a go with this one ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by FaithfulPastor View Post
..... I saw him take a light reading with a fancy light meter. But rather than putting the light meter besides something in the booth, he waived it around in the air. What purpose does that serve?FP
If it had been me the metering would be to determine the light maximum & minimum at varying locations within the lens's field of view - and having established that I would determine a nominal / starting exposure combo of speed & aperture. Then I would have done some bracketing of [maybe] +/- 1/2EV & +/- 1EV to cover all bases ... ie about 1/2 dozen total exposures

Beyond that, any additional exposure [without knowing his precise task] would be overkill

Regards, Phil
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Old Aug 20, 2011, 7:01 AM   #8
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I agree with everyone... The photographer was doing HDR

Quote:
Originally Posted by FaithfulPastor View Post
I saw him take a light reading with a fancy light meter. But rather than putting the light meter besides something in the booth, he waived it around in the air.

What purpose does that serve?
-> He was taking incident readings of the all the lighting(s) falling into the booth which are more uniform than reflective readings from each individual objects which can vary with their brighness or reflectivity (like some shiny metal...)
Waving it around tells him how many f-stops the incoming lights are varying from the various angles


Quote:
To me, it looked like he didn't know what he was doing, and therefore took a bunch of photos that in post processing are identical. I can't image that he was changing the dof with all the dial changing. He wasn't shooting one item in the booth, he was shooting the entire booth.
Ah, but the photos are not identical: The photographer has obtained a full set of pictures from the darkest image (of the brightest object in the booth) to the brightest image (of the most close to black items in the booth), by changing the image exposures and then recombining them in Photoshop: http://photo.tutsplus.com/tutorials/...os-in-one-day/

-> Given that he was shooting the whole booth with a wide angle changing Tv or Av mode is inconsequential as pretty much everything will be in focus anyway. He's just making sure to get pay by doubling up the shots!!!
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Last edited by NHL; Aug 20, 2011 at 2:45 PM.
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Old Aug 20, 2011, 10:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FaithfulPastor View Post
Hey Vt, thanks for the followup question. I'm absolutely sure he was using his finger on the camera, not his thumb and finger on the lens. Also, if he was panning, on a tripod, he'd be moving the tripod's head by moving the handles on the tripod.

Given the wheel he was touching on a Canon, and as gently & quickly as he was touching it, if in TV mode, he was changing the fstop, or AV mode he was changing the dof. In manual mode, he would be changing fstop as well.
I'm not at all familiar with Canon cameras, but in some other lines, there is the ability to reassign the control wheel functions, with some models, so I would not try to guess what another photographer was doing without asking.

For panning, I tend to set the level and lock the tilt control, while leaving the pan control with very slight friction, allowing me to pan while holding the camera, and not the tripod controls. The movements are very small, and unless I was shooting a full 180degrees, you probably wouldn't notice any change in my position as I took a set.

Some believe that to get really good blending when shooting HDR, you need lots of exposures close together, so he may just have been going for a 5-stop range, and shooting at 1/3 stop intervals. Again, overkill to my way of thinking, but to each his own.

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