Wednesday 13th July 2011 – Clubnight

Tonight as promised, the subject for discussion and help was Spot Metering and applying the Zone System concept to getting improved exposures, particularly under extreme lighting conditions.

Before the main body of members assembled, I had a chat with Harry Watson and agreed that re-showing the 45 minute video was too heavy on a night such as this.  When we had enough gathered I took the group outside the clubroom to the other pavement of Ward avenue and looked back at our clubroom.   Here were all the tonal elements I needed to give a practical demonstration.

With the group assembled, all were asked to set their camera on to manual mode and spot metering, if not available, then centre weighted metering.

An explanation was given about the five zones from Zone 3 to  Zone 7 and Zone 5 representing average tone.  In the view was a red car, green grass to the side if the clubhouse, near white walls of the building and light blue of a cloudless sky.   The car and grass represented the zone 5 elements, sky as zone 6 and walls, zone 7.  A dark blue car represented zone 4.

The group was asked to zoom right in to the panel of the red car and adjust either the shutter speed or aperture until the needle was positioned on the zero point of the scale.   Then zooming to the white part of the wall, confirmed that the needle was sitting STEADY on +2 position.   Zero was confirmed again by pointing at the green grass and finally, +1 while pointing at the lower level of the sky.   Only then did they take the shot.    I examined the histograms of each and none had spikes at either the white of black end.   They all looked as good exposures.

Back inside I briefly showed the zone colour chart on a pdf (see link below).  Without reading through the 32 page document I pointed out how skin colour was evaluated under the system.   Mark Allen ably assisted in the explanations, especially their relevance to exposure compensation.

After tea, we viewed the contents of several memory sticks and replayed Kevin’s fireworks photos especially for Shirley.

We let our session extend on until 10.30.

Understanding & Using Ansel Adam’s Zone System