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

Friday 8th July 2011 – Clubnight

Davy Cooper and Mike  Knott were the first arrivals.   I got an opportunity to explain ISO to Mike and demonstrated its effect using my Sony Nex 5.

I must say that navigation through the Nikon menus is difficult and I had to seek some help from Alan and Gerry.  We left Mikes D90 setup with centre focus point active and suggested that he try shooting with Aperture Priority mode and change the f-stop and observe the results.

Mark Allen kindly conducted the critique on members photos tonight.   Judging by the buzz during the tea break, a wide range of topics was discussed.   Thanks to Christine and Helen for tea tonight.

Outside, there was a nice sunset and I demonstrated spot metering in manual mode to Helen.  This gave nice saturated sunset colours and dark silhouettes.   Maybe next meeting we will revisit this topic.

Apologies to Christine for not getting a chance to do some tutorials on Pictures to Exe, however I lent her a copy of Barry Beckham’s Tutorial. to work through.