Day 64: Metering Misunderstandings.

I am a noodle! 

I have finally had an aha moment, but it has left me feeling like a total noodle. For 63 days I have been thinking that metering and focusing were done at the same time. I was focusing on something, usually the eyes, and then choosing my settings based on the meter reading. I now believe that this is totally wrong. I think that you are supposed to hover the centre spot on something like the skin and then adjust your settings to get the meter close to 0. Once you have satisfied yourself that you have good exposure then you merrily snap away without touching the settings again, unless the light changes. Honestly! I practically have blisters on my index finger from twisting that little dial to adjust the settings for every single photo. To make things worse, I was most likely metering off a pupil or eyebrow which would always lead to poorly exposed pictures. I was wondering why that meter jumped about so much! I have posted a question on Clinkin Moms to clarify my thinking on this, but I think that I am on the right track now. 

Noodle!

I shot these two before I had my ah-ha moment... Fiddling, fiddling, fiddling with that dial!

f/2.8; 1/200; ISO 1600

f/3.2; 1/320; ISO 1600
Then I was playing around with this little guy, trying to figure out the exposure with strong back light issue when it finally clicked. I noticed that the meter went from one end of the scale to the other depending on where I rested the middle spot. These mini projects are so very useful. 

f/2.8; 1/400; ISO 200
After my liberating insight I settled down with Rexy for a few shots. He was jumping and twisting about a lot so I chose an aperture that I thought (incorrectly) would capture a wide area and a high shutter speed and let him rip. I also put it on continuous shooting, but it was very slow. I then remembered that I put it on a compensate for high ISOs settings, which slows things down a little. 

f/5.6; 1/250; ISO 3200

f/5.6; 1/250; ISO 3200

f/5.6; 1/250; ISO 3200

I also spent some time reading about lenses today. It's still so overwhelming. I now want to upgrade my "nifty fifty" to an f/1.4.

I forgot to mention that I was telling someone at work about my interest in photography and she told me that she used to date a famous photographer named Giles Duley.He started out as a fashion photographer but now focuses on humanitarian projects. He travels to countries torn apart by conflict to record the everyday stories of the people who live there. His photos are truly inspirational to me and have made me realise why I love portraits so much. I adore how his pictures give a brief but powerful insight into his subjects personality and the lives they have. Some of them move me to tears. My colleague didn't mention that Giles lost three of his limbs after he stepped on a landmine in Afghanistan. He continues to work and has re-framed his loss as an opotrunity to connect more with the people he photographs. I would love to work with organisations like UNISEF or the Red Cross, but am fearful of the risks involved. This man has gained my respect on so many levels. 

You can see the work of Giles Duley here



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