Properly Exposed: Using Your Camera Meters (Camera Lesson 28)
Summary: Ryan shows you how to use your exposure tools and covers two tough exposure situations.
Length: 9:29 minutes
So now that you have determined what you want your image to look like using the exposure triangle, how do you use your exposure tools to know that you have a properly exposed image? Well, in this video I’ll show you how to do just that.
From the exposure tools that you have at your disposal, the best option is to use your waveform or your false color, or to use your zebras along with your waveform, and then finally the histogram. However using the histogram is bad news in my opinion as it leads to sloppy camera work. But I’ll get into that in the next video.
In my opinion waveforms are the best in-camera tool to use because they show exactly what exposure level everything is falling at in the scene. As a general rule you want mid-tone to fall at 50 IRE when it is being lit by the key light, which is the main light in your scene. If you’re not sure what mid-tone is, you can pick up a gray card, something like this. It runs about $20 for a set of two from Filmtools, B&H, or Amazon.
Another tool I highly recommend getting is the DSC Labs One Shot chart. On one side it has a grey card and on the other side it has a color chart which comes in very handy for color grading. But at $300 this chart is a little bit more spendy.
If you use a gray card to help you expose you will want to place the card in the key light. The card should fall at the 50 IRE line when it is properly exposed.
Caucasian skin should fall around 60 – 70 IRE, with highlights somewhere around 80 or so. This of course is going to depend on your own preferences, as some people like these highlights to fall closer to 70 IRE. Darker skin should fall somewhere around 40 – 50. And as you expose your image any important information that you want to see…