by Dave Montizambert Published 01/10/2014
The image for this article is from a workshop I gave in California with model, Tiffany Sellers, see Image 001 and for the lighting set-up see Diagram 002. During the numerous shoots of the day, lipstick became in short supply and so Tiffany, being the ever resourceful person she is, presented a wonderful solution from her purse - a roll of Barbie™ duct tape. So the shot became less about beauty and more political as you can see from this image. At any rate, enough preamble let's get on with Part Two of 'More Basic' and as mentioned in Part One, we will be concentrating on apertures and not shutter speeds and ISO settings, so let's assume that everything discussed below is at 1/125th of a second at 100 ISO.
As mentioned in my last article 'More Basic Part 1' (August/Sept issue of Professional Imagemaker), you can, without any understanding of what is going on, get decent exposures most of the time working with your camera set to auto. With this in mind and with the best intentions, many in-the-know trainers preach that we should shoot in manual mode so we might develop some control and awareness. I always use manual mode and preach to others to do the same, but I should point out that using manual mode doesn't necessarily make us better photographers since you can still get decent exposures most of the time without any thought or knowledge by mindlessly rotating the aperture dial in manual mode until the exposure cursor sits over the middle point of the camera's internal exposure scale. This mindless way of finding suitable exposures falls short when photographers learn lighting - creating with light involves lighting ratios and so one needs to take many exposure readings, constantly comparing and adjusting. This kind of work is best done with a hand-held incident/reflective light meter. To work with these meters you do need to think and you do need to understand - there is no 'auto'.
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