How To Get Perfect Exposures In One Shot

Photography - 101 Understanding Exposure
6 minutes
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All right, I've been talking all day you guys are gonna have to forgive me but it's time for perfect exposures in one shot. Now what we're going to do is I flipped over to spot metering on my camera. So I want you guys to do the same thing. Let's go ahead and make sure actually we're in spot metering mode. Now we have done several examples of spot metering. We're doing it throughout the course basically spot metering on our models skin to get the perfect skin tones in one try.

That's great and all but we can actually use spot metering for well anything. Let's say for example, I wanted to get a perfect exposure of this dirt. Sorry, Whitney, I'm gonna shoot the dirt. Okay, I'm gonna go over here. We're gonna do is I'm going to right now ISO 100. And it's telling me that I'm underexposed.

So with a spotlight, I'm just gonna bring it down. I'm going to go all the way down to one 400 a second. Look at that perfect dirt in one shot. What about the grass and go over here? One 200 of a second. Perfect grass in one shot.

We can use a smart meter for anything I'm being serious right now let's say we want to get a meter on the sky. Like, what if I want to light this scene with flash, but I don't want the sky to be blown out? Well, I can go ahead and I can meter directly on the sky up there. And I can go ahead and bring this down to like one 4,000th of a second, which is telling me that's what I need to be at f2 to not blow up the sky. Now let's go ahead and take that shot. And there we go, we have the tree that's kind of dark, we have the sky that's perfectly exposed, I can even place it directly over the tree.

So let's say we put it over the tree. Now it's telling me to go back up to like one 400 of a second, I'm going to bring it up. Actually, we're going up to the top of the tree. So now it's at one 800 for one 1,000th of a second. Alright, so there we go, that's at the top of the tree. And now the tree is correctly exposed where we metered it.

Spot metering is beautiful because it only reads that tiny three to 5% amount of the screen and it gives you that reading. So it's great for getting a reading on anything, particularly when we want to basically add light to a scene and basically keep the background exposure the way it is or if we want to expose the scene, however we need to and for this scene I actually want to expose for Whitney skin. Alright, so let's go ahead I'm gonna have Whitney turned towards me and Whitney. I'm gonna A meter off of your I don't know why I'm explaining to it. I'm gonna meter off of Whitney skin. She doesn't care what I'm gonna do as long as I get good pictures right?

That's all it matters. She doesn't care about that either. She's like whatever. Okay, so I'm on metering I'm I'm on my spot me remote. I'm gonna go ahead and just get right under her skin. In a physical sense, not literal sense.

I'm not gonna try and annoy you to death. My voice might annoy you to death right now because it's very raspy. Alright, this sound like I could do an r&b record right now. No. Honest, brutally honest. That's right.

Okay. Even when they have like really deep bass like okay, okay. All right. So right now I'm at one 60th of a second. It's too fast. Okay, so I need to slow it down.

It's given me about one to two stops underexposed. So I'm going to go ahead and just bring it down and I want to be one stop overexposed because she does have fair olive skin. It's fairly fair. Okay. If you have a model that has darker skin, don't be surprised if it's going to be a little bit underexposed. When you meet her.

It's okay. It just depends on the skin tones. All right, so let's go ahead and at one 400 seconds about where I want it. So I'm just gonna go back up real quick, just take a quick shot, make sure we're good. And a solid, we got the right skin tone at one quarter of a second, four hundredths of a second f2 and ISO 100. Now we're ready to have you hop into the scene.

Okay, so, I'm gonna help you out. We're going to do is I'm going to shoot this so that these branches are kind of curving over at f2 it's gonna look really beautiful, kind of blurring the backgrounds gonna have a really nice look. We have a proper one yet because again, it creates a little bit of well space between the legs. We don't want the leg to look like they're just one piece want to crease space there and it also creates a little triangle in the shot, which is really nice. her arm is doing the same thing actually and adds a lot of interest. triangles are a compositional piece.

That looks great. Okay, so let's shoot our shot. Perfect. I'm using that AF point that's really close to her, and then recomposing if I need, I'm going to take a quick reading and just look at My exposure settings, it looks like I really don't have much of the background blown out. So what I might do here is just, I'm going to drop it down one setting, I'm gonna go to one, three 20th of a second. And when you look over to this side a little more, so we get more profile more and more more, turn the chin more, and bring the chin down, look down, there you go.

Give me a little smile. So hopefully this helps you all out. I want you all to realize that with the spot meter and your camera and with the internal light meter, it will help you to get that perfect exposure on the first try every single time regardless of what you're shooting. Just remember, like we talked about before, when you're using the spot meter do not use assisted or automated modes, because it's going to create all sorts of funky exposures depending on wherever that spot meter is. So in assisted or automated modes, we recommend sticking to center weighted average or an averaging type of exposure or metering mode. When you're shooting in manual well we love spot meter because it gets us the perfect shot every single time.

See there. Now see there. Get a couple more shots. There you go. I love that elbow on the side. That's perfect.

Turn that chin towards that side. There you go. Give me a little bit of airplay with a left hand. Okay, same thing bringing the hand down to the necklace. There you go. Turn up a little bit.

Eyes at me. Perfect. They'll play one more time. Again, kind of bring the hand to the necklace. Look out towards the guys over there. There you go.

Eyes at me. Center up the necklace on the chest and then just bring the hand into it a little bit. There you go right there. Turn the chin out towards the light. There you go. hand on the necklace.

Right there. Hold on. Give me a full smile. Give me your laugh. There you go. Perfect.

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