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Subject: "Metering with Lens Filter Oddity" Previous topic | Next topic
Bravozulu Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jun 2012Thu 04-Oct-12 02:21 AM
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"Metering with Lens Filter Oddity"
Thu 04-Oct-12 02:22 AM by Bravozulu

Los Angeles, US
          

A few minutes after taking the image of the white, '58 Corvette, a white '56 Thunderbird pulled in about 40 feet away. About that time, I installed the polarizing filter on my 16-85mm lens and shot some pictures of the T-Bird.

They were so bad, I discarded them. I wondered about the difference and did some research. Thom Hogan's book on the D7000 explains that the metering should be changed to Spot. Because shooting with Matrix confuses the computer. It tries to compare the current view with the 30,000 image database, but the filter mixes up reading.

Matrix metering shifted the Histogram off to the left. And car looked dull compared to the same color Corvette.

It was my first use of a polarizer and never anticipated the complication.

Just an FYI for you folks. I would appreciate more info on this matter, and decided more would see it here on the D7000 forum than in the Filter forum.

Here's the Corvette -

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ShrimpBoy Silver Member
04th Oct 2012
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dbuckenmyer Silver Member
13th Oct 2012
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km6xz Moderator
13th Oct 2012
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Bravozulu Silver Member
13th Oct 2012
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MotoMannequin Moderator
13th Oct 2012
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13th Oct 2012
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Bravozulu Silver Member
13th Oct 2012
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PeterBeckett Gold Member
13th Oct 2012
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15th Oct 2012
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blw Moderator
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ShrimpBoy Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Jan 2006Thu 04-Oct-12 03:39 AM
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#1. "RE: Metering with Lens Filter Oddity"
In response to Reply # 0


Brighton and Hove, GB
          

I've found the same thing with metering on various lenses with a polarizer. Now I'm trying to use center-weighted mode, metering off either a nice blue sky or a decent patch of grass. The results are still a bit hit-and-miss, but usually within tolerable limits for adjustment in Lightroom.

Gary
"Yea, Sussex by the sea!" - Rudyard Kipling

  

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dbuckenmyer Silver Member Nikonian since 23rd Feb 2009Sat 13-Oct-12 01:51 AM
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#2. "RE: Metering with Lens Filter Oddity"
In response to Reply # 0


Jackson, US
          


dbuckenmyer

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I found out the same thing today with mine. Everything I metered with the filter on was way off, but taking the meter off helped. Changed it to spot and that made it much closer to correct on the histogram.

  

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km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009Sat 13-Oct-12 07:40 AM
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#3. "RE: Metering with Lens Filter Oddity"
In response to Reply # 2


St Petersburg, RU
          

Spot with CPL filters: Check
Dominate high tone: intentionally overexpose. Check
The amount of reflected light attenuation is based on the relative angle of path and surfaces at different distances reflect light at a different angles so one surface might have a dramatic reflection reduction and a more distant surface would have little effect if the CPL is adjusted for the first surface's angle angle of reflection. Whether both surfaces contribute to the metering calculation, one having a lot of reflected light attenuated and the other with very little, the metering will be fooled into thinking a higher average level of light exists in the scene.
The CPL is most effective with the sun coming from your back at a fairly low angle, 30-40 degrees.
Another consideration in a photo with a bright white car or white wedding dress or snow, which dominate the framing, the meter thinks it is doing its job by exposing to middle grey. To get the car really white, you have to trick metering into overexposing above its assumed middle grey tone. Add some exposure compensation, say 1.5 stops or even 2 to turn the white car into a white instead of dull grey car. Same with a bright dress or field of fresh snow.
When dealing with metering, it helps to think like a metering sensor and visualize what is sees, as opposed to what you see, because you and it have different goals. Then you can anticipate what impact a dominate color or tone will have on metering and compensate without a lot of trial and error.
Just like metering assumes middle grey is the goal(usually it is), a all matte black car would not look black, but instead metering thinks you expect it to be grey so over exposes to make that happen. Dial in negative exposure compensation and trick the meter into giving you a black car. Same with skin tones, slight exposure compensation based on pigment yeild desired results. A dark skinned person will look unnaturally pale if the meter has its way, so under expose for more realistic natural skin color. A pasty white face can look dull and lifeless if the meter thinks it would be darker to get to middle grey so add some positive compensation to get a more flattering natural skin tone.
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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Bravozulu Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jun 2012Sat 13-Oct-12 01:19 PM
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#4. "RE: Metering with Lens Filter Oddity"
In response to Reply # 3


Los Angeles, US
          

The result I got would be hard to describe. I immediately erase images that are bad, so I don't accumulate files. Sorry, I wish I could have shown them here.

The paint finish was glossy, while my photos looked they were shot on a gray, cloudy day. And the paint looked sandblasted. And formless. It was that bad. And it was certainly more than just underexposure.

The car was facing South. The sun was off the left in the West. I've really only used polarizing filters to darken the sky and reveal clouds, or to remove glare from a plate glass store window. And that was 3 decades ago. I'll certainly be more cautious next time.

I think a 2x ND filter would have given me the effect I wanted.

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MotoMannequin Moderator Awarded for his extraordinary skills in landscape and wildlife photography Nikonian since 11th Jan 2006Sat 13-Oct-12 05:09 PM
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#6. "RE: Metering with Lens Filter Oddity"
In response to Reply # 3


Livermore, CA, US
          

Stan raises another important point to remember:

>Spot meter ... Dominate high tone ... intentionally overexpose.

Remember the spot meter works with the assumption that you're metering off a mid-tone and would have adjusted exposure of a white car so it appeared middle gray. You'd need ballpark +2 stops exposure comp to not underexpose a white car. It's important to remember that no metering mode is a silver bullet, and spot metering in particular needs some thought to make it work.

On matrix metering with a C-PL, I've always been aware that this is not a recommended combo, but in my predominantly landscape shooting, it has never caused me a problem. With that kind of slow-moving subject, however, I'm pretty mental about checking the histogram and making minor tweaks to be sure I'm "exposed to the right".

Larry - a Bay Area Nikonian
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PeterBeckett Gold Member Nikonian since 04th Jan 2010Sat 13-Oct-12 04:32 PM
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#5. "RE: Metering with Lens Filter Oddity"
In response to Reply # 0


San Jose, US
          

Hi Gary,
Metering with a HH meter measuring incident light, then making the appropriate adjustments for whatever filter(s) may be in use, eliminates such problems...

Although Nikon's in-camera metering can yield excellent exposure when used with adjustments for filters and the particular scene, I don't believe there is anything that can rival incident readings for accuracy and speed!

Pete

  

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Bravozulu Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jun 2012Sat 13-Oct-12 06:40 PM
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#7. "RE: Metering with Lens Filter Oddity"
In response to Reply # 5


Los Angeles, US
          

Pete, I was trying to be modern. To leave my film memories at home. Along with my digital Minolta Autometer.

After all, I was holding a D7000 Nikon in my hands. The all time Swiss Army Knife of optical gadgets.

Six months into DSLR ownership, the unforgiving realities of HDR, limited exposure latitude and certain digital quirks are slowly revealing themselves to me. I thought a polarizing filter was a relatively harmless accessory.

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PeterBeckett Gold Member Nikonian since 04th Jan 2010Sat 13-Oct-12 07:16 PM
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#8. "RE: Metering with Lens Filter Oddity"
In response to Reply # 7


San Jose, US
          

LOL!

I well remember my Weston Master IV - it served me very well for many years, together with my Pentax Spot meter. However, my Sekonic L758-DR is even better than both of 'em...

All the best,

Pete

  

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Bravozulu Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jun 2012Mon 15-Oct-12 01:24 AM
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#9. "RE: Metering with Lens Filter Oddity"
In response to Reply # 8
Mon 15-Oct-12 01:27 AM by Bravozulu

Los Angeles, US
          

I'm the OP on this thread. I just found 2 jpeg versions of the images I discarded. And they show the dull, underexposed nature of the files. Caused by attaching a CP filter to my 16-85mm lens.

If you'll look the first image in this thread, showing a white Corvette, the 2 photos here of a 56 Thunderbird were shot in the same light and at same Aperture setting. The Histogram was moved to left of center, with a spike (the bright chrome) at the extreme right edge.

As I remember the day, the paint jobs on both the Corvette and Thunderbird were awfully good, showing high gloss.



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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Mon 15-Oct-12 08:08 AM
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#10. "RE: Metering with Lens Filter Oddity"
In response to Reply # 9


Richmond, US
          

I don't think that's particularly a matter of the CP. You can get those even without the CP, and in fact I have done so moderately often. This looks to me as if it's simply the meter being fooled. It is trying to make everything 18% grey, and particularly in #1, with the field of view dominated by white, it's going to end up underexposed. This is the same problem as shooting in brilliant snow - only a couple of the more recent matrix meters have been adapted to get that correctly.

Moreover, these are not so bad as to be unsalvageable. Just pop them into your favorite post processing and either one of them will be sorted in less than a minute.

Note that #2 probably has about as much exposure as the scene can take without blowing out the highlights. You're more worried about the shadows, which can be lifted. If you expose for the shadows, you will almost certainly blow out the front of the car. Judging by the grass, this exposure is almost optimal. #1 is definitely underexposed.

Edit: I popped #1 into Photoshop and quickly discovered that if I raised the exposure on the main image by about a stop, much of the white comes back to where you probably want it. On the other hand, before I got more than about a third of a stop up, the grill edge and some of the white paint started to blow out. By the full 1 stop up, a fair proportion of the hood is blown out. Here it is up one stop:



This is a tough situation. I could probably do better in Lightroom but I don't have time at the moment.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

Attachment #1, (jpg file)

  

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dbuckenmyer Silver Member Nikonian since 23rd Feb 2009Mon 15-Oct-12 12:27 PM
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#11. "RE: Metering with Lens Filter Oddity"
In response to Reply # 10


Jackson, US
          


dbuckenmyer

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I didnt see it mentioned here and I am sure you adjusted for it, but you said that the aperture stayed the same so I just wanted to clarify that you did slow your shutter speed since the polarizer will cut one to two stops of light. If you were shooting in Manual mode you would have had to change it yourself, if in Aperture mode, obviously it would have adjusted itself. Sorry if all of this is mute, but just a thought.

Dan

  

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Bravozulu Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jun 2012Mon 15-Oct-12 04:26 PM
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#12. "RE: Metering with Lens Filter Oddity"
In response to Reply # 11
Mon 15-Oct-12 04:29 PM by Bravozulu

Los Angeles, US
          

Your answers are the reason I posted this stuff. Here's a few of the puzzling details:


a) compared to the Corvette, why did the T-Bird look so dull? Same exposure mode (AP). Same subject mattter and lighting and tonal values? The Corvette images yielded a creamy texture. With depth. Perhaps I should post more of those to illustrate the gap in quality.

b) No change in camera settings. Only the addition of the CP filter.

c) I have never used computer software for PP. I'm new at this. Waiting for the availability of an Intel iMac to discard my G4 Mac.

d) The photos I discarded were worse than the ones that slipped by me. Could that be because they were NEF and contained more detail? I tend not to accumulate trivia, so I thought no PP would redeem them and relieved my hard drive of some fluff

e) for the life of me, I can't explain what I was hoping to gain by using a polarizer. It obviously provided no advantage.

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km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009Mon 15-Oct-12 05:05 PM
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#13. "RE: Metering with Lens Filter Oddity"
In response to Reply # 12


St Petersburg, RU
          

Did the CPL cut the glare at some setting? Were you using it for saturating the sky more, or cutting the reflections from the chrome work?
The T-stop of a lens with a CPL jumps a lot but does not change the DOF like increasing F-stop. So ISO goes up or shutter gets longer for the same exposure. At least 2 stops difference. At some point, of maximum attenuation of some angle of reflected light several stops of attenuation can occur of the reflected light if you are adjusting while looking at those hot spots. If you were adjusting for sky, the CPL would probably not help the strong glare from the grill. The reason I asked if it made a difference, the grill on the Bird is almost clipping highs even with the underexposure of the rest of scene. That is being metered and dropping shutter speed(you mentioned AP mode)so the whole scene is underexposed except the very bright grill hot spot.
Noticing the hot spots and tending to them with either adjusting the CPL for a few stops of selective attenuation or moving to be off axis of the reflection would have brought your overall scene exposure back up. So assuming no major hot spots to fool the meter, you still need to add some positive EC to get white paint white.
Shooting under blue skies mid-day is tough, lots of reflections, harsh shadows, etc.
Did you had A-D-lighting on?
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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Bravozulu Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jun 2012Mon 15-Oct-12 05:40 PM
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#14. "RE: Metering with Lens Filter Oddity"
In response to Reply # 13
Mon 15-Oct-12 07:46 PM by Bravozulu

Los Angeles, US
          

Excuse my lack of understanding. I don't know what T-stop means, and I am only guessing at CPl lens. Would that include a "G" rated lens?

Thinking back to that day of shooting, I guess I assumed "metal object + high sun = glare. That's why I put the polarizing filter on. Of course the metal had many curved surfaces. So the the polarizer at any particular setting would only minimizes a fraction of those.

On a straight sided car, such as an older Rolls Royce with those long, flat doors, I could expect to gain something.

You have probably heard that relatively new saying: To man holding a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

I spent $100 on a new B+W polarizer and wanted to use it. Here are the EXIF files of the T-Bird and Corvette.


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MotoMannequin Moderator Awarded for his extraordinary skills in landscape and wildlife photography Nikonian since 11th Jan 2006Mon 15-Oct-12 08:58 PM
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#15. "RE: Metering with Lens Filter Oddity"
In response to Reply # 14
Mon 15-Oct-12 09:01 PM by MotoMannequin

Livermore, CA, US
          

>Excuse my lack of understanding. I don't know what T-stop
>means, and I am only guessing at CPl lens. Would that include
>a "G" rated lens?

The more commonly referred to "F stop" is a measure of the size of the entrance pupil, and controls DOF as well as providing a theoretical measure of how much light the lens will pass to the camera.

A "T stop" is the actual measure of how much light a lens passes to the camera. This is generally a little bit lower than the theoretical "F stop" because there is always some light lost due to scattering at every air-glass surface.

Generally we don't worry about T-stop because it's automatically accounted for by our use of through-the-lens (TTL) metering. If you use an external light meter, you might need to compensate for cases where the lens' T-stop doesn't match the F-stop setting you enter into the light meter.

In the case Stan is referring to, addition of a non-clear filter like your C-PL will reduce the amount of light the lens is actually transmitting (the T-stop) without changing the F-stop. If using an external meter you would need to account for this loss. The camera's internal TTL meter should account for it automatically, unless you do something to bypass or otherwise ignore the meter.

I think what Stan is saying is that the polarizer will cause glare to be cut at uneven levels depending on the angle of the reflecting surface, i.e. it will have dulled some areas of the car and had less effect on others, so if you expose to protect highlights, you end up with other areas underexposed.

Larry - a Bay Area Nikonian
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Bravozulu Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jun 2012Tue 16-Oct-12 01:23 AM
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#16. "RE: Metering with Lens Filter Oddity"
In response to Reply # 15


Los Angeles, US
          

I'm giving up. I can't post the two screenshots of the EXIF file. If anyone cares, they are in my Gallery, under Car Show. User name is Bravozulu.

Too many technological hurdles for me, it seems.

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MotoMannequin Moderator Awarded for his extraordinary skills in landscape and wildlife photography Nikonian since 11th Jan 2006Tue 16-Oct-12 06:51 AM
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#17. "RE: Metering with Lens Filter Oddity"
In response to Reply # 16


Livermore, CA, US
          

Corvette shot:
12-24 @ 14mm f/22 1/60" ISO 400 (shutter priority/matrix meter)

T-bird shot:
16-85 @ 26mm f/11 1/500" ISO 400 (program mode/matrix meter)

Overall exposure is 1 stop lower for the t-bird shot (f/22->f/11 = +2 stops, 1/60->1/500 = -3 stops, so total 1 stop less). You'd expect with the C-PL that you'd need something like an extra 1.5-2.0 stops to overcome the loss of light, so your exposure in total is going to be off something like 2.5-3.0 full stops on the t-bird shot.

There's plenty to recommend about your settings. In general I'd recommend shooting at base ISO in bright sunlight, and opening up the aperture considerably (f/8 is plenty for this kind of shot, or even larger if you want greater subject isolation), and in general to keep an eye on the histogram to be sure exposure is ok especially with a white subject which is notoriously difficult to expose correctly.

As far as the matrix meter's performance, it looks it failed here, but I'm afraid your AF settings (AF-A/dynamic 3D) throw a wrench into the works. We do know that (right or wrong) the matrix meter will vary exposure based on what's under the active AF bracket. You might get better consistency if you take control over the AF system (it's questionable why you'd use these settings for a stationary object). I don't believe this should be able to explain away a 3-stop fail but when you're dealing with areas of bright white close to dark tones, any metering mode can be thrown off.

Larry - a Bay Area Nikonian
My Nikonians gallery

www.tempered-light.com

  

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Bravozulu Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jun 2012Tue 16-Oct-12 08:32 PM
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#18. "RE: Metering with Lens Filter Oddity"
In response to Reply # 17


Los Angeles, US
          

Thanks. I've written down all the pointers here. I plead "Guilty - as accused"

And excuse my frustration when trying to post the EXIF files. Too much technology coming at me too fast.

I'm a bit surprised and disappointed with P mode shooting and with the unintended consequences of AF-A focus. I chose those modes because of the automation they provide.

And the shift from Shutter Priority to Program is the consequence of being out in bright sunlight. I simply couldn't read the Control Panel or the LCD. And I'm not in the habit of scrutinizing the viewfinder for camera data. Just for framing.

It's good that the EXIF sort of throws at you "the footprints in the sand." The missteps are clear.

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Wed 17-Oct-12 10:38 AM
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#19. "RE: Metering with Lens Filter Oddity"
In response to Reply # 18


Richmond, US
          

Additionally, you will notice that one of the shots has more white area than the other - the matrix (Canon = evaluative) meter responds differently to the amount of area. Considering that the matrix is also biased by the AF target (on the presumption that whatever is in focus is probably the most important part of the scene), you really have little idea of what the meter is doing without some experience.

You would have had similar trouble if the cars had been all black - although in that case the reverse would have happened, you'd have gotten overall overexposure, but for largely the same reason.

Note that polarizers have no effect on reflections off of metal. Whether or not the paint jobs count "as metal" may depend on how much metallic content they have. These don't appear to be metallic, so the painted surfaces may have been polarized, but of course the chrome isn't going to be affected.

> I'm a bit surprised and disappointed with P mode shooting and with the unintended consequences of AF-A focus. I chose those modes because of the automation they provide.

As you are discovering, AF and metering are both pretty complex things. As soon as you give up control to the automation, you have to understand what the automation is doing. For this reason I almost never use most of the more advanced modes on the camera, because I just don't have the experience to know what they're going to do with any precision. If I really need to be sure of the result, I usually go back to spot metering, manual exposure, and at most single-point AF.

> I'm not in the habit of scrutinizing the viewfinder for camera data. Just for framing.

My advice is to start getting into that habit. Knowing what the camera is doing or about to do is very valuable info. It just takes some time and effort - and that starts with knowing why it's important.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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