An interesting and alternative method of spotmetering
To all Nikonians:
I am an avid Nikon equipment user period. I use the F5, F100 - have used the N90, N8008 - and now have the D100. I can't get enough of that gear.
It's nice to have alot of options in metering, but folks I gotta tell you about an alternative system of metering using the spot meter of your camera, that perhaps, many of you have not been privy to. It basically involves you taking a step back in automation, meaning that you must use your spot meter, set your camera to manual exposure, and for many shots, elect to use your manual focus! Many of you might be aghast by now, but please read on.
If you've never heard about an accomplished outdoor photographer by the name of Charles Campbell, you should point your browser to his web site at:
Chromazine takes the practice of spotmetering to an entirely new level. After much research and empirical evidence, Charles has devised a system of metering - using only the spot meter and the manual functions of a camera - and assigned exposure values and compensation for specific colors. The aim is to allow for perfect -or as near perfect as can be given the medium - photography. For the most part, it takes the guess and "hope" out of photography - particularly in outdoor nature, scenic, and wildlife photography.
And no, it's not a rip off of the zone system for black and white photography first devised by Ansel Adams. On Charle's website he goes on to make the comparisons, and then discusses the limitations of the black and white zone system. He is not trying to "rip off" an already established system - which was confined to black and white photography. I believe he addresses it on his web site. If not, I know he does in his material that is sent to you. What Charles has done is to study the effects of various colors on exposure, and assigns exposure compensation values to them. He has done much research on the subject and has lots of empirical evidence to support that work.
Charles conducts a series of field seminars in various western States year round, but he also sells his Chromazone method of metering through the mail. I believe it's $69.95 or something close. Anyway, after 35 years of outdoor and nature photography, I have embraced this system of metering and have found it be almost foolproof because it involves you making the decisions...not your camera.
I now use the chromazone method of metering exclusively and only use Matrix in scenarios where speed is of the essence. The system is primarily designed for nature and outdoor photography.
I've since turned on many other serious local photo enthusiasts to his methods and they've become believers also.
So if you like using Spot Metering, check out his web site. Read what he has to say and you will be intrigued. The big thing is having a camera that gives you a manual capability option - which all Nikon AF cameras do for the most part, the ability to turn off auto-focus, and a spot meter - which is the biggest key of them all.
I know, I know...I was kind of verbose here. But that just goes to show you how enthusiastic I am about Charles Campbell's Chromazone methods. And noooo, I am not pushing his products, nor am I affiliated with his operation. I just know a good thing when I see it, have tried it, and eventually use it almost exclusively. And hey, all of us Nikonians are constantly trying to upgrade our methods and knowledge, aren't we!!
#2. "RE: A newer and unique way of metering with cameras" | In response to Reply # 1Wed 18-Sep-02 11:16 PM
Not Quite DG:
Drumming up business for my friend...! Quick to jump to conclusions aren't you my friend.
I don't even personally know the man. I believe he lives in Oregon or Colorado. I live in North Carolina. All I know is that this forum is for exchanging knowledge, ideas, and recommendations. That's what I have done by talking about this method of metering.
Matrix metering is fine, but then don't cringe when you get into metering situations where matrix is completely fooled and your exposures leave alot to be desired. I tried his method over a year ago and found it to work fine; it actually becomes addictive once you've developed this technique. Kind of like wanting to leave your auto-cruise control on all of the time in your vehicle, except there are times where you have to intervene because driving conditions aren't ideal for automation.
Fine enough to have sold numerous post cards and various nature photographs to various municipalities, and I've never previously did photography for compensation.
#3. "RE: A newer and unique way of metering with cameras" | In response to Reply # 2f5fstop Basic MemberWed 18-Sep-02 11:40 PM
"Kind of like wanting to leave your auto-cruise control on all of the time in your vehicle, except there are times where you have to intervene because driving conditions aren't ideal for automation."
Same reason the camera comes equipped with a switch to change from Matrix to center to spot metering.
"Fine enough to have sold numerous post cards and various nature photographs to various municipalities, and I've never previously did photography for compensation."
And no one has done the same using the Matrix, Center or spot metering that is part of the camera's metering system? You have never done this for compensation before, yet you have six tripods and 12 heads?
Have to agree with David G, looks like a sales pitch.
"Take only photographs, leave only footprints"
#4. "RE: A newer and unique way of metering with cameras" | In response to Reply # 3Wed 18-Sep-02 11:46 PM
Of course when you place the switch on just "spot," it then measures a small area, using the 18% gray reference. Spot is fine, but what Chromazone does it take spot metering to a new level.
Unless you are spot metering on a neutral subject you can still wind up with a poor exposure. Again, chromazone is another tool to use for achieving those hard to capture images in less than ideal lighting outdoors.
As for equipment, I purchase what I can. I work in a parks system - that is my career, and nature photography is a strong hobby. I suppose I could sell most of my gear to become a little more believable to you...hmmmm.
#5. "RE: A newer and unique way of metering with cameras" | In response to Reply # 4f5fstop Basic MemberWed 18-Sep-02 11:56 PM
No need to throw the sales pitch at me, or even sell any of your equipment. However, I do believe this is against the Terms of the Nikonian site.
"Take only photographs, leave only footprints"
#11. "RE: A newer and unique way of metering with cameras" | In response to Reply # 9lstavast Registered since 01st Jan 2003Thu 19-Sep-02 02:28 AM
Has anyone else got the materials and used this method ?
I know some people have bought and recommended Shaw's books which cover similar techniques as part of their content. How does this method vary from his and other zone-system-ish-integrated-with-color treatments? I see matrix as a pretty good exposure system and do less spot metering than I used to, but am open to fixing the occasional blown exposure
(not speaking as a moderator... to the poster - too elegantly written and easy to mistake as a pitch if you honestly didn't intend it as such....)
Check my weekly display at www.stavast.org !
#13. "RE: A newer and unique way of metering with cameras" | In response to Reply # 11Ed Basic MemberThu 19-Sep-02 03:04 AM
Lyle, I took a peek at the aforementioned link. From the meager tutorial on the site, it "seems" to be very similar to the John Shaw school of spot metering. Campbell's 5 color zones "seem" to match exactly what Shaw has written in his many books. Campbell's reasoning for choosing 5 color zones "seems" to coincide with Shaw's reasoning (i.e. film's latitude is generally 5 stops from the blackest black to the whitest white, with 18% gray in the middle...).
The only person who can tell us for sure if it's any different from John Shaw is either Charles Campbell himself or a past buyer of his "package" (which points to Ben our thread starter). So Ben? We're waiting...
Visit my Nikonians gallery.
#8. "RE: A newer and unique way of metering with cameras" | In response to Reply # 1
I normally don’t comment on a particular topic, but I must say the tone of some of the comments I have read in this discussion appear to be a bit harsh. They may be justified, but from my perspective not very friendly. I have come to enjoy the easy going banter of different views and hope that doesn’t change.
Visit my Nikonians gallery.
Visit my Nikonians gallery.
#6. "RE: A newer and unique way of metering with cameras" | In response to Reply # 0
Hmmm, spot meter, manual exposure and compensate depending on the color tone ... sounds a lot like John Shaw's method. I've been using John Shaw's method for close to a decade now. If you haven't done so, read his book "Closeups in Nature", published in 1987. (Did I mention it's not a new concept?) The way you're describing it, you could have described the way I use a camera, but I attribute mine to John Shaw and his books. To me, the chromazome system sure sounds like he's ripping off John Shaw. (Unless you can prove otherwise...)
Visit my Nikonians gallery.
#7. "RE: A newer and unique way of metering with cameras" | In response to Reply # 0
You write excellent AD COPY.
Your initial message sounds amazingly like the 2000 SPAM e-mails I get everyday. It has a "get on the prospects level" section:
"...I use the F5, F100 - have used the N90, N8008 - and now have the D100..."
It has a customer satisfaction section:
"...after 35 years of outdoor and nature photography, I have embraced this system of metering and have found it be almost foolproof because it involves you making the decisions...not your camera..."
It has a nice prepare them for the "close" section (Trial Close):
"...Charles conducts a series of field seminars in various western States year round, but he also sells his Chromazone method of metering through the mail. I believe it's $69.95 or something close..."
It even uses the famous "TAKE AWAY" method:
"...I gotta tell you about a newer system of metering using the spot meter of your camera, that perhaps, many of you have not been privy to..."
(But wait, there's more)
And, it even has product a description section, cleverly combined with a testimonial from a satisfied user:
"...Give it a try, it certainly made a believer out of me. The via-the-mail purchased chromazone method includes a video, color reference cards, CD ROM - which includes the PDF manual and various examples - along with a small booklet..."
And, finally, it points you to the place to make the purchase:
"...you should immediately point your browser to his highly informative web site at: http://www.photonaturalist.com/chromozone/..."
I think I'll start a thread and sell some of my camera equipment, right here on the D100 forum. I think my "friend" has some new compact flash cards for sale on his website, want the link? Would that be appropriate, do you think? (Not looking for a flame war, just reasoning)
Hey, while we're at it, look at my ad below for my new ChromaFattaBurnGetRichNow method.
#10. "ChromaFattaBurnGetRichNow method...YOU are the WINNER!" | In response to Reply # 0
Dear American Consumer,
Are you tired of working for that boss of yours? Do you resent that the company you work for takes YOUR efforts and makes themselves rich? Do something for yourself, for a change. You deserve it! Using our newly developed time-proven methods, you can become RICH immediately, while doing absolutely NOTHING. We have carefully developed a methodology using new time-honored methods to cause riches to flow in. It will only cost you $25.00 to get rich. You can afford that, or you could borrow it. It is an investment in your future. Send your kids to college...at no cost. Drive ANY car you want, and trade it in each year for a newer model, all with no car payments. Have free appliances delivered to your door. Get a new house, or houses. All this could be yours. Just send $25.00 to the address below. But first, listen to a few testimonials:
**Bernice, a mother of 12: "We were very poor! We just barely got enough food to eat since that bum of a husband left. I borrowed the $25.00 from my in-laws and sent it in. Within three days I was rich! I now drive a new Rolls Royce mini-van, have three houses, all the clothes we can wear, we're finally gaining weight, and my kids go to a private school."
**John, an alcoholic and drug user: "I used to live on the street. I found this ad on a computer I stole, and sent the $25.00 in. Within a week, I was completely off drugs and alcohol...WITH NO WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS, I now have all the money I could ever want. I drive a new $100,000 HUMMER, have a new house on the beach, and have gained the respect of all my new friends."
**Lilly, an old actress: "I used to be popular in movies. For the last few years, I have had no offers. I was down to my last $50.00, so I thought I would send the money in before it was too late. I was surprised when I woke up rich two days later. I look 40 years younger. The movie studio called me up and offered me the leading role in the new StarshipTitanic movie. It was a dream come true. I recommend it!"
**Digital Darrell, an aspiring photographer: "I used to be forced to use Canon camera equipment, and only had one lens. I sent in the money, and now I can afford all the Nikon cameras I want. Plus, I'm buying hundreds of new Nikkor lenses. I'm traveling the world taking pictures of everything. And to beat it all, I lost weight without drinking more SlimFast. Man...I'm glad I sent in that money. It was the best $25.00 I've ever spent."
And look at these before/after pictures of Bernie who sent in the $25.00 within three days of getting this ad:
As you can see from the testimonials above ANYONE can become RICH and MORE BEAUTIFUL using this new time-honored method. Most people that send in the $25.00 become rich within a week, although admittedly some have taken as long as a month to become wealthy. In any case...don't worry about a thing! This is guaranteed. If you do not become satisfactorily RICH your money will be completely refunded.
But wait...there's more! If you act now, you will receive the following benefits in addition to being filthy RICH:
MUCH IMPROVED ATTITUDE.
HAVE LESS TENSION AND ANXIETY.
RELATIONSHIPS WITH FAMILY IMPROVED.
QUALITY OF MY SLEEP IMPROVED.
SLEEP THROUGH THE ENTIRE NIGHT.
HAVE GREATER ENERGY.
COMPULSIVE EATING DECREASED.
TAKE BETTER PICTURES.
NO LONGER DRINK CAFFEINE THROUGHOUT THE DAY.
NO LONGER SLEEP FOR HOURS IN THE AFTERNOONS.
CRAVINGS FOR SWEETS DECREASED.
NO LONGER NEED READING GLASSES.
LESS FREQUENT HOT FLASHES.
NO LONGER EXPERIENCE DISCOMFORT WITH BOWEL MOVEMENTS.
As you can see, it is well worth $25.00 to get all these amazing things. But, there is a limited time before this offer expires. Send the money to:
P.O. Box 12345
Knoxville, TN 00000
We can't wait until you join us in being RICH beyond your wildest dreams! Don't delay...send the money now!
If you received this in error or would like to be removed from our list: Please reply with REMOVE in the subject line. This is NOT SPAM since we gave you an easy way to remove yourself. In fact, if you reply to this e-mail, we will come over and remove you personally.
#12. "RE: A newer and unique way of metering with cameras" | In response to Reply # 0
Please take all of this as a good natured poke in the eye.
No one is really terribly upset about this. Nikonians are an emotional bunch (it comes from the high intelligence levels). Why, just the other day, I wrote an article proclaiming JPEG images to be a curse on society, and I received so many flaming e-mails from Nikonians that I actually developed an aversion to e-mail for several days. I changed my mind VERY quickly, and even took a few pictures in JPEG format.
Anyway, read your AD, err...message over again, and see if it does not sound like AD COPY to you. Do you actually write AD COPY for a living? It sounds very professional.
#14. "An interesting and alternative method of spotmetering" | In response to Reply # 12Thu 19-Sep-02 07:46 AM
Nothing like a little humor to hit home the point. Love your humor, and I enjoy reading your articles - they are informative and keep the dialogue rolling.
Actually, when I began this thread on Chromazone it was meant to be a help, albeit upon reading it again after 8 hours I realized that it does sound alot like Ad Copy
I must say though that I'm about as much as a salesman as the pope is Jewish. I am a park superintendant and am privileged to meet thousands of people on a yearly basis - especially gads of photographers who visit my scenic locale. Little more than a year ago I was made privy to this Chromazone method of metering by a photographer who works for the News and Observer newspaper in Raleigh. He raved about the method, so I thought I'd give it a try. After a month or so I really fell in love with the method. All too often we get involved in the Technical aspects of the machinery and forget to focus on the photography itself. Folks rant and rave about this or that gadget on a new camera and that's all all well and good
, but for others the real joy comes in discovering newer or alternative techniques of metering, understanding exposure and effects of light and colors on the medium.
I don't know anything about Shaw's method of metering that was referred to in a few of the reply threads. Heck, if we can learn more, I'm all for it. Can anyone point me to the Shaw web site, or did I miss it? I'd like to learn more about his method.
I was moved to post the initial thread because yesterday a person who I hadn't seen in a year stopped by the park to show me some photos of his vacation trip to the mountains. I was amazed at the quality of the photos and commented on the rich and intense colors. He commented that he had been using that Chromazone method since I recommended it to him over a year ago . That reminded me that perhaps I should share this information on the Nikonians forum - nothing more, nothing less. Next time I'll ensure that I back off on the caffeine during the composing process!!!
It is interesting though to note that some folks appear to get insulted when you try to present some different ideas - or viewpoints for that matter. You're right about the Nikonians forum involving an emotional bunch.
I suspect though that there will be some who try the Chromazone system and are impressed with it. Heck, most of us are open to new knowledge, albeit for some that may serve as an insult,
Hey Darrell, when are you going to finish that D100 review that you began on your web site a month or so ago?