NPhoto - - Feature -

Light Colour

The most im­por­tant high­lights here are the lighter tones of the tree. The very bright­est spots were too small to me­ter, but the cir­cled area looked like a per­fect Zone 6. The me­ter in­di­cated 1/15 sec at f/16, so I slowed the shut­ter speed to 1/8 sec to place the tree at Zone 6. (An in-cam­era spot me­ter should in­di­cate +1, or one stop of over­ex­po­sure, for Zone 6.)

Here the sub­ject was still, the cam­era was on a tri­pod, and I needed to keep ev­ery­thing in fo­cus, so I kept the aper­ture at f/16 for depth of field and changed the shut­ter speed.

Sun­set Colour

The golden cliffs are not the bright­est things in this pho­to­graph, but they are clearly the fo­cal point. Sun­rise or sun­set colour on moun­tains should almost al­ways be placed at Zone 6. Af­ter mak­ing an ex­po­sure I checked the his­togram to make sure that the white clouds weren’t over­ex­posed.


It’s dif­fi­cult to me­ter skies be­cause they vary so much. Near the hori­zon, a dusk sky like this should usu­ally be placed on Zone 7; higher up it be­comes Zone 6, Zone 5, or lower.

Sm all High­light

If the high­lights are too small to me­ter, see if you can move in closer. Here the critical high­lights were the white flow­ers. Even with a one-de­gree spot me­ter I couldn’t fill the spot’s cir­cle with just one blos­som from the cam­era po­si­tion, but it was easy to move in closer and me­ter off just one pe­tal, then place that white sub­ject on Zone 7.

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