ASF8 [

FIG. 3.19 Spot metering circle.

becomes totally irrelevant because the light falling on the reef has changed into electronic sunshine.

Let's take the example of a wreck dive using a Nikon D200, 10.5 mm fisheye lens set at 200 ISO with Spot metering selected. In order to reveal the texture and detail of a specific part of the wreck, by Spot metering on a specific area, precise exposure can be achieved. Assume that a Spot meter reading indicates 1/60th sec at f5.6. Manually set this combination into the camera, compose, and press the shutter. Check the LCD monitor for composition and most important, check the histogram for the accuracy of exposure. Take a good look at the tonality of the wreck and I mean a concentrated look.

• What is the actual colour of this wreck?

• Is it green, gunmetal grey, rusty brown?

• What colour does it look to your naked eye?

Detach your eye from seeing the wreck as a wreck. Look at it as a collection of tones.

• How bright or dark do they appear to your eye?

Now take another Spot meter reading towards the same composition but a lighter and darker area of the wreck.

• What is the difference between the Spot meter exposures of the two different views?

FIG. 3.20 If you intend to fill in the shadows with flash there is no need to meter off the reef wall. Meter off the blue water instead. Nikon D200, Nikon 12—24 mm, 1/60th sec at f5.6, Inon Z220 flashgun.

• How would you prefer it to look — a little lighter or darker?

• Which looks best to your naked eye?

Take another shot using 1/30that f5.6. Now check the LCD and histogram again.

• Have you clipped the highlights of your histogram or is it still slightly underexposed?

So correct it.

• What other alternative compositions may work?

If and when you can access this heightened concentration of thought, it's a sign that you are getting into that place we often call the 'zone' and photographically, the zone is great place to be.

On page 104 I discussed my way of determining exposure underwater, stating that it may be quite radical compared with others'.

FIG. 3.21 Tug Boat. Nikon D200, 10.5 mm lens, 1/60th sec at f5.6, ISO 100, natural light.
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