This is a discussion on My shooting shirt collection within the Casual Chat forums, part of the OTHER FORUMS category; I've been having a local tshirt shop make me up some customized polos for when I go out and shoot. I prefer black so I ...
Nice! I don't know about wearing black, though. They get awfully hot in the sun.
As for viewing the camera monitor, I'm thinking of getting a loupe. My Nikon D5100 has to work in 'Live View' to record video, but I can't see the screen on a bright day. I was out at the beach a few days ago, using a reflex lens with no auto anything. My exposure meter was useless for reading boats out on the sea, so I had to go by trial and error, but couldn't see the screen to see how it was going. And I forgot to give the 'Sunny 16' rule a try.
Nobody knows how much I suffer!
Uh oh... I might have to ban you for that last image. (yes, I'm totally kidding.)
John, a lot of photographers prefer to wear black to make themselves less noticeable -- should they happen to catch a reflection of themselves. But I agree with you... I don't want to wear black on a hot day.
Don't forget that you can use your histogram to check exposure after the fact. Basically you just want to make sure the graph isn't jammed up against the left or right walls -- which would indicate the presence of clipped shadows or blown highlights. ALSO... assuming the boat is lit by the sun and so are you (e.g. it's not "partly cloudy" where the boat is in shadow but you are in sun, or vice versa) then it's not necessary to meter the boat per se... you can meter anything as long as you believe the light falling on the metered target should be the same amount of light falling on the boat.
You can order gray cards in either 18% or 12% gray (and probably other levels as well) to match your camera calibration. Ansel Adams used to claim that 18% reflectivity was "middle gray", but these days I think most cameras are now calibrated closer to 12%. The idea is that you can lay the gray card in front of you, meter it, and that actually represents the true amount of light. The problem with a 'reflected' metering system is that you don't know for sure how reflective your subject is. BUT... since a gray card is not only neutrally balanced gray (for white balance calibration) but is ALSO giving back a known level of reflectivity, you can use a gray card for both white balance AND accurate metering.
I have a gray card in my bag. The truth is I only use it if I think white balance is going to be a challenge OR if the shots I'm taking are going to be used in some fairly important way. In those cases I'll meter with my hand-held light meter and I'll white balance with the gray card. A dedicated incident light meter can get expensive, but a calibrated gray card is generally fairly inexpensive -- and, in a way, it can sort of double as a "light meter" because it gives your camera's built-in light meter a "known" level of reflectivity.
I used my Sekonic light meter with the Lumisphere, thinking it would record light from all directions, and that the boat and I were all in sunshine in the same kind of light. I pointed the Lumisphere upward so that the same light coming down would be the same light on the boat. However it didn't work out. The meter gave me a reading of 1/8000th second at f/2. (The lens is a fixed f/1:8). In reality it needed about 1/500th second.
I have one of those folding disks for gray card readings, but I didn't have it with me, and the lens won't transfer any kind of information to the camera. Also, I wouldn't be able to see the histogram reading because I couldn't see anything on the viewing screen. The sun was so brilliant it made viewing impossible.
I remember you mentioning a special narrow angle viewer to attach to the exposure meter. I doubt that I'd ever need a 1 degree angle, and might consider the 5 degree one. That ought to be about right for objects several hundred yards away, I'd think, and they're not as expensive as the 1 degree version. But if I had the loupe, it would solve the problem, too. The loupe would also be necessary if I take video because, once again, I can't see the screen, and the video doesn't work by using the viewfinder. I think Nikon needs to work on that.
Another thing about the loupe, they cost around $80 but a special elastic device is needed to hold it to the camera for video viewing. That's another $25. Now we're getting close to the price of the Sekonic attachment, and I think that would be the more useful tool because I seldom take video. Maybe Santa will be good and bring me both, this year.