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Photography Question 
Brenda  D. 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/27/2005
 

Metering


 
  Rielee
Rielee
© Brenda  D.
Canon EOS Digital ...
 
 
without having a meter is there any way to take a photo with a black background and the rest if the photo showing white and other colors correctly? it seems like any white in the photo is too bright


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9/2/2008 8:52:38 AM

 
W.   
Without a meter, Brenda? What happened to the built-in light meter of your Canon then?

Anyway: what you are seeing "white is too bright" is that your camera cannot handle all the contrast in that one scene. The difference between pure white and pure black is too great, the camera cannot catch that within one image like human eyes can. No camera can, really. And digital sensors/cameras can handle contrast even less than film cameras.
The bottom line is that you're digital camera simply cannot deal with that much contrast in a single exposure. As you have seen.

There IS a way to do it, though: either you shoot 2 or more exposures with different F/stop settings, or you shoot RAW, and convert to 2 or more images with different F/stops, and you combine/blend/merge those images in post production into one "High Dynamic Range" image. A.k.a. "HDR".

What is "HDR": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDRI

Here are a few examples of HDR images (these are wallpapers):
http://www.yousendit.com/download/bVlBclVBNDRlcEkwTVE9PQ
These serve to illustrate the result of the HDR technique. They also illustrate, however, that many people go overboard on it. The trick is to do it subtly, of course (which these people didn't...!). But at the end of the day that is a matter of personal taste.

Have fun!


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9/2/2008 10:06:11 AM

 
Andy 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/28/2002
 
 
 
Hi Brenda, if someone said you cannot record black and white colors at the same time, they probably still confused about what dynamic range actually referring to. The dynamic range that they are talking about has to do with light level (different intensity) and not colors.

If a subject is lighted by a 1000W light at one corner, a 500W at another, a 100W and a 45W at the others, while the middle has no light, just for an example, then we are talking about dynamic range. If you expose to the brightest corner, the other corner(s) may be totally dark. If you exposed to the darkest corner, the other corner(s) may be totally washed out. But if a subject, whatever it's color(s), is lighted by one source, and the exposure is correct, then you will see all the colors in the image.

I have uploaded an image of a black camera with a white logo on a black and white marble coffee table. You know it's a color picture because there's a red ring around the lens. The image was taken with frontal natural light source.

Now let's analyze your picture. The background is black because you used a black background or the background is so dark that no light has fallen on it. If this is your intention, to have a black background, this is good. The girl's face and dress seem to be exposed correctly. However, you said the horse is too white. I would say this is normal. If I am guessing correctly, you are using a straight on flash (I can see the catch light from the girl's eyes) to light the entire scene. The horse is too bright because it is coated with lacquer or other reflective material. Also look at the ribbons. They are reflective too.

I would say this is a successful shot because the main subject, the little girl, was exposed nicely and the camera's metering did not get fooled by the reflected light. But if you want to improve the image next time, you have to move the flash off the camera (if you are using an external flash) and place the flash to the side.

Hope this helps.


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9/3/2008 9:17:32 AM

 
Andy 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/28/2002
 
 
 
The image did not upload last time. Let me try again ...


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9/3/2008 9:19:33 AM

 
W.   
Hi Andy,

"if someone said you cannot record black and white colors at the same time, they probably still confused about what dynamic range actually referring to. The dynamic range that they are talking about has to do with light level (different intensity) and not colors."

FYI: black and white are not colors.

Have fun!


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9/3/2008 10:27:47 AM

 
Andy 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/28/2002
  After all these years you still can't figure out how to take a picture of subject with black and white colors? And both black and white colors cannot coexist in the same picture? Give everyone a break.


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9/3/2008 10:43:48 AM

 
Brenda  D. 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/27/2005
  W.S. and Andy thank you both for your advice, I did not mean to start an argument, I'm sorry. this photo was taken in a small studio 15x16 walls painted white and two unbrellas with strobes, the flash was bounced off the white ceiling, I like the way the face and colors turned out. My problem was with the front chest part of the horse, I guess I expected muscle shadows to show up like they did on the back leg.but too close or too strong of light hit in that areamaybe I expect too ,much from a poor plastic horse. :) thanks guys


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9/3/2008 8:24:51 PM

 
Pete H
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/9/2005
  Brenda,

Andy is pretty much right on in his analysis.

There is a way to record this image as you hoped, although I doubt you have the equipment or patience to do it. LOL

We are talking about the "latitude" of a digital sensor; or it's ability to render varying exposure levels from full black (0,0,0) to full white (255,255,255) in the RGB scale.

If you are interested, here is how this image CAN be captured in one shot.

The horse requires a certain amount of light to be directed upon it so as not to overwhelm the camera sensor. Pin lights, grids and barn doors come to mind; these are called light modifiers.
Essentially, they allow you to control where you direct the light and intensity.

The little girl will require a different exposure, so you (direct) a certail amount of light on her for proper exposure.

The same goes for ALL elements that need to be balanced for a good exposure.

As you can see, this is difficult technically as well as equipment wise; but it is done every day in professional studios with big budgets.

With what you had to work with, I'd say you did a good job.


all the best,

Pete


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9/4/2008 5:33:26 AM

 
Brenda  D. 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/27/2005
  Thanks Pete. Your right about the equipment and that mega $$$ budget that I dont have. but since I'm the one who painted the horse I may just go back and put in shadows along the neck, legs and face. then she wont look as washed out the next time around. Plus with the little girl in the photo being my neice and the baby of the family IMHO she would look cute in any photo. LOL thanks to all of you. B:)


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9/4/2008 7:47:10 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  If there is no black or white, there is no orange.
It's not your budget, or lack of it, it's a shiny white surface and too many lights.(as well as the direction). Not really a latitude problem either. Or pretty much what Andy said.
If you would've correctly exposed it with one umbrella and the ceiling bounce, you'd probably would've liked it better.


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9/4/2008 9:51:44 AM

 
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