BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Theresa L. Witt

brown shirts turned black

I recently took a family photo for some friends of mine. The women had on shirts that were chocolate brown which look black in all the photos.

What did I do wrong? I think it was probably under exposing them. I had my camera set to matrix metering. The men had olive green shirts. Should I have used spot metering?

Any help is greatly appreciated.


To love this question, log in above
7/14/2009 1:29:27 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
  Did you use a pop up flash?
Try uploading a sample picture. Some materials can look different based on their reflectivity.

To love this comment, log in above
7/16/2009 5:28:43 PM

Alan N. Marcus   Our hope and dream is to make pictures with high fidelity. Sorry to report that we can’t. Before you guys take potshots at me, consider that if we could reproduce a sunlit vista correctly you would be more comfortable mounting sunglasses to view.

Our color system is based on our idea of how the human color vision mechanism works. We think its based on a tricolor system using red – green – and blue receptors. We think the eye/brain allows for overlap and partial superimposition.

We make our films and digital chips using red – green – blue sensitive layers and chips. In our digital camera the chip is covered with filters. The scheme is called a matrix and is the invention of Dr. Bryce E. Bayer of Kodak. In this system the individual pixels have sub-pixels constituting of 50% green – 25% red – 25% blue. This is an evolving system and major changes were make this year to incorporate in all future digital cameras. A number of sites now have no filter and the camera software is able to conclude if the sight was hit by red or green or blue photons. Such as scheme immensely increases ISO because the current scheme must deal with enormous filter factors. Look for

Now consider that our final image is dependent on the filters of the chip, the software in the camera, the dye used to form the red – green – blue sub-pixels of the LCD and/or the dye/pigment that makes up the image we see on print which are cyan (blue-green) – magenta (red-blue) – yellow (red-green).

Sorry we can’t get them right for all colors. Today the focus is on memory colors like skin tones and the like. Come back in 10 or 20 years and the brown shirts will be more correctly matched

To love this comment, log in above
7/17/2009 4:20:27 PM

Nicholas Semo
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2008
I belive it was simply underexposed or perhaps the wrong WB setting.

To love this comment, log in above
7/19/2009 12:30:43 PM

Theresa L. Witt   Thank you all. I am taking a class from Betterphoto on exposure so maybe that will help.


To love this comment, log in above
7/19/2009 1:25:12 PM

Log in to respond or ask your own question.