BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Rhonda Royse
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/20/2009

Photographing White!

I have been taking pictures this weekend of my son in a white shirt - indoors with mono lights and outdoors with just my camera. In all of them, the white shirt is so completely overpowering that it looks very unnatural and makes your eyes drawn to the shirt - not the person. Any hints? I toned down my mono lights indoors, and outside, I was shooting in shade in AV mode. When I compensate the exposure outdoors, the overall picture turns out too dark(just not enough light for that).

To love this question, log in above
10/10/2010 8:12:12 AM

John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
  Hi Rhonda,
Remember whiter whites? White fabrics and white papers often have optical brighteners in them. These are chemicals that work like the coating of a fluorescent tube: if they are exposed to ultraviolet light they fluoresce in visible light. So the shirt could be unnaturally bright. The simplest way to fix this is to adjust the Recovery slider when you convert the images from Raw to JPEG in Adobe Camera Raw. The problem can be worse in the shade, because the light in shadows is bluer and more ultraviolet in the shadows compared to the amount of visible light. Some strobes have more ultraviolet than others. If this is a problem you can get ultraviolet filters to put over your LIGHTS to reduce the problem. The filter needs to be over the light because the light is converted into visible light by the brighteners, so you canít filter this problem at the lens.

To love this comment, log in above
10/11/2010 8:21:44 AM

Log in to respond or ask your own question.