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Category: New Questions

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Photography Question 
Howard A. Wimpee
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/2/2006
 

How to Shoot White on White?


How can I shoot my granddaughter wearing a white coat against a background of mostly rocks and trees covered with lots of snow?

1/6/2007 11:05:25 AM

 
W. 

member since: 9/25/2006
  Zoom in close on your granddaughter's skin (cheek, forehead or neck), (spot)meter and lock that in (AEL), then zoom out, recompose the scene and expose. That way, your granddaughter should be lit correctly while the snow gets overexposed = white (instead of grey). Have fun.

1/6/2007 11:29:38 AM

 
Howard A. Wimpee
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/2/2006
  Thank you very much!!

1/6/2007 11:33:13 AM

 
Alan N. Marcus

member since: 3/4/2006
  Hi Howard,
White on white can be challenging. In some classes, the final exam is white eggs on a white plate. Try that some day when you are bored out of your socks. Outdoors, this is mainly an exposure problem. If you own a correctly calibrated meter, this would be a good time to use it. Readings close up of the face (you can substitute your own hand if you can’t get close) renders the skin tone at zone V. That’s middle gray (18%) and all that. That’s too dark for light skin, however, perfect for darker. For the lighter folks, close down one f/stop. For extremely dark complexions, open up two f/stops. Better to take a close-up reading of a gray card or use an incident light reading. You may still need a minor adjustment to render a pleasing skin tone. Bracketing is always advisable. Best of luck,
Alan Marcus
ammarcus@earthlink.net

1/6/2007 2:18:42 PM

 
Howard A. Wimpee
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/2/2006
  Thank's for your answer,I haven't been able to touch my camera for a few days so this weekend I will checkout your suggestions and the other advive I've gotten too.I appreaciate all the help I can get.

1/10/2007 10:45:55 AM

 
Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member
cammphoto.com

member since: 7/17/2003
  If you need to shoot in a hurry, meter off the snow and follow these simple guidelines:

*In bright sun...over expose the sunlit snow by two stops.
*In diffused light (an overcast sky)...overexpose the snow by one stop.
*In deep shade on a sunny day...overexpose the snow by 1/2 stop and add a warming filter (or adjust your white balance) to avoid a blue-cast to the snow.

...then bracket 1/2 stop over and under in each scenario.

Bob

1/10/2007 12:22:07 PM

 
Glenn Ruhl

member since: 12/22/2006
  Alan's suggestions for metering off of skin are good, but since the meter is trying to render the skin as middle gray, wouldn't you need to open one f/stop when metering off of light skin, and close down when metering off of very dark skin?

1/11/2007 10:34:30 AM

 
Alan N. Marcus

member since: 3/4/2006
  Hi all and many thanks to Glenn,
Boy is my face red! Must have had a senior moment!

Glenn, is correct and deserves a tip of the hat.

Since most every (all good) meters are calibrated to correctly expose an 18% target and render it middle gray or “battleship gray”, taking a close up reading of human skin causes light skin toned individuals to be rendered too dark. The countermeasure is to open up 1 stop allowing more exposure. As you know, more exposure results in lighter shades.
The converse is true for dark complexions.

I must have fallen asleep for that one because as you all know I am never wrong (except probably a few thousand thousand time in my life.

I meant well and the correction is warranted and appreciated.

Alan Marcus
ammarcus@earthlink.net.

1/11/2007 5:14:50 PM

 
W. 

member since: 9/25/2006
  So you ARE human...!

Phew...

1/11/2007 5:30:20 PM

 
Glenn Ruhl

member since: 12/22/2006
  Hi Alan,

I had been a bit hesitant to point out the correction, because it was my first post, I didn't want to seem rude, and it was obvious from the rest of your post that you know what you're talking about, which had me doubting myself a little. Thank you for your very gracious response.

Rgds,
Glenn

1/12/2007 8:13:27 AM

 
  expo disc

1/12/2007 8:17:49 AM

 
Howard A. Wimpee
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/2/2006
  Thanks to all of you,I finally got a chance to go see my granddaughter and take a few practice shot's in the snow. It was very cold but the sun was extreamly bright. She could hardly keep her eye's open but I didn't have a lot of choices of locations to take the picture. Thanks again for all your help!!!

2/4/2007 2:18:57 PM

 
Howard A. Wimpee
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/2/2006
  Thanks to all of you,I finally got a chance to go see my granddaughter and take a few practice shot's in the snow. It was very cold but the sun was extreamly bright. She could hardly keep her eye's open but I didn't have a lot of choices of locations to take the picture. Thanks again for all your help!!! (sorry,I posted the picture on constructive critique section)

2/4/2007 2:25:29 PM

 
W. 

member since: 9/25/2006
  "It was very cold but the sun was extreamly bright. She could hardly keep her eye's open but I didn't have a lot of choices of locations to take the picture."

Next time try to keep the sun more at her back, that might make her squint less. And - as her face would then be shaded - I would fill-flash. Also, the golden rule for photographing kids & animals is: get down to eye-level. THEIR eye-level! Bend your knees if you have to...
(Angle, and waist level finders, and articulated LCD's DO have their uses, you know!).

2/4/2007 5:53:06 PM

 
Howard A. Wimpee
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/2/2006
 
 
 
I would like to thank W Smith again for your help. I guess I learned a valuble lesson on posting a picture.I posted it for input on the white on white question. I'll have to confess that I know very little about photography but really I am trying and with all your help I know I can get better.I have to have more patience when i'm shooting.

2/12/2007 1:25:06 AM

 
Howard A. Wimpee
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/2/2006
 
 
 
OK I'm going to try again to post another picture.This was the same day as the white on white picture a few minutes later on some metel bleechers. Remember I don't know photoshop but I hope this one is a little better. Her skin tones are a little off but it was about 20 degrees.

2/12/2007 1:39:14 AM

 
W. 

member since: 9/25/2006
  Howard, I finally got around to seeing that photo. It's a very nicely lit portrait of a pretty young lady!
But where's the white snow? Where's the white coat?

BTW, could you please post a link to your photos in your posts? Makes 'm a helluvalot easier to find...

2/16/2007 9:34:55 PM

 
Howard A. Wimpee
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/2/2006
  Hi W Smith, We could not find the white coat so I had her find the white sweater she was wearing.I have to apoligize I didn't set up the shot very well at all. I will make sure I have this shot in my gallery. Remember the composition isn't very good, just posting it for the white on white. I hope I can get more than an hour with her next time. The snow in the valley here in northern Utah is terrible but if I can take her up into the mountains to a ski resort the snow is fantastic. I really apreaciate your time and help. If you get a chance check out Snowbason and Powder Mountain ski resorts on the net,I don't have any pictures right now or I would post them. Thanks Again, Howard.

2/17/2007 10:57:23 AM

 
W. 

member since: 9/25/2006
  Fine, Howard. Just make sure your photo has at least 2 whites in them if you post it in a thread (you) called "How to Shoot White on White?"....

And post a link in your message!

2/17/2007 12:24:37 PM

 
Who Me? 
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/19/2007
  Sounds racist

2/17/2007 4:16:37 PM

 
W. 

member since: 9/25/2006
 
LOL!

2/17/2007 4:48:51 PM

 

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