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Archive 2012 · Who exposes for the dress??
  
 
NathanHamler
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p.1 #1 · Who exposes for the dress??


Just editing some bridal portraits, and i got to thinking...who "exposes for the dress?" Personally, i find that if you simply meter the dress at +/- 0 ev, you end up with underexposed skin (obviously, b/c the camera wants to make the white dress 18% grey)....I think my happy medium is with the dress about + 1/3 to + 2/3 ev

so, that being said, how many people here will absolutely NOT have blown highlights on the dress, at the expense of underexposed skin? Sure i can pull highlights back, and use the recovery slider, but i feel like images that are processed that way end up looking fake, or just weird.... I like my images nice and contrasty, which does lead to some loss of detail in the dress sometimes.....but i dont think it's offensive (not 100% blown out)....so what are your thoughts?



Nov 15, 2012 at 04:47 PM
joelconner
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p.1 #2 · Who exposes for the dress??


I expose for the face about 80% of the time because an underexposed face is a pain to make right. For me, as long as I am not clipping the dress, I am usually happy with the amount of detail I can pull back into it. It is much more forgiving than a face, imo. It doesn't look fake or artificial to me...I doubt it would to my brides. I only will ever expose for the dress if I am doing detail shot. Even though, you have to overexpose based on the camera's meter settings by a stop or so


Nov 15, 2012 at 04:55 PM
TRReichman
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p.1 #3 · Who exposes for the dress??


We find it easier to fix the skin tones from an underexposure than repairing a blown out dress. Then again, I think Nikon is a little more forgiving on skin tones than Canon was. We don't want the dress to blow out at all, so we expose accordingly. I should point out that we don't shoot outside all that much, so it is easier for us to stick to that than it may be for some. If I bring home shots with a blown out dress I'm going to hear about it for days.

- trr



Nov 15, 2012 at 04:56 PM
D. Diggler
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p.1 #4 · Who exposes for the dress??


A blown dress is a cardinal sin in our line of work.


Nov 15, 2012 at 05:07 PM
NathanHamler
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p.1 #5 · Who exposes for the dress??


TRReichman wrote:
If I bring home shots with a blown out dress I'm going to hear about it for days.

- trr


So you hear about it from the wife, but would you hear about it from the clients??




Nov 15, 2012 at 05:07 PM
TRReichman
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p.1 #6 · Who exposes for the dress??


NathanHamler wrote:
So you hear about it from the wife, but would you hear about it from the clients??



Obviously the wife. The client probably wouldn't know. I think that pulling back the highlights in post just makes it all look fake to me. But we're talking about photographer stuff here.

- trr



Nov 15, 2012 at 05:10 PM
jcolman
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p.1 #7 · Who exposes for the dress??


D. Diggler wrote:
A blown dress is a cardinal sin in our line of work.

This. Brides pay a lot of money for their dresses. They want to see the detail. Personally I simply use the "highlight warning" or whatever it's called on the histogram and expose so the whites are just under the clipping level.



Nov 15, 2012 at 05:13 PM
NathanHamler
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p.1 #8 · Who exposes for the dress??


jcolman wrote:
This. Brides pay a lot of money for their dresses. They want to see the detail. Personally I simply use the "highlight warning" or whatever it's called on the histogram and expose so the whites are just under the clipping level.


So say you HAVE detail shots of the dress, with all the detail intact....but then in other shots, you're outdoors and you capture a great moment where there's a stop or more difference between the face and dress, you're saying that's either a throw away image, or you'd still let the faces stay dark? Doesn't emotion and context trump a little blown detail?



Nov 15, 2012 at 05:20 PM
TTLKurtis
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p.1 #9 · Who exposes for the dress??


I pretty much always expose for the highlights of my subject (sometimes for the background depending on how far off it is). That means if window light is hitting my subject, that's what I make sure is properly exposed.

I would much rather have underexposed skintones to deal with than a complete lack of detail in the dress.



Nov 15, 2012 at 05:24 PM
TRReichman
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p.1 #10 · Who exposes for the dress??


NathanHamler wrote:
So say you HAVE detail shots of the dress, with all the detail intact....but then in other shots, you're outdoors and you capture a great moment where there's a stop or more difference between the face and dress, you're saying that's either a throw away image, or you'd still let the faces stay dark? Doesn't emotion and context trump a little blown detail?


A stop probably isn't enough to worry about. I guess what we're saying (since we're talking theory and not exactly practice at the moment) is that the pro photographer ought to get the great moments in the right exposure. We try to only deliver images that have great moments and great technical execution. Helps in the culling. The client doesn't know what you didn't include.

- trr



Nov 15, 2012 at 05:27 PM
 

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TTLKurtis
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p.1 #11 · Who exposes for the dress??


NathanHamler wrote:
So say you HAVE detail shots of the dress, with all the detail intact....but then in other shots, you're outdoors and you capture a great moment where there's a stop or more difference between the face and dress, you're saying that's either a throw away image, or you'd still let the faces stay dark? Doesn't emotion and context trump a little blown detail?


In what scenario would this happen? Spotted light through the trees or what? I think the idea is to capture as much detail as possible where you can dodge/burn as needed, but if it's beyond the dynamic range of the camera then I'd say you make the best of what you have and subject takes priority... however, you should be able to bring up skin tones by at least a stop if not two stops.



Nov 15, 2012 at 05:27 PM
jcolman
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p.1 #12 · Who exposes for the dress??


NathanHamler wrote:
So say you HAVE detail shots of the dress, with all the detail intact....but then in other shots, you're outdoors and you capture a great moment where there's a stop or more difference between the face and dress, you're saying that's either a throw away image, or you'd still let the faces stay dark? Doesn't emotion and context trump a little blown detail?


Sure it does, context and emotion will win out every time. I would not throw away a shot just because you caught some sunlight on the dress or whatever. That's a PJ moment. But the thread starter was talking about a bridal session where, assumably, you are controlling the lighting.



Nov 15, 2012 at 05:29 PM
NathanHamler
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p.1 #13 · Who exposes for the dress??


jcolman wrote:
Sure it does, context and emotion will win out every time. I would not throw away a shot just because you caught some sunlight on the dress or whatever. That's a PJ moment. But the thread starter was talking about a bridal session where, assumably, you are controlling the lighting.


i was just editing a bridal session and it came to my mind...i dont necessarily have a scenario like above in front of me right now, just threw it out there....kinda a worst case scenario....i guess i don't do much dodging in my workflow....i agree an underexposed face is a lot easier to fix than a blown dress by far...i just RARELY reach for the dodge brush...maybe i should more often...



Nov 15, 2012 at 05:37 PM
jjaylad
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p.1 #14 · Who exposes for the dress??


On my first dslr wedding I blew out the dress so badly in some shots that I spent 30 or 40 hours rebuilding it from shots that had it right. Couple never knew but it was a lesson I'll never forget. On the plus side I got great advice from helpful retouchers and learned how to use many of the tools in PS that many Pros would never need to touch. Now I'd far rather under expose and just paint in a half stop of exposure for the faces and dark jackets etc in Lr. Sooo much easier!


Nov 15, 2012 at 07:21 PM
Jamesbjenkins
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p.1 #15 · Who exposes for the dress??


Depends on the luminosity values for the rest of the scene. There's not a huge variance between proper skin exposure and proper dress exposure, I'll probably just split the difference and tweak in post.

This is why we all shoot in RAW. Right. Here.



Nov 15, 2012 at 07:44 PM
ricardovaste
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p.1 #16 · Who exposes for the dress??


I always meter/expose for the face. I light the subject so that the dress isn't clipped. It's one thing you don't want to mess up really... Clipped dresses can make your work look REALLY bad / low quality if you ask me...


Nov 15, 2012 at 08:20 PM
mccallmedia
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p.1 #17 · Who exposes for the dress??


I usually expose for the dress. I can recover shadows pretty well in post but the same can't really be said for recovering highlights. I shoot raw and try not to blow out anything except for backgrounds.


Nov 15, 2012 at 08:57 PM
D. Diggler
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p.1 #18 · Who exposes for the dress??


mccallmedia wrote:
I shoot raw and try not to blow out anything except for backgrounds.


I really watch my backgrounds as well as the dress.



Nov 15, 2012 at 09:22 PM
amonline
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p.1 #19 · Who exposes for the dress??


I expose for the dress when the dress is the subject. Otherwise, I expose for the bride's flesh in most cases. Of course, I do my best not to blow whites out in any situation, but the RAW file is rarely "blown" in either case. I actually find myself shooting 1-2/3's over on a regular basis. Canon's err to the safe side. Even Canon reps will tell you that.

The answer to this question really comes down to preference, style and more than just technicalities.



Nov 15, 2012 at 09:38 PM
Robin Usagani
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p.1 #20 · Who exposes for the dress??


I just chimp with matrix metering + manual mode.. if it looks good, it looks good. I hardly use spot metering anymore. IMO, you wouldnt want to expose the dress at 0. It should be closer to +2. Too dark in my opinion if you put the bright white on 0.


Nov 15, 2012 at 10:09 PM





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