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Archive 2008 · Light Metering and Wedding Dresses
  
 
Nick Choy
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p.1 #1 · Light Metering and Wedding Dresses


Recently I attended a wedding where the pro was using a light meter for most of his shots, shooting with a Fuji DSLR. I'm guessing that he was taking ambient light readings, as you normally do - the strange thing I found though, was that the photos seemed a bit overexposed, i.e. detail was lost in the white wedding dress.

I'm not quite sure why this happened - perhaps it was fixable in the RAW photos (I never handled the raw photos), but what approach do you guys normally take?

Would a correctly calibrated light meter (ambient reading) provide the most accurate measurement? Or would it be a matter of trial and error as well? Would you take a spot reading of the wedding dress using the light meter?

Thanks



May 31, 2008 at 01:14 AM
jcolman
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p.1 #2 · Light Metering and Wedding Dresses


Personally I wouldn't take a spot meter or any other metering off a white dress. I'd take an incident reading of the available light and run with it.

However, If I wasn't using a handheld meter, I'd use the camera meter, aimed at skin tone or another neutral density, set exposure, shoot a shot and chimp the histogram to insure that I still had detail in the white dress.



May 31, 2008 at 02:05 AM
figmented
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p.1 #3 · Light Metering and Wedding Dresses


yup.. im a chimper. i know how the histogram should look, and i chimp the pic.. if it looks good, i keep going

the camera has its own light meter as well as spot metering (tho not as precise as a handheld meter) - just because you have good equip, doesnt mean you know how to use it. ymmv



Jun 02, 2008 at 10:09 PM
jchin
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p.1 #4 · Light Metering and Wedding Dresses


Does a Fuji dSLR have RAW?

The photographer at my brother-in-law's wedding was using Fuji and said that the camera only did JPG. The contract did say it would provide all original images from the camera in highest quality. When he asked for the RAW files, they said that there were none, only JPG.


Edited on Jun 03, 2008 at 02:08 AM



Jun 03, 2008 at 02:07 AM
clausjepsen
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p.1 #5 · Light Metering and Wedding Dresses


If you expose to the right (overexpose) up to one full stop, then you get better pictures. I made a test yesterday with a portrait and a white towel. Up to one stop I could get all detail back in the towel and the noise in the shadow was much better than in the normally exposed photo. So from now on, I will go 2/3 overexposure in portrait sessions.


Jun 03, 2008 at 03:04 AM
jchin
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p.1 #6 · Light Metering and Wedding Dresses


clausjepsen wrote:
If you expose to the right (overexpose) up to one full stop, then you get better pictures. I made a test yesterday with a portrait and a white towel. Up to one stop I could get all detail back in the towel and the noise in the shadow was much better than in the normally exposed photo. So from now on, I will go 2/3 overexposure in portrait sessions.


Can you share examples? I don't understand your setup.



Jun 03, 2008 at 03:06 AM
baldieme
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p.1 #7 · Light Metering and Wedding Dresses


clausjepsen wrote:
If you expose to the right (overexpose) up to one full stop, then you get better pictures. I made a test yesterday with a portrait and a white towel. Up to one stop I could get all detail back in the towel and the noise in the shadow was much better than in the normally exposed photo. So from now on, I will go 2/3 overexposure in portrait sessions.


If you over expose and there is glare behind the subject, you'll blow the highlights. Same goes with a white dress, if you overexpose, you'll lose the highlights... Usually people don't want to overexpose to avoid hitting the point of no return.



Jun 03, 2008 at 03:20 AM
patrickphoto
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p.1 #8 · Light Metering and Wedding Dresses


first off, fuji dSLR's have RAW, every model. They are pretty darn big, and most shooters don't use them because the 25 meg raws fill the buffer in two to four shots.....

As for the over exposure, yes, the jpeg previews rendered for viewing on the camera do clip highs harshly, and often you can pull a bit (.3 or .6 EV's) from the shadows. I would recommend NOT doing doing a E.C. and instead learn what situations require which metering modes, and how best to manipulate the camera.



Jun 03, 2008 at 03:21 AM
 

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clausjepsen
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p.1 #9 · Light Metering and Wedding Dresses


Sorry no time at the moment to upload pictures, but try to read about he idea "expose to the right" on Luminous Landscape.

When you have a white towel in the picture, then he histogram say blown highlights already on 1/3 of over exposure, but in RAW you can get it back.



Jun 03, 2008 at 03:26 AM
sejanus
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p.1 #10 · Light Metering and Wedding Dresses


i don't bother with a dedicated light meter. I typically just leave my cameras in evaluative all the time and I've been doing this long enough now that i know when I need to add or subtract exposure compensation or change the flash settings (if applicable)

jchin - the fuji's do have raw, and very good quality raws they are as well. but the camera can only store 3 of them in the buffer from memory so most guys use jpegs - the fuji also delivers excellent colours in the jpegs straight out of the camera. the raws from the fuji s5 are actually the same size as the raws from the 1ds mk3 which i find a bit amusing.




Jun 03, 2008 at 03:29 AM
Evan Baines
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p.1 #11 · Light Metering and Wedding Dresses


Here's a good explanation of expose to the right (ETTR).

http://ronbigelow.com/articles/exposure/exposure.htm

Lots of ways to skin the exposure cat. Ambient vs. reflective, spot vs evaluative, chimping vs handheld meter. Personally, I like to gather as much information as reasonably possible and make an informed exposure decision. I'll hand-held meter, and then chimp the histogram as well.

Most of the time in the heat of the moment, though, I spot meter for faces and then check the histogram for dress highlights. No blinkies (or slight blinkies, since I'm shooting RAW), and we're good to go.



Jun 03, 2008 at 03:32 AM
Inga
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p.1 #12 · Light Metering and Wedding Dresses


Here's a good explanation of expose to the right (ETTR).

http://ronbigelow.com/articles/exposure/exposure.htm

Lots of ways to skin the exposure cat. Ambient vs. reflective, spot vs evaluative, chimping vs handheld meter. Personally, I like to gather as much information as reasonably possible and make an informed exposure decision. I'll hand-held meter, and then chimp the histogram as well.

Most of the time in the heat of the moment, though, I spot meter for faces and then check the histogram for dress highlights. No blinkies (or slight blinkies, since I'm shooting RAW), and we're good to go.


Sounds like a solid approach. Certainly seems to work for you!!



Jun 04, 2008 at 12:41 AM
Mike Mahoney
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p.1 #13 · Light Metering and Wedding Dresses


clausjepsen wrote:
If you expose to the right (overexpose) up to one full stop, then you get better pictures. I made a test yesterday with a portrait and a white towel. Up to one stop I could get all detail back in the towel and the noise in the shadow was much better than in the normally exposed photo. So from now on, I will go 2/3 overexposure in portrait sessions.


I'm just beginning to discover this myself .. very effective. Depending on the subject it is usually no problem to overexpose a stop and then bring it back down in PP.



Jun 04, 2008 at 12:56 AM
fchang
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p.1 #14 · Light Metering and Wedding Dresses


I don't know why you can't spot meter off the white dress. I think it all depends on what's important. If the dress is important, then I'll spot meter the dress +2 stops so all the shadow will fall into place. If I want a properly exposed face (in harsh shadow), I might meter the face & let the dress clip a bit.

Handheld meter is good if the lighting don't change from one minute to the next (Sun going in & out of clouds). Mostly, I chimp the histogram + looking for blinkies.



Jun 04, 2008 at 05:54 AM
clausjepsen
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p.1 #15 · Light Metering and Wedding Dresses


fchang wrote:
I don't know why you can't spot meter off the white dress. I think it all depends on what's important. If the dress is important, then I'll spot meter the dress +2 stops so all the shadow will fall into place. If I want a properly exposed face (in harsh shadow), I might meter the face & let the dress clip a bit.

Handheld meter is good if the lighting don't change from one minute to the next (Sun going in & out of clouds). Mostly, I chimp the histogram + looking for blinkies.



Yes you are right, that is a good way to go if you fill the histogram out all the way to the right, if you want to get the best out of your shadows.



Jun 04, 2008 at 08:38 AM





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