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Old May 12, 2006, 2:15 PM   #1
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What tips are there for photographing dark subjects that are surrounded by extremely bright backgrounds? It is nearly impossible to get a balance; either the background is blown out or the cat is underexposed.

And unfortunately I can only get a few minutes of shots in before she becomes extremely annoyed with me. :lol:

This is slightly urgent as it's for a Mother's Day gift; I'm taking pictures of our three cats then will mount one from each in a frame.

Attached is the one of the better pictures...notice how the background is blown out.
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Old May 12, 2006, 3:11 PM   #2
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About only thing which might help is using right amount of fill-flash if cat is much closer than background, but if that light background is equally close flash will just increase its brighness.

There's just no way for taking completely right exposed photos from dark object on light background and reverse.
While not so good in all aspects human eye has quite phenomenal dynamic range compared to man made sensors.
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Old May 12, 2006, 7:01 PM   #3
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One thing you might try is to set up a dark background and intice the cat topose in front of it. You know best how to get the cat there.
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Old May 13, 2006, 1:09 PM   #4
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Don't know what kind of camera you're using, but here are some suggestions:

1. If your camera can shoot RAW, use that and expose as far right as you can without completely blowing the highlights. Then do 2 different RAW conversions - one exposing for the window and one for the cat. If you have Photoshop or Paint shop Pro you can blend the two pictures to get the right exposure:


2. If you have a bounce flash, use that. Meter the camera for the window (use exposure lock or see what settings the camera would select and then set those aperture/shutter values manually). Let the flash meter the cat and it will correctly expose the cat. This can work without the bounce flash but with it you can bounce off the wall or ceiling and minimize the light hitting the window.

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Old May 13, 2006, 9:05 PM   #5
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Pull down the window shade - you seem to have more light on the background than on the cat. The white splotch on the cat's chest is not blown.
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