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Old Apr 27, 2005, 7:49 AM   #1
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I have a Canon 20D and when I shoot a subject with a pure black background, it come out in a greyish colour. The same thing happens when I shoot a subject with a white background.

So, how to get a solid black or white background when shooting a subject in front of that background?

Thanks in advance


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Old Apr 27, 2005, 7:59 AM   #2
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Don't use automatic exposure. Auto exposure systems are not designed to produce bright white or deep black. They are designed, instead, to set the overall exposure to 18% gray equivalent. To do this, a very dark scene will be lightened and a very bright scene will be darkened.

Use spot metering, if your camera has it, to meter on your subject and ignore the background. If you don't have spot metering, set your exposure compensation to -1.0 for the dark background and +1.0 for the white background. Experiment with this. You may have to adjust these values somewhat. Remember to set the compensation back to 0.0 when finished.

Hope this helps.

Cal Rasmussen
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Old Apr 27, 2005, 8:34 AM   #3
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Is the subject being exposed properly? If not (overexposed subject against black, underexposed against white), Cal has it right. If the subject is exposed properly, the solution is editing. Likely you will have to do some editing to deal with the background in any case, though perhaps not much.

When shooting against a white background, make sure the background is well lit. When shooting against black, make sure the subject is well lit and that no light reaches the background. As Cal said, use spot metering.
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