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Old Nov 18, 2005, 5:53 AM   #1
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Folks, when you have in a photo all folks wearing black and there someone wearing whiteas is the case with this photo, to get a correct exposure, do you take the meter reading from the white object or the black object. Will really appreciate your advice.

Kind regards.
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Old Nov 18, 2005, 7:56 AM   #2
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The camera will automatically adjust the exposure so that whatever you meter on will be 18% gray, which is closer to white than to black, so metering on black will overexpose the shot a lot and metering on white will underexpose it a bit. You could either meter on something that's a bit darker than white or quite a bit lighter than black, like maybe the pillars on the right side in your photo, or meter on a gray card.

For your photo, maybe multisegment metering would work--the dark robes and skin would be offset by the white suit and background. You might still have to tweak it a little in your computer, but it would be close.
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Old Nov 18, 2005, 8:06 AM   #3
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You might try a single focus area and focus on the face of one of your subjects...I shot
several black weddings this past summer and had great success when I metered off the face...I use the Canon 20D and always use the center focus point...I have read in a magizine or two, when you shoot pictures of dark skin people, metering off the palms of the hands will give you great results...But I can't imagine asking a bride to hold up her hand in a wedding...So go for the face for your metering...Plus you will have great "in focus" results of your subjects...
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Old Nov 18, 2005, 8:35 AM   #4
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In addition to other suggestions, and if your shooing digital where film is not a concern, bracket the shot.
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Old Nov 18, 2005, 9:41 AM   #5
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Thanks folks for the very useful advice.

Kind regards

Patrick.
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Old Nov 18, 2005, 11:24 AM   #6
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i agree.. a bracket costs you nothing and gives you a choice.. and then of course shooting RAW will improve your latitude as well..

--dustin
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Old Nov 18, 2005, 3:03 PM   #7
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What would the benifit of bracketing be over just plain shooting raw? I'm new to raw but it seems to me like you would be able to adjust the White Bal manually if you shot it in raw, thus eliminating the need for a bracket (and saving file space). I would think that a bracket is basically shooting raw, adjusting the white bal, and saving each. Does shooting raw eliminate the need for bracketing, or is there a particular reason to use bracketing over/in addition to raw?
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Old Nov 18, 2005, 3:56 PM   #8
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bracketing your exposure.. not the white balance..

you can adjust the exposure in RAW as well, but anytime you deviate from the shot value you introduce noise/artifacts and potentially clip pixels.. thus it is best to get the exposure as close as you possibly can when shooting and then make very minor adjustments in conversion..
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Old Nov 21, 2005, 9:44 AM   #9
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Thanks folks for the tips. Have jotted them in my note book.

Patrick.
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