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Old Aug 9, 2007, 12:30 AM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2007
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I dont seem to have any luck shooting backlit subjects. FOr example, on a cruise ship with subjects in front of a large porthole.

I get the exact opposite of what I want (black subject and white window).

Ive tried flash, and changing the settings but no luck.

Anyone care to share their experience doing this??

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Old Aug 9, 2007, 6:52 AM   #2
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It all comes down to metering, it sounds like you are on evaluative metering so the camera sees the bright background and exposes for that.

I will either manually over expose as I find it a quick way to solve the problem and with experience can get it pretty close first time. The more accurate way is to switch to spot or centre weighted metering and then the camera won't take notice of the bright areas thus it won't be under exposed. If you want to try to balance the subject with the background then a correctly exposed flash image is best, if you are using the build in flash it might not have enough power but with a 3600 or 5600 you will be fine.

Hope that helps,

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Old Aug 9, 2007, 7:29 AM   #3
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You may want to downsize and post a sample image with the EXIF intact (don't use save for web with Photoshop or it will strip out the camera settings from the image header), so that members could look for anything obviously wrong with the settings.

The 7D will heavily weight your focus point when using Matrix metering. So, take that into consideration when using it (if your active focus point is on something brighter, it may underexpose the shot). It's not uncommon for 7D owners to report needing to use a bit of Exposure Compensation either (+EV setting), even in scenes that don't have a lot of difference between bright and dark.

With a backlit subject, without a flash, that's the general way you approach it (use a +EV setting with Exposure Compensation to brighten the overall exposure so that your subject is properly exposed). But, this approach will tend to overexpose the background in a high dynamic range scene. There is only so much Dynamic Range a camera has to work with.

That's where flash comes in if you're close enough to use it. If you are within the flash range, I'd try using Center Weighted versus Matrix metering and use a +EV Setting with Exposure Compensation if your subjects are still coming out underexposed.

That's what Exposure Compensation is there for (to expose an image brighter using a +EV setting for situations where your subjects are darker than the rest of the scene; or to expose the image darker using a -EV setting when your subjects are brighter than the rest of the scene).

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