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Let Me Tell Ya 'Bout Black Chicks
Old 07-18-2006, 02:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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On my self-gratifying blog.

http://prettygirlshooter.blogspot.com
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Re: Let Me Tell Ya 'Bout Black Chicks
Old 07-18-2006, 03:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Jimmy,

Interesting and informative, as always. May I ask a corollary question?

How do you handle a shot that includes both a White/European model and Black/African model?

I had an opportunity to do so at a recent workshop (very, very light complexioned blonde and very dark skinned African-American), and I struggled mightily with the exposure. When I "hit" the exposure for the Black model, I badly-overexposed the Blonde. When I "hit" the exposure for the Blonde, the Black model was just -- forgive the pun -- a black hole in the image.

Thanks for your thoughts, oh great Obi-Wan

Luego
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Re: Let Me Tell Ya 'Bout Black Chicks
Old 07-18-2006, 03:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Enjoyable reading Jimmy. I heartily agree with your comments on proper exposure. I've heard the same comments about "more" light but I've always seemed to have lit and exposed as I would for anyone, light or dark skinned.

To top it off... I had a real chuckle with the following... "but I don't want to risk offending anyone here, on my blog. When I offend people, which I do often enough, I prefer to do it elsewhere." LOL! Good way to end it. :-)

John
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Re: Let Me Tell Ya 'Bout Black Chicks
Old 07-18-2006, 06:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You must read this book then. It is truly comical.

-joshua
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Re: Let Me Tell Ya 'Bout Black Chicks
Old 07-18-2006, 06:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmyd
On my self-gratifying blog...
Don't know how gratify-ed you are, but your blogs have definitely been an interesting read. Thanks for the effort.

PS Kudos on the shot of Trina - I think that's one of the best I've ever seen of your images in the time I've been on GG/G1.

rwd
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Re: Let Me Tell Ya 'Bout Black Chicks
Old 07-18-2006, 11:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmyd
On my self-gratifying blog.

http://prettygirlshooter.blogspot.com
"As mentioned, when I shoot black chicks I don't change my manner. I don't suddenly try to act "black,""

LOL!! That's hilarious.

I totally agree; who would suddenly start acting differently? HOw sad. This is still one of my favorite shots and one from my very first photo shoot... I do think that their skin tends to shine a bit more under light though, maybe I'm wrong. I did this for www.AmberAndAmbra.com:

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Re: Let Me Tell Ya 'Bout Black Chicks
Old 07-19-2006, 12:37 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CyberCowboy
Jimmy,

How do you handle a shot that includes both a White/European model and Black/African model?
Here's what i think and i could be wrong cuz i'm not mister technical photographer. If i was, i'd be one of the photo-rocket scientists at photo.net. I don't mean that mockingly. There's guys on that board that know everything technical... I swear... Everything!

The scenario of very white and very black models together, in the same shot, has more to do with each of them being too far apart from each other in tonal range rather than it being an exposure issue. This means you have to do things to bring them, from a tonal range perspective, closer together. The things you can do can take place in production or in post. What might be the best answer, is to bring them closer in both producton and post.

In PS, curves or (for less precise adjustments) levels can help equalize them. In production, gels can help as well, possibly by warming both models, or warming the white model and cooling the black model. BTW, in this situation, i wouldn't want to depend on a programmed function of your camera and expect proper exposure.

Maybe someone has better solutions or a different take on this?
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Re: Let Me Tell Ya 'Bout Black Chicks
Old 07-19-2006, 12:42 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJPhotoGuy
I do think that their skin tends to shine a bit more under light though, maybe I'm wrong.
well, i didn't say that an MUA might not change their approach when making-up a dark-skinned model. nice shot, btw.
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Re: Let Me Tell Ya 'Bout Black Chicks
Old 07-19-2006, 01:02 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Don't have an example handy, but placing the dark-skinned model on the key light side, and the light-skinned model on the fill side helps you manage the contrast in the shot. And for not being Mr. Technical Photographer you nailed the problem, contrast range, and said it simply enough for everyone to understand.

You've got 5 stops to play with, zone 3 to zone 7. Evenly lit caucasian skin typically meters zone 6, one zone above middle gray. Evenly lit dark skin can meter as dark as zone 4. That gives you an additional stop for shadow detail, and one for highlight detail. I like to meter my important highlight detail, my important shadow detail, and make sure all the important stuff falls within those 5 stops.

Placing the models as I originally stated allows you to cheat a little by bringing up the dark skin tones and reducing the light skin tones. Let physics (the inverse square law) help you. Then, fill and reflect to force all that other light into the 5 stop window.

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Re: Let Me Tell Ya 'Bout Black Chicks
Old 07-19-2006, 10:06 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmyd
well, i didn't say that an MUA might not change their approach when making-up a dark-skinned model. nice shot, btw.
True, and thanks!
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