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Problem with shooting with a bright white back drop
Old 03-09-2005, 04:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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For some reason I can't fix this one problem I have with shooting a model in front of a bright white back drop. Because of the nature of digital cameras and the way they meter the whole area I always seem to get under exposed images. The camera looks at all that bright white in the back drop and trys to adjust for that and so the model comes out under exsposed. If I use spot metering the images look all diferent. Some need less exp and some need more. What is the secret ?

I meter the model for f8 and the back drop f10 or f11.

There must be a way to get around this problem.. Help !

Thanks

Mike

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Re: Problem with shooting with a bright white back drop
Old 03-09-2005, 04:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I am guessing that you are not using strobes huh? You are right...the cameras metering stinks for this type of stuff.

I would suggest getting a light meter if you want the easy way. I always shoot manual in the studio, and I suggest you do so when you come across sticky situations like this. You should be able to tweak your settings while looking at the image and histogram. If you really want to be sure you got it right...try shooting tethered and you can see a full size image in just a few seconds, and make adjustments based on that. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

Hope that helps.
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Re: Problem with shooting with a bright white back drop
Old 03-09-2005, 04:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It isn't a problem... it is the way it is.

Your in camera meter wants to expose what it reads as 18% grey... if you meter for the white back drop the meter thinks it is grey and everything else is underexposed.

When you switch to spot meter you can just meter for the face ( which to the meter is approx 18% grey) and the exposure is closer to being right.

Your choices are:

Meter for the background and adjust your exposure by a stop to 1 1/2 stop. Spot meter on the face, or use a handheld light meter and expose for the model.

grs
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Re: Problem with shooting with a bright white back drop
Old 03-09-2005, 05:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Yes I am using strobes. Two to light the back drop and one on the model. The camera is in manual and is set to f8 to match what I set the lighting on the model to. If I use spot metering the back ground comes out diferent on every image. Some will be light and some will be dark. It is like that because of the camera is set on spot metering and is metering a diferent light tone on the model each time. I get much better closer looking images on matrix metering. They just come out under exposed..

Mike
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Re: Problem with shooting with a bright white back drop
Old 03-09-2005, 05:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I am confused I guess. I don't understand how you are using the in camera metering with your strobes. Maybe there is a trick I don't know, but I have never been able to use my camera meter in conjunction with strobes...unless you are talking about flashes that have TTL or something.
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Re: Problem with shooting with a bright white back drop
Old 03-09-2005, 05:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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huh? I'm confused. If your camera is on Manual then what is the in camera metering that you are talking about? Your image should be the same every time. Are some of the strobes not firing? is there a long recycle time? What does your histogram look like? what Shutter speed are you using?

please provide all of the gear that you are using.
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Re: Problem with shooting with a bright white back drop
Old 03-09-2005, 06:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Camera- Nikon D100
Flash - 3 JTL mono lites
pocket wizard
Nikon Lens
light meter

On the camera body you have to make a choice as to the place you leave the switch in.

3D 10 segment matrix / Center weighted / Spot

You have another switch to put the camera in Manual mode or program and auto mode.

I keep the camera on manual and 3d 10 segment matrix

3d 10 segment matrix looks at the whole area while spot looks at a small area to ajust what you want at f8. The model is checked with a light meter and the flash is set for f8 as is the camera. Shutter is 1/25th. But because the background is btight the camera does not expose right. Is that any clearer ? It's the best I can explain it.

I hope that helps you.

Mike
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Re: Problem with shooting with a bright white back drop
Old 03-09-2005, 06:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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It seems like I had a similar problem that was resolved by turning off the TTL option on the D-100.

Worth a shot.

Mark Oehler
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Re: Problem with shooting with a bright white back drop
Old 03-09-2005, 07:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Are you giving the flash enough time to fully recycle? If you fire to quickly before the flash has time to fully recycle then you will get some underexposed images. The strobes for the background may be set at full power while the flash on the model may be set at 1/2 or 1/4 power. If so it will take the strobes on the background longer to recycle than the strobe on the model. The models strobe may have recycled but the strobe on the background would not have hence the background underexposure.

If your shooting strobes in manual mode, where you have set the aperature to f8 per your light meter and if you have also set the cameras shutter speed to the 1/125th or longer for the D100, the fact that you have the in camera meter set to Spot should not make a bit of difference, just like in a camera with Film. Unconciously it may be that when you set to Matrix you were more comsistent in the timming between shots and allowing the strobes to fully recycle.
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Re: Problem with shooting with a bright white back drop
Old 03-09-2005, 07:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Maybe I did not explain it good enough. I have the camera set for f8. I set the flash for the model for a reading of f8. I set the 2 lites for the white background to f10 or f11. I did both. Now if I turn off the lites for the background and use the flash that is set for f8 on the model only .The image is exposed good. But when I shoot with the back ground lights turned on all 3 flash heads go off like they should. But the model gets under exposed . The book says when you shoot into a bright background you should use spot metering. Every person I talk to says never use the spot metering setting in the d100. I have done it in the past and never liked the results I get.

Mike
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