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Wedding dress blow-out

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roger staten
9 May 2006 - 4:34 AM

At a recent very sunny wedding I found many of the pictures to be blown-out of any detail on the brides dress. The remainder of the photgraph was perfect. Anyone had this problem with the Canon 300D's and found an eeasy solution ?

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9 May 2006 - 4:34 AM

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9 May 2006 - 4:40 AM

Its a common problem on all very white subjects on bright days. You could dial in exposure compensation while looking at the histogram and making sure you don't push it to a spike on the right hand side or alternatively, try spot metering the dress and setting the exposure based on that.

chrism  10118 forum posts England
9 May 2006 - 4:40 AM

I'd imagine metering for the dress would be the easiest answer.

Henchard  92744 forum posts United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
9 May 2006 - 4:45 AM

Ask the bride to wear black or stand in the shade? Wink

Personally if it was me I'd expose correctly for the dress then deal with the shadows in photoshop. Also fill in flash perhaps if it was allowed.

Or then again you could keep one of these in your camera bag


Carabosse e2 Member 1139544 forum postsCarabosse vcard England269 Constructive Critique Points
9 May 2006 - 4:51 AM

This is one of the situations where shooting in RAW could help. Were you doing that?

Just Jas
Just Jas  1225752 forum posts England1 Constructive Critique Points
9 May 2006 - 4:51 AM

The old problem in B&W days!

Did one expose for the Brides white bridal gown or the Groom's black suit?

The general consensus of opinion was to go for the Bride's dress.

Who cares about the Groom anyway. He's only the to make up the number!

It is really the Brides Day - most Grooms would concede to that, I believe.

Especially in the Football season! Smile


simont  102248 forum posts England4 Constructive Critique Points
9 May 2006 - 4:55 AM

Shooting the bride in the the raw sounds a good idea to me, just hope the groom understands!

Just Jas
Just Jas  1225752 forum posts England1 Constructive Critique Points
9 May 2006 - 4:56 AM

Only the processing should be RAW.

Oh! I dunno, though!

9 May 2006 - 5:05 AM

I agree, meter for the dress and let the shadows do their own thing. If necessary, you can pull the shadows up later in photoshop but you won't be able to do as much with blown highlights. Shooting RAW will help lots. I

if you do spot meter the dress, you have to remember, because it's white, you'll need a +ve exposure compensation or it'll come out grey!

oppo  8 Scotland2 Constructive Critique Points
9 May 2006 - 6:04 AM

The first thing I do is to get her out of the sun and in to the shade. Then use a hand-held meter to take an incident light measurment.That way you are guaranteed the correct exposure. Sometimes I use a very small amount of fill-flash to kill any shadows under the eyes. Works for me (it had better)...I do it for a living ..Phil

roger staten
9 May 2006 - 6:12 AM

Thanks guys. It sounds like a little practise with a white shirt on the washing day in full sun.
I will say I was not in 'the raw' and using the full sensors.
Could be risky spoting on the dress if the bride was black. I haven't had that problem yet.
I have two canon's and my daughter shoots the same with a fuji and I will say the fuji has no problem with the dress like the canon.
Phil, we don't have much shade in sunny devon, especially if we are in gardens to a manor house or even worse, on the beach.

9 May 2006 - 8:05 AM

Spot metering on the dress + 2 stops. Sorted. (assuming a white dress - if it's off-white go a stop and a half and bracket Smile

miptog  93532 forum posts United Kingdom61 Constructive Critique Points
9 May 2006 - 9:25 AM

Spot +2 could also apply to Swans and for that matter any bright white subject in bright sunlight.. couldn't it? Mike

9 May 2006 - 1:11 PM

Sorry Mike - been watching the telly. All that Jack the Ripper stuff...

Yes. If the main subject is 'white' then it's +2 (as a generalisation). In the same way, if you're shooting the coal falling out of the coal shed, it's -2 (again - as a generalisation).

Certainly, when shooting digital, these datum points will allow your image 'processor of choice' to have an excellent chance of producing a well balanced and punchy image rather than having to recover from something that is starting from 2 stops under-exposed (white) or over-exposed (black).

9 May 2006 - 11:11 PM

Keep an eye on your histogram and alter the exposure accordingly.
If the sun is nice and constant (not dodging in and out behind clouds) then use manual so you can set it once and get on with shooting. You don't want to spot meter on the dress as this will underexpose everything else and make the dress go muddy grey. If you do spot off the dress then open up a stop or so to keep it white.
It's not a particular problem with the 300D, the same happens to all cameras however, a more expensive camera such a a 1D generally has a better dynamic range so the problem in minimised (although in very strong light you will still get the same problem).
Shots in contrasty light like this dont look very flattering and (especially if youre the official photographer) they will be expecting to be made to look good. A good one to try is to turn and shoot straight into the sun, using a couple of big reflectors or a decent flashgun to fill in shadows. You can get a lovely backlit halo / high key effect that looks very nice if you get it right.

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