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Afro-American subjects in white dress - Adobe Photoshop Elements

Photographing anyone let alone a person with dark skin dressed in white is a very big problem. In a studio barn doors are often used to shade the white but .... Your best bet is to expose meticulously and in this situation an incident meter is almost a must. Once you have the image it is often a procedure to dodge and burn to get the best final print. Grant...

  1. #1

    Default Re: Afro-American subjects in white dress

    Photographing anyone let alone a person with dark skin dressed in white is a
    very big problem. In a studio barn doors are often used to shade the white
    but .... Your best bet is to expose meticulously and in this situation an
    incident meter is almost a must. Once you have the image it is often a
    procedure to dodge and burn to get the best final print.

    Grant


    Grant Dixon Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Afro-American subjects in white dress

    It is quite a challenge indeed!
    There is just only one way to do this properly: avoid high contrast lighting like direct sunlight.
    Take a metering from the skin and from the white dress and you will know the difference in stops. If possible, set your metering at 1 stop overexposure for the dress and use this as a guidance, i.e. take a spot reading from the dress each time. This way it will not bleach out unrepairably. As soon as possible, check if everything is still within proper exposure range.
    Using flashlight is the most difficult part. Don't rely on any automatic feature as the reflection on the white dress will result in an underexposure that cannot be fixed in a way acceptable to any professional photographer. The best way is to do some test shots before the actual wedding at two or three distances from the subject at various apertures and use these results as a guideline for manual settings. Limit your shots to the distances you tested before. You can always crop a little afterwards.
    I've been a professional wedding and portrait photographer for almost 30 years now, but I 'm still quite nervous at weddings like these how my images will come out.
    Wedding photography is about checking, checking, checking and checking whenever possible. Digital wedding photography is even harder than before, but on the other hand we have never before been able to check our results so easely.
    If you might need some ideas, you may check out my website; moreover, within a few months it will be translated to proper english. ;-))

    Leen
    Leen Koper Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Afro-American subjects in white dress

    Grant, you were faster.....
    You are absolutely right; a studio setting is the easiest way, because you are able to controll your lighting.
    The best way in the studio is to light like usual and place a translucent screen between the dress and the main light. This will reduce the contrast about 1 1/2 stop.
    Nothing to it. ;-))

    Leen
    Leen Koper Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Afro-American subjects in white dress

    Leen and Grant made some excellent suggestions. I will add 3 of my own. If you don't have the opportunity to do test shots or a studio or don't have a spot meter...

    Bracket
    Bracket
    Bracket

    Rich
    Richard Coencas Guest

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