Exposure Tips - Metering For White

Metering for white

White subjects are a special case, and the cause of the most severe underexposure problems. They’re a special case because the world is full of white objects and backgrounds, and because you might be surprised at just how bright they are. This still life demonstrates this very well. Remember, we want objects to appear in photos as they do in real life, and not reduced to the 18% grey assumed by camera meters. Our first attempt, shot using the camera’s default exposure reading, was a disaster. Indeed, the overall tones are very similar to those of the default black elephant shot, demonstrating how the camera attempts to reduce all tones to the same value. In order to reproduce the whiteness of our subject, we had to increase the exposure value by 2 EV. You’ll have to do the same with snow scenes, for example, or close-ups of wedding dresses.

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