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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 30 Dec 2010 (Thursday) 10:06
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Does Shooting White Normally Overexpose?

 
chugger93
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Dec 30, 2010 10:06 |  #1

I've wondered this...because its happened on other shots of mine. If you shoot something with a flash (430 bounced off ceiling) for example and you have a white object in your framing, the shot gets waaay overexposed. The first pic & third you will see. I know I shot shallow, but the ISO is still at 100 and since his shirt is white, the pic got way overexposed.

What's going on here? Thanks

F/1.8 (I know its shallow), 1/200th, ISO-100

IMAGE: http://www.thecentralword.com/misc/t2i/IMG_0028.JPG

F/8, 1/160th, ISO-800

IMAGE: http://www.thecentralword.com/misc/t2i/IMG_0025.JPG

F/1.8 (I know its shallow), 1/200th, ISO-100

IMAGE: http://www.thecentralword.com/misc/t2i/IMG_0029.JPG

Jon | JMBPhotography
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BrandonSi
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Dec 30, 2010 10:12 |  #2

It depends on your metering. It won't overexpose if you've taken it (white objects/areas) into account. You don't have EC/FEC set to non-default do you?


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chugger93
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Dec 30, 2010 10:30 |  #3

I didn't shoot with FEC enabled, or it was set to 0 if at all. I just shot in normal ETTL mode


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TTk
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Dec 30, 2010 10:31 as a reply to  @ chugger93's post |  #4

What was your WB set to?..


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Tim ­ S
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Dec 30, 2010 10:38 |  #5

You shot in manual, what was the camera meter reading? I'd bet at f/1.8 and 1/200 you had a good ambient exposure. Then you added flash which blew out the whites. You might try setting manual exposure 1 stop under ambient, then adjust flash via FEC if necessary.


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belgianbob
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Dec 30, 2010 11:05 |  #6

I don't know if this applies to your camera body/flash combo but I have read that while evaluative metering works well for ettl flash outside, switching to plain old average metering when using flash indoors as your main light source can give you a better exposure.

Could be worth a try, or could be complete nonsense. I'm not sure.
I hope you find a fix soon.


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PacAce
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Dec 30, 2010 11:11 |  #7

Based on the camera settings used for those pictures, I'm going to hazard a guess and say that the camera was in Av mode and when the aperture was set to f/1.8, with an ISO of 800, there was just too much ambient light, resulting in overexposure. Had the flash not been turned on, the camera could have picked a faster shutter speed but with the flash on, the shutter speed maxed out at 1/200.

To correct fix this issue, either turn off the flash or use a lower ISO setting.


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chugger93
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Dec 30, 2010 11:16 |  #8

I was in manual mode as I always am. The pictures above with ISO 100 were the issues, not the one with ISO 800. When I looked at my reading the meter was way on the left side, and the only way it would goto the middle of the meter is if I adjusted my shutter to 1/4th or so. White balance was set to auto like I normally leave it.


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Gatorboy
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Dec 30, 2010 11:17 |  #9

What did an f/1.8; 1/200; ISO 100 exposure WITHOUT flash look like?


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PacAce
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Dec 30, 2010 11:19 |  #10

chugger93 wrote in post #11541457 (external link)
I was in manual mode as I always am. The pictures above with ISO 100 were the issues, not the one with ISO 800. When I looked at my reading the meter was way on the left side, and the only way it would goto the middle of the meter is if I adjusted my shutter to 1/4th or so. White balance was set to auto like I normally leave it.

Well, so much for my analysis.  :o

Man, I really need a double layer of reading glasses. I thought all the images were shot at ISO 800! :|


...Leo

  
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aaron.dunlap
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Dec 30, 2010 11:23 |  #11

Gatorboy wrote in post #11541461 (external link)
What did an f/1.8; 1/200; ISO 100 exposure WITHOUT flash look like?

This. The moment I put my flash on I set my ISO to 100, Aperture to whatever I want, and shutter to somewhere around 1/160. If I'm not getting enough ambient, bump the ISO to 200 or 400 and shutter speed down to a MAX of 1/100 (ok, guilty... i go slower than that sometimes just to save ISO... but only if my subjects aren't moving around a whole lot).

you could easily bump your ISO down to 200 or 400 by dragging the shutter a bit and you'd still get a good ambient exposure.


 Aaron

  
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Fernando
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Dec 30, 2010 11:37 |  #12

chugger93 wrote in post #11541457 (external link)
I was in manual mode as I always am. The pictures above with ISO 100 were the issues, not the one with ISO 800. When I looked at my reading the meter was way on the left side, and the only way it would goto the middle of the meter is if I adjusted my shutter to 1/4th or so. White balance was set to auto like I normally leave it.

If I may ask, why are you in manual if all you're doing is using the cameras meter and then spinning the dials? Normally you hear people say they understand what's in their scene better than the camera would. In this case....

With all due respect, the questions I've seen lately could be answered by using the other setting (P, Av, Tv) and understanding what the camera is doing setting-wise in different scenarios. As you start to understand what the camera is seeing you can go into M and adjust for a given scene to get the results you want.

-Fernando


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Wilt
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Dec 30, 2010 11:42 |  #13

  • First principle of reflected light meters: When the meter is reading the full scene, it ASSUMES that the scene brightness AVERAGES to 18% gray mid-tone.


  • Second principle of reflected light meters: When using smaller metering zones (Partial or Spot) it ASSUMES the target area is 18% gray mid-tone.


  • Third principle of reflected light meters: When the scene/target is brighter/darker than 18% gray, you must use EC (for ambient) or FEC (for flash) so that it is not fooled by subject brightness failure (which occurs when the scene/taget is not 18% mid-tone)
Principle of Canon Evaluative metering: The camera biases the reading to give greater priority to the focus zone(s) which are active, but it also factors in the brightness of adjacent zones, so Evaluative can and does get fooled!

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MichSt
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Dec 30, 2010 11:46 |  #14

chugger93 wrote in post #11540955 (external link)
I've wondered this...because its happened on other shots of mine. If you shoot something with a flash (430 bounced off ceiling) for example and you have a white object in your framing, the shot gets waaay overexposed. The first pic & third you will see. I know I shot shallow, but the ISO is still at 100 and since his shirt is white, the pic got way overexposed.

What's going on here? Thanks

F/1.8 (I know its shallow), 1/200th, ISO-100


F/8, 1/160th, ISO-800


F/1.8 (I know its shallow), 1/200th, ISO-100

I'm not sure what's going on with your photos, but I always thought lots of white in a scene means you'll wind up with an underexposed shot. I find I usually need +1 or so of FEC when there's a lot of white or light colors in a scene.


Mario.Q

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klynam
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Dec 30, 2010 11:55 |  #15

Back to the old addage: Learn to shoot in manual...or REALLY get to understand your camera / flash metering (which is still a crap shoot most of the time - at least for me.)

Even when I'm shooting "casually", I shoot in manual, try a few shots to get the ambient exposure where I want it, then add flash w/ manual level adjustment for fill.

At that point I pretty much set-it-and-forget-it, and shoot in RAW so I can adjust for minor scene changes in post production...


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Does Shooting White Normally Overexpose?
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