Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Expose for Her Skin

Bride
I had a chance to go to the Texas Photo Festival in the little town of Smithville Texas this past weekend. They had a number of people on hand for the participants to photograph, including a fireman and his truck, a biker and his bike, and this young lady and her wedding dress. I love photographing people, so I was in heaven. ;-)

If you're familiar with modern cameras, you'll know that they tend to underexpose images that contain a lot of white. For example, if you photograph a scene containing snow, there's a good chance the camera will render the snow as as a dull gray, instead of white. To fix that, you have to tell the camera to "overexpose" the image by about a "stop" (one additional "stop" translates to  twice the amount of light).

All that white paint and wedding dress in the image above made my camera think the image was too bright, so it wanted to underexpose it, leaving the girl's skin too dark. To compensate, I dealed in about a stop of "overexposure" to bring her skin back to where I wanted it, nice and bright and beautiful. It also brought out that nice rim light on her left cheek and rendered the white paint as white instead of gray. Moral of the story, expose for what's important, not what your camera thinks is "normal".

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