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Thread: shooting black object

  1. #1
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    Default shooting black object

    i was trying to shoot some black object and find it hard to get a correct exposure.
    (i took a black camera in front of a mirror hense no flash, a very black cat)

    any tips?
    is this the right box to post this thread?

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    Default Re: shooting black object


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    Default Re: shooting black object

    try under exposing, abt -1 stop.

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    Default Re: shooting black object

    Quote Originally Posted by sORe-EyEz
    try under exposing, abt -1 stop.
    It's black, and you underexpose by -1, huh?

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    Default Re: shooting black object

    Quote Originally Posted by espn
    It's black, and you underexpose by -1, huh?
    no meh?

  6. #6

    Default Re: shooting black object

    Then you get it even blacker. Overexposing is what you're looking for.
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    Senior Member Canew's Avatar
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    Default Re: shooting black object

    sORe-EyEz was correct to advice under-exposure.

    Go to: http://web.canon.jp/Imaging/enjoydslr/p_4_002.html

    "
    To make dark subjects look dark, decrease the exposure compensation. Increasing the exposure for white subjects brings better results.
    So what about dark subjects? The answer is simple. It is the opposite for white subjects. Decrease the exposure amount.
    Since the camera thinks that a dark subject will be underexposed, it increases the exposure amount, making the subject too light.
    When shooting dark subjects, decrease the exposure amount by one stop."




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    Default Re: shooting black object

    Quote Originally Posted by Canew
    sORe-EyEz was correct to advice under-exposure.

    Go to: http://web.canon.jp/Imaging/enjoydslr/p_4_002.html

    "
    To make dark subjects look dark, decrease the exposure compensation. Increasing the exposure for white subjects brings better results.
    So what about dark subjects? The answer is simple. It is the opposite for white subjects. Decrease the exposure amount.
    Since the camera thinks that a dark subject will be underexposed, it increases the exposure amount, making the subject too light.
    When shooting dark subjects, decrease the exposure amount by one stop."





    So if bright shots, I must +EV, dark shots I must -EV?

  9. #9
    Senior Member Canew's Avatar
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    Default Re: shooting black object

    Quote Originally Posted by espn


    So if bright shots, I must +EV, dark shots I must -EV?
    Yes, eg. snow covered areas. Not only black and white. If you go through the link pages, it also explains the exposure conpensation needed for yellow, pink, purple. Go on, read it.

  10. #10

    Default Re: shooting black object

    Yes, sore-eyez is correct. Our camera meter to neutral grey. So if you are shooting a white wall for example. The camera willl think that the wall is "overexposed" so it will set a faster shutter or larger aperture and vice versa for black. So to shoot something black, u have to meter it to -1 to -2 EV for accurate exposure.

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    Default Re: shooting black object

    Quote Originally Posted by Canew
    Yes, eg. snow covered areas. Not only black and white. If you go through the link pages, it also explains the exposure conpensation needed for yellow, pink, purple. Go on, read it.
    So for snow I got to +1EV?

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    Default Re: shooting black object

    Quote Originally Posted by sweat100
    Yes, sore-eyez is correct. Our camera meter to neutral grey. So if you are shooting a white wall for example. The camera willl think that the wall is "overexposed" so it will set a faster shutter or larger aperture and vice versa for black. So to shoot something black, u have to meter it to -1 to -2 EV for accurate exposure.
    Thanks for explaining I learned something today.

  13. #13

    Default Re: shooting black object

    Depends on what you want. If you want a dark object to look dark relative to a light object, you underexpose. But if you want shadow details in your dark object, such as fabric patterns, you have to overexpose, and possibly even create layers to bump up the shadows in PP. After getting a hang of "correct exposure", venture beyond to "creative exposure" to expose the way you want the pictures to turn out.
    Last edited by shinken; 5th March 2006 at 10:46 PM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: shooting black object

    Quote Originally Posted by espn
    So for snow I got to +1EV?
    Yes for snow you got to set it to +1 or +2 EV. So the snow will appear and white. If not it will be muddled greyish white if u let the camera do its own thinking.

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    Senior Member Canew's Avatar
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    Default Re: shooting black object

    Quote Originally Posted by sweat100
    Yes for snow you got to set it to +1 or +2 EV. So the snow will appear and white. If not it will be muddled greyish white if u let the camera do its own thinking.
    Spot-on sweat100! Guess that we have made espn's day!

  16. #16

    Default Re: shooting black object

    Quote Originally Posted by htthach
    i was trying to shoot some black object and find it hard to get a correct exposure.
    (i took a black camera in front of a mirror hense no flash, a very black cat)

    any tips?
    is this the right box to post this thread?
    You get a 18% grey card and meter it under the same lighting as what you're going to shoot, You should get a good exposure setting. Otherwise, use an incident light meter.

  17. #17
    Senior Member jOhO's Avatar
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    Default Re: shooting black object

    ahahha espn stop screwing around MAUAHAHHAHAHA damn funny..

    haiz.. AGAIN.. pple are giving the wrong advise, or they are not answering the question...

    or the question isn't clear..

    wat i read was that the thraed starter's black object was TOO BLACK... so i assume he wants it brighter. if so, then it's confirm plus EV.

    and why is the black object too black? maybe becos the background is to bright. hence as one mentioned, yes, bright overall scene, gotta +ev. anyway not enuff information from the thread starter. and everyone goes assuming the wrong way, i might be wrong too.

    so wat is it? dark/bright OVERALL SCENE, or dark/bright subject?

    oh then again.. if u use a spot meter, it's a different story altogether. then skarli the user was using in M mode, where +/- ev doesn't affect the image....

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    Default Re: shooting black object

    Quote Originally Posted by jOhO
    so wat is it? dark/bright OVERALL SCENE, or dark/bright subject?

    oh then again.. if u use a spot meter, it's a different story altogether. then skarli the user was using in M mode, where +/- ev doesn't affect the image....
    Yes, this is a tricky situation if you want to shoot something black as a subject. It also depends on what sort of black you (the thread starter) are looking for. There are few toner range from the not so black to the complete black. So which one is it?
    My advise is to bracket each shot at 1/3 stop in difference to achieve what you exactly looking for. So next time you know what to do if this thing happens again. Trail & error will make you learn. That's all for my another no brainer thoughts again.

  19. #19

    Default Re: shooting black object

    As jOhO mentioned, there is some ambiguity in the way the question was phrased.

    I am really not sure if I got the question correct. Was he trying to photograph a black cat? Or was it that the cat (whatever "degree of lightness" it was) turned out black? I assume the more likely one is the former, because he was trying to shoot some "black object".

    Looking at the posts/replies, I think sweat100 got it most correctly, although his advice to underexpose by EV-1 to -2, (or overexpose by +1 and +2 for snow) is being too cautious. Eventually will work, but -1 is not too correct.

    If one wants to take a picture of a black cat so that the cat turns out properly black, he should underexpose by 2 stops. I am afraid that Stoned got it completely wrong. And if espn wants to photograph white snow, then he should overexpose by about 2 stops. While Spectrum's approach will eventually get the correct picture, it shows a lack of understanding how light and meter work together.

    sweat 100, shinken, and canew had explained the gist of the exposure. And Isisaxon's advice of using an incident meter should also work fine.

    To explain why one should underexpose by 2 stops for a really black cat, and overexpose by 2 stops for really white snow, I have to revert once again to the zone system.

    When one meters a black cat, the meter detects the cat to be too dark. The meter is calibrated to make everything grey. So it increases the exposure to make the cat grey. And when one meters for the snow, the meter detects the scene to be too white, and reduces exposure to make the snow grey.

    Why 2 stops +/-?

    The zone system gives a very simple guide to understanding tones. At the middle (which all meters are calibrated to) is 18% grey/middle grey. This is zone 5.

    Zone 4 is more grey. And zone 3 black but with discernible texture. Zone 2 completely black with no texture. Zones 1 and 0 very, very black.

    Zone 6 is lighter than 5. And zone 7 white, but with discernible texture. Zone 8 white with no texture.

    Using the black cat, if one underexpose by 1/3 stop, one is hardly doing anything. Underexposing by 1 stop will make the cat a dull neither here or there "black". Underexposed by 3 stops will make the cat completely black with no texture. So the "correct" exposure for a black cat should be minus 2 stops.

    The same principle will apply to photographing snow, but in the reverse direction.
    Last edited by student; 6th March 2006 at 08:10 AM.

  20. #20

    Default Re: shooting black object

    Quote Originally Posted by espn
    Thanks for explaining I learned something today.

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