Help with backlit subjects

Started Dec 5, 2012 | Discussions thread
Regular MemberPosts: 310
Re: Help with backlit subjects
In reply to designdog, Dec 6, 2012

designdog wrote:

The fountain was a bad example, because of course it would be at night.

More better would be a recent trip to a neighborhood lake community. My wife, our border collie and golden retriever are sitting on a bench at the edge of a covered pagoda. It is a prefectly sunny day, blue skies, no clouds, and all of that is in the background, with the three subjects in shadow.

So I am thinking to use the spot meter on her, but then the background would be blown out. And so the converse. Using the average meter does not work so well, nor does the evaluative.

Instinct tells me to spot meter the bright background, then adjust the exposure until I can make out some details of the subjects. "Exposing to the right" I guess...

I think you're over thinking this.

The XPro has pretty good DR, so you've kinda gotta try to blow highlights. So out for a walk along the canal, boom:

  • Av: f/2.0
  • Tv: 1/2000
  • ISO: 400
  • Focal Length: 35mm

Spotmetered the face, dropped it a stop with EC. The only thing that blew out was the SUN. If you spotmeter the brightest spot you want details in, and the darkest, and they're within 10 stops of each other, you're probably fine if you're shooting RAW. Beyond that, you'll need fill to compress the exposure range. If you don't like flash, reflectors work. But honestly, flash is easier.

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