Getting gray background using white paper

Started Jun 26, 2013 | Questions thread
Barrie Davis
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Re: Getting gray background using white paper
In reply to YonathanZ, Jun 29, 2013

The camera's metering system is specifically designed to produce an "overall grey" result from what ever it is pointed at. It is succeeding, so nothing is "wrong" as such.

The answer is to give it what it is expecting, and to meter from a grey-toned target instead of a white one. Special grey cards are made for the purpose. The card is held in front of the subject in the subject lighting and the reading taken. Lock the exposure. Take the card away and shoot.

Alternatively, add positive (+) exposure compensation with the Exposure Compensation dial, which is provided for the purpose of correcting light-toned shots.

Note: Minus (-) compensation is used for dark-toned shots.

Judging by the tone of grey you have so-far got, I would expect PLUS 1+1/3 stops of positive exposure compensation would be about right. If it isn't, experiment with different values of positive compensation until you get the background tone you want.

Advice: Light boxes are not a good way of lighting products. The results are very poor for most subjects. Instead, get a good book on lighting and learn how to do the job properly.

"Light: Science and Magic" is highly recommended.
Light boxes (also tents, cocoons, etc.) are not.

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Regards,
Baz
:
"Ahh... But the thing is, these guys were no ORDINARY time travellers!"

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