High Key 1st Attempt

Started Apr 12, 2012 | Discussions thread
Sailor Blue
Sailor Blue Forum Pro • Posts: 13,744
Re: high key @ 2/3rd over? 1/3rd over? high key? really?

Hugowolf wrote:

setwad wrote:

+1.5 is the value to use

No, not for me, or for that matter, for many others.

An overexposed white background will be clipped no matter how many stops it is overexposed, so why over do it?

That is the point I was trying to make, but you have stated it much better.

While it is easy to see the light from a too bright background wrapping around the edges of the subject it is not as easy to see the lens flare. This is because the light comes from many directions off the background instead of a single point such as the sun. The result is a spread of light all over the lens, which causes a loss of contrast, instead of a single or several flare points showing up.

While it isn't as easy to see the flare from an over bright background, it is there and it is reducing the quality of your images. This is a very important reason for limiting the overexposure of the background.

correct, but a white background measured @ +2/3rd will come out grey, no?

No. If it is evenly lit, it will come out white at zero over exposure. All the overexposure does is cover evenness problems. White correctly exposed will come out white and grey correctly exposed will come out grey, ± nothing.

Thank you for adding more details Brian. I meant +1 stop as sort of a maximum overexposure but your answer is fuller and gives a perfect explanation of why you overexpose the background at all.

we're still talking 'bout high key here, right?

I don’t know about you, but I am talking about hot white backgrounds. The OP’s image is an attempt at a hot white background, it isn’t high key.

I presume we are talking about incident metering, or reflective metering using a gray card?

Love my Sekonic L-358. I place it flat against the background and feather the background lights until I get an overall reading of about +2/3 plus or minus 1/3 stop. Generally I can get the light even enough that the total difference from side to side and top to bottom is within a 1/3 stop range.

The key is to have all the edges of the subject against a pure white background. If there are a few areas of the background away from the subject that don't come out totally white it is easy enough to fix this in post processing, but of course the better the images come out of the camera the less time and effort you need for post processing.

Brian A

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