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Thread: To spot or not to spot?

  1. #1
    Davidd's Avatar
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    To spot or not to spot?

    Hi folks

    I'm very new here, apologies if this has already been covered. One reason I joined you all is the excellent tutorials, I've learned a lot I thought I knew but didn't!

    I recently took some photos at my daughter's wedding (once my speech was out of the way!). To avoid burning out her brilliant white dress outside I thought I would spot meter (Nikon D7000) off her face. Its a new camera and I didn't quite trust the camera's own metering system to get it right - after all, I'm only going to get one chance at her wedding (hopefully). It worked and she looks as beautiful in the photos as she does in real life - what's more, there is plenty of detail in the dress. But: it was an overcast day... What if there'd been bright afternoon sun? I'm going to 2 more weddings in July and am expected to take more photos of the brides - chances are there'll be sunshine sometime. What do you advise - play safe and spot, experiment beforehand?

    There's also the question of whether I can trust the dynamic focus, but that's for another time perhaps!

    David

  2. #2

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    Re: To spot or not to spot?

    I am assuming that your daughter and the future brides all have white faces.

    For safety, I would also spot check the dresses. But don't go entirely on that reading; and take several shots with different exposures.

  3. #3
    Davidd's Avatar
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    Re: To spot or not to spot?

    Actually, she had a tan for the occasion, not sure how she acquired it! I was thinking that if I metered off the dress she'd be too dark, etc, especially with the sun which didn't in fact appear. Of course its similar to photographing snow, which has got me in trouble in the past. Your advice fits in with my belt and braces approach Geoff - I was thinking of bracketing exposures as I think you imply, and bringing along a diffuser too.... I imagine that an uptodate camera like the D7000 can manage it without the extra help, but I've not had it long enough to have complete faith yet.

    Here's Naomi's First Dance - I was more confident inside even though there were all kinds of lighting issues there too - not least the disco lights tracking her!

    To spot or not to spot?
    David
    Last edited by Davidd; 9th June 2011 at 10:14 PM.

  4. #4
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: To spot or not to spot?

    Hi David,

    Welcome to the CiC forums from me, great to have you join us.

    Received wisdom would say 'spot meter on the dress then reduce exposure by 2 stops'. If sunny, obviously choose a sunlit part of the dress. (Shoot RAW)

    I don't think you'll have time to bracket exposures, so check the review screen in highlights mode for "blinkies" - there shouldn't be any, if there are and they are siginifcant in area, reduce exposure a little more.

    Cheers,

  5. #5
    Davidd's Avatar
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    Re: To spot or not to spot?

    Ah! Hadn't received that wisdom Dave - now I have! I 'll do it and post the results....

    Many thanks

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