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lucky1 03-19-2005 01:57 AM

help, black dogs face indistinguishable
 
I am new to digital photography/photography. I recently got a Kodak DX6490.
I like it and have gotten what I consider to be some good pictures. But am
having trouble with one of my favorite subjects, my mostly black German
Shepard. It seems no matter which way we face in the sun or inside her
solid black face is too often indistinguishable.

Any tips, advice, rules appreciated.

TIA
Bill



Michael Meissner 03-19-2005 02:45 AM

Re: help, black dogs face indistinguishable
 
"lucky1" <unlucky1@insightbb.com> writes:

> I am new to digital photography/photography. I recently got a Kodak DX6490.
> I like it and have gotten what I consider to be some good pictures. But am
> having trouble with one of my favorite subjects, my mostly black German
> Shepard. It seems no matter which way we face in the sun or inside her
> solid black face is too often indistinguishable.
>
> Any tips, advice, rules appreciated.


Yes, all black dogs (I have two) are a problem. The problem is the camera sees
the blackness, and tries to compensate by under-exposing. I assume your camera
does not have a RAW mode, in which case the only option is to play with the
exposure compensation setting, and using post processing.

If your camera does have RAW mode, this has more levels than are available in
JPEG, and you can select how to convert this to JPEG (ie, you can favor the
darker area bringing out more detail or favor the lighter area).

--
Michael Meissner
email: mrmnews@the-meissners.org
http://www.the-meissners.org

DavidN 03-19-2005 03:01 AM

Re: help, black dogs face indistinguishable
 
<<having trouble with one of my favorite subjects, my mostly black
German Shepard. It seems no matter which way we face in the sun or
inside her solid black face is too often indistinguishable>>

1. use a fill flash
2. in about 30 percent of the cases, your exposure meter will deceive
you. This is one of those occasions. Try over exposing by 1.5. to 2 f
stops.
3. Get a decent book on learning the fundamentals of photography. If it
has a conventional film orientation fine. The basics are the same
whether conventional or digital. The manual that came with your camera
will take care of the mechanics.

davidN


Tony 03-19-2005 03:16 AM

Re: help, black dogs face indistinguishable
 
Add exposure with the exposure compensation adjustment on your camera. Start
with one stop and see what you get. You will probably need more than one
stop, but it is best to avoid going too high.

--
http://www.chapelhillnoir.com
home of The Camera-ist's Manifesto
The Improved Links Pages are at
http://www.chapelhillnoir.com/links/mlinks00.html
A sample chapter from "Haight-Ashbury" is at
http://www.chapelhillnoir.com/writ/hait/hatitl.html

"lucky1" <unlucky1@insightbb.com> wrote in message
news:7GL_d.82078$r55.28985@attbi_s52...
> I am new to digital photography/photography. I recently got a Kodak

DX6490.
> I like it and have gotten what I consider to be some good pictures. But

am
> having trouble with one of my favorite subjects, my mostly black German
> Shepard. It seems no matter which way we face in the sun or inside her
> solid black face is too often indistinguishable.
>
> Any tips, advice, rules appreciated.
>
> TIA
> Bill
>
>




Colin D 03-19-2005 03:41 AM

Re: help, black dogs face indistinguishable
 


Michael Meissner wrote:
>
> Yes, all black dogs (I have two) are a problem. The problem is the camera sees
> the blackness, and tries to compensate by under-exposing. I assume your camera
>
> --
> Michael Meissner


'Fraid not, Michael. The camera will tend to overexpose dark objects.
The meter is calibrated to render an average subject as 18% gray, and it
will try to render the dog's face as 18% gray. The problem is the
surrounding area, particularly if fairly light-colored, will increase a
general meter reading, thereby underexposing the dog. Spot reading on
the dog and decreasing exposure by a stop or two should do it.

Black animals generally are hard to photograph. What you are actually
doing is catching the shine from the hair, which delineates the animal,
leaving the non-shiny bits very dark, or black.

Colin

Frank ess 03-19-2005 04:20 AM

Re: help, black dogs face indistinguishable
 
Colin D wrote:
> Michael Meissner wrote:
>>
>> Yes, all black dogs (I have two) are a problem. The problem is the
>> camera sees the blackness, and tries to compensate by
>> under-exposing. I assume your camera
>>
>> --
>> Michael Meissner

>
> 'Fraid not, Michael. The camera will tend to overexpose dark objects.
> The meter is calibrated to render an average subject as 18% gray, and
> it
> will try to render the dog's face as 18% gray. The problem is the
> surrounding area, particularly if fairly light-colored, will increase
> a
> general meter reading, thereby underexposing the dog. Spot reading on
> the dog and decreasing exposure by a stop or two should do it.
>
> Black animals generally are hard to photograph. What you are actually
> doing is catching the shine from the hair, which delineates the
> animal,
> leaving the non-shiny bits very dark, or black.
>



If you use a polarizer, shiny black dogs disappear entirely.



lucky1 03-19-2005 11:44 AM

Re: help, black dogs face indistinguishable
 
WOW, thanks for all the feedback. very insightful. yes, I have gotten
several books on digital photography and am digesting slowly as there are so
many situations and so many vairables. a bit overwhelming.

When I add exsposure will it overexpose the background? Is this a damned if
you do, damned if you don't?

Thanks again,
Bill
"lucky1" <unlucky1@insightbb.com> wrote in message
news:7GL_d.82078$r55.28985@attbi_s52...
> I am new to digital photography/photography. I recently got a Kodak

DX6490.
> I like it and have gotten what I consider to be some good pictures. But

am
> having trouble with one of my favorite subjects, my mostly black German
> Shepard. It seems no matter which way we face in the sun or inside her
> solid black face is too often indistinguishable.
>
> Any tips, advice, rules appreciated.
>
> TIA
> Bill
>
>




secheese 03-19-2005 01:19 PM

Re: help, black dogs face indistinguishable
 
On Sat, 19 Mar 2005 11:44:21 GMT, "lucky1" <unlucky1@insightbb.com>
wrote:

>WOW, thanks for all the feedback. very insightful. yes, I have gotten
>several books on digital photography and am digesting slowly as there are so
>many situations and so many vairables. a bit overwhelming.
>
>When I add exsposure will it overexpose the background?


Yes.

If you want the background AND foreground correct, use the fill flash
method.



Michael Meissner 03-19-2005 02:25 PM

Re: help, black dogs face indistinguishable
 
Colin D <ColinD@killspam.127.0.0.1> writes:

> Michael Meissner wrote:
> >
> > Yes, all black dogs (I have two) are a problem. The problem is the camera sees
> > the blackness, and tries to compensate by under-exposing. I assume your camera
> >
> > --
> > Michael Meissner

>
> 'Fraid not, Michael. The camera will tend to overexpose dark objects.
> The meter is calibrated to render an average subject as 18% gray, and it
> will try to render the dog's face as 18% gray. The problem is the
> surrounding area, particularly if fairly light-colored, will increase a
> general meter reading, thereby underexposing the dog. Spot reading on
> the dog and decreasing exposure by a stop or two should do it.


Ok, I guessed wrong whether it was under-exposing or over-exposing. Thanks.

> Black animals generally are hard to photograph. What you are actually
> doing is catching the shine from the hair, which delineates the animal,
> leaving the non-shiny bits very dark, or black.


--
Michael Meissner
email: mrmnews@the-meissners.org
http://www.the-meissners.org

Michael Meissner 03-19-2005 02:31 PM

Re: help, black dogs face indistinguishable
 
secheese <sec@nbnet.nb.ca> writes:

> On Sat, 19 Mar 2005 11:44:21 GMT, "lucky1" <unlucky1@insightbb.com>
> wrote:
>
> >WOW, thanks for all the feedback. very insightful. yes, I have gotten
> >several books on digital photography and am digesting slowly as there are so
> >many situations and so many vairables. a bit overwhelming.
> >
> >When I add exsposure will it overexpose the background?

>
> Yes.


Depending on how over-exposed it is, you can reduce the effects somewhat in
post processing.

> If you want the background AND foreground correct, use the fill flash
> method.


I would imagine with fill flash you have the green-eye problem (due to the
difference in the way their eyes are laid out, cats & dogs eyes turn green with
a flash, while humans eyes turn red). Some amount of post processing can fix
this. An external flash can extend the range before the green/red-eye sets in,
but I don't think the Kodak supports an external flash.

--
Michael Meissner
email: mrmnews@the-meissners.org
http://www.the-meissners.org


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