B&W photos...over exposed

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Chris, Mar 31, 2008.

  1. Chris

    Chris Guest

    Greeting group!

    I had recently posted about a diy background cloth, which I got a
    black cloth--looks great and looking forward to more pics. Well, we're
    using B&W film for all our exposures (for a university class I'm
    taking) and when I developed the film, all the pics looked very over-
    exposed. I may be able to work with this in the dark room, but wanted
    to see what I'm doing wrong. I set the focal point on my model, camera
    was on a tripod and I was shooting in AV mode, about f4.0. The light
    was off to my left (a couple of 500/1000 w lights, the kind you'd find
    at a Home Depot/Lowe's). If these lights put out too much light,
    wouldn't the light meter pick up on that?

    Thanks for your thoughts!
    Chris
     
    Chris, Mar 31, 2008
    #1
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  2. Chris

    TConway Guest

    "Chris" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Greeting group!
    >
    > I had recently posted about a diy background cloth, which I got a
    > black cloth--looks great and looking forward to more pics. Well, we're
    > using B&W film for all our exposures (for a university class I'm
    > taking) and when I developed the film, all the pics looked very over-
    > exposed. I may be able to work with this in the dark room, but wanted
    > to see what I'm doing wrong. I set the focal point on my model, camera
    > was on a tripod and I was shooting in AV mode, about f4.0. The light
    > was off to my left (a couple of 500/1000 w lights, the kind you'd find
    > at a Home Depot/Lowe's). If these lights put out too much light,
    > wouldn't the light meter pick up on that?
    >
    > Thanks for your thoughts!
    > Chris

    If I understand you correctly, it appears the black background is
    influencing your exposure. You may have to either dial in some minus
    compensation or set exposure manually apart from the background. The
    background tells the camera it needs more light.
     
    TConway, Mar 31, 2008
    #2
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  3. Chris

    Chris Guest

    On Mar 31, 11:38 am, "TConway" <> wrote:
    > "Chris" <> wrote in message
    >
    > news:...> Greeting group!
    >
    > > I had recently posted about a diy background cloth, which I got a
    > > black cloth--looks great and looking forward to more pics. Well, we're
    > > using B&W film for all our exposures (for a university class I'm
    > > taking) and when I developed the film, all the pics looked very over-
    > > exposed. I may be able to work with this in the dark room, but wanted
    > > to see what I'm doing wrong. I set the focal point on my model, camera
    > > was on a tripod and I was shooting in AV mode, about f4.0. The light
    > > was off to my left (a couple of 500/1000 w lights, the kind you'd find
    > > at a Home Depot/Lowe's). If these lights put out too much light,
    > > wouldn't the light meter pick up on that?

    >
    > > Thanks for your thoughts!
    > > Chris

    >
    > If I understand you correctly, it appears the black background is
    > influencing your exposure. You may have to either dial in some minus
    > compensation or set exposure manually apart from the background. The
    > background tells the camera it needs more light.


    Gotcha. On another note, I'm not using anything to diffuse the
    lighting...should I?
     
    Chris, Mar 31, 2008
    #3
  4. Chris wrote:

    > Greeting group!
    >
    > I had recently posted about a diy background cloth, which I got a
    > black cloth--looks great and looking forward to more pics. Well, we're
    > using B&W film for all our exposures (for a university class I'm
    > taking) and when I developed the film, all the pics looked very over-
    > exposed. I may be able to work with this in the dark room, but wanted
    > to see what I'm doing wrong. I set the focal point on my model, camera
    > was on a tripod and I was shooting in AV mode, about f4.0. The light
    > was off to my left (a couple of 500/1000 w lights, the kind you'd find
    > at a Home Depot/Lowe's). If these lights put out too much light,
    > wouldn't the light meter pick up on that?
    >
    > Thanks for your thoughts!
    > Chris


    Chris,

    What metering mode are you using? You may want to use spot metering
    if you can, and meter off your subject. The light meter (assuming you
    mean in-camera) may be metering off the whole scene, including the dark
    background.

    Did the black cloth appear grey in your shots, by any chance?

    --
    - Michael J. Astrauskas
     
    Michael J. Astrauskas, Mar 31, 2008
    #4
  5. Chris

    Chris Guest

    On Mar 31, 12:44 pm, "Michael J. Astrauskas" <>
    wrote:
    > Chris wrote:
    > > Greeting group!

    >
    > > I had recently posted about a diy background cloth, which I got a
    > > black cloth--looks great and looking forward to more pics. Well, we're
    > > using B&W film for all our exposures (for a university class I'm
    > > taking) and when I developed the film, all the pics looked very over-
    > > exposed. I may be able to work with this in the dark room, but wanted
    > > to see what I'm doing wrong. I set the focal point on my model, camera
    > > was on a tripod and I was shooting in AV mode, about f4.0. The light
    > > was off to my left (a couple of 500/1000 w lights, the kind you'd find
    > > at a Home Depot/Lowe's). If these lights put out too much light,
    > > wouldn't the light meter pick up on that?

    >
    > > Thanks for your thoughts!
    > > Chris

    >
    > Chris,
    >
    > What metering mode are you using? You may want to use spot metering
    > if you can, and meter off your subject. The light meter (assuming you
    > mean in-camera) may be metering off the whole scene, including the dark
    > background.
    >
    > Did the black cloth appear grey in your shots, by any chance?
    >
    > --
    > - Michael J. Astrauskas


    Hi Michael,

    And thanks for answering a neophytes questions! Not sure what kind of
    my camera uses--and yes, that's in-camera. I'll have to research that.
    I got the camera used online and it's a Canon Rebel 2000 (film
    camera). I thought the light meter would meter by setting the focal
    point on the subject. And yes, the black cloth DID appear mostly grey,
    except the spots where it 'rippled'--if that makes sense.
     
    Chris, Mar 31, 2008
    #5
  6. Chris wrote:

    > And thanks for answering a neophytes questions! Not sure what kind of
    > my camera uses--and yes, that's in-camera. I'll have to research that.
    > I got the camera used online and it's a Canon Rebel 2000 (film
    > camera). I thought the light meter would meter by setting the focal
    > point on the subject. And yes, the black cloth DID appear mostly grey,
    > except the spots where it 'rippled'--if that makes sense.


    According to one web site the Rebel 2000 has three metering modes:
    evaluative, which considers the whole frame; partial, which uses the
    "9.5% circle around the focus point"; and center-weighted average, which
    uses the entire frame but puts more weight on the center.

    Maybe you could try partial and make sure the center dot is over the
    subject. (I don't have a manual handy so I don't know exactly how to set
    it on the Rebel 2000.)

    --
    - Michael J. Astrauskas
     
    Michael J. Astrauskas, Mar 31, 2008
    #6
  7. Chris

    Chris Guest

    On Mar 31, 2:53 pm, "Michael J. Astrauskas" <>
    wrote:
    > Chris wrote:
    > > And thanks for answering a neophytes questions! Not sure what kind of
    > > my camera uses--and yes, that's in-camera. I'll have to research that.
    > > I got the camera used online and it's a Canon Rebel 2000 (film
    > > camera). I thought the light meter would meter by setting the focal
    > > point on the subject. And yes, the black cloth DID appear mostly grey,
    > > except the spots where it 'rippled'--if that makes sense.

    >
    > According to one web site the Rebel 2000 has three metering modes:
    > evaluative, which considers the whole frame; partial, which uses the
    > "9.5% circle around the focus point"; and center-weighted average, which
    > uses the entire frame but puts more weight on the center.
    >
    > Maybe you could try partial and make sure the center dot is over the
    > subject. (I don't have a manual handy so I don't know exactly how to set
    > it on the Rebel 2000.)
    >
    > --
    > - Michael J. Astrauskas


    Excellent. I've got a manual at home and will give this a shot. Thanks
    again, Michael!
     
    Chris, Mar 31, 2008
    #7
  8. Chris

    1 the light you are using will be very contrasty - try using a second light
    on the oposite side to the main one but reflecting off a side wall to give
    some fill - keep experimenting.

    2 the contrasty light with a black backdrop is too much for your camera auto
    exposure - either get an incident lightmeter or point your camera at a
    "grey" card with spot metering to get a more accurate exposure.- then set
    your camera to manual and use the incident/grey card exposure. Camera
    stores should be able to supply a Kodak grey card which I recollect comes
    with instructions. Basically the grey card goes where the subject is and
    the camere is on the line you intend to take the shot with the grey card
    angled part towards the light and part towards the camera (45 degrees?).

    3 You say you are using film - it could be you are overdeveloping giving the
    images too much contrast.

    4 Just got my web site up with some black and white stuff - you might be
    interested www.ember-razement.com.au The studio stuff is mostly shot with an
    incident meter and sometimes with a spotmeter with camera on manual - some
    is film and some is digital.

    All the best
    Malcolm
     
    Malcolm Smith, Mar 31, 2008
    #8
  9. Chris

    Chris Guest

    On Mar 31, 6:28 pm, "Malcolm Smith" <>
    wrote:
    > Chris
    >
    > 1 the light you are using will be very contrasty - try using a second light
    > on the oposite side to the main one but reflecting off a side wall to give
    > some fill - keep experimenting.
    >
    > 2 the contrasty light with a black backdrop is too much for your camera auto
    > exposure - either get an incident lightmeter or point your camera at a
    > "grey" card with spot metering to get a more accurate exposure.- then set
    > your camera to manual and use the incident/grey card exposure. Camera
    > stores should be able to supply a Kodak grey card which I recollect comes
    > with instructions. Basically the grey card goes where the subject is and
    > the camere is on the line you intend to take the shot with the grey card
    > angled part towards the light and part towards the camera (45 degrees?).
    >
    > 3 You say you are using film - it could be you are overdeveloping giving the
    > images too much contrast.
    >
    > 4 Just got my web site up with some black and white stuff - you might be
    > interestedwww.ember-razement.com.auThe studio stuff is mostly shot with an
    > incident meter and sometimes with a spotmeter with camera on manual - some
    > is film and some is digital.
    >
    > All the best
    > Malcolm


    Wow! Thanks a bunch, Malcolm! I'll check out your site. At 44, I
    changed my major last year from Computer Science to Fine Arts (taking
    as many photo classes as available). The class I'm in is an intro and
    I've learned a lot, so far. I'm shooting with a Canon Rebel 2000 and
    found in the manual how to change the metering (thanks to Michael
    above). Shooting B&W film, ISO 400.
     
    Chris, Apr 1, 2008
    #9
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