Who can answer this photo question

craigdemcraigdem brisbanePosts: 3Registered Users Beginner grinner
This is for a job interview and I can't find the answer! ![](https://us.v-cdn.net/6029383/uploads/editor/gx/i811vqiib626.jpeg "")

Comments

  • craigdemcraigdem brisbanePosts: 3Registered Users Beginner grinner
    The question is : white background , white subject evenly light.
    Do you ? Ev +1
    Or Do nothing
    Or Grey card and over expose
    Or grey card and nothing
  • craigdemcraigdem brisbanePosts: 3Registered Users Beginner grinner
    Sorry it's how to meter and compensate .
    Meter through lens and ev +1
    Or meter through lens and don't compensate
    Or meter on grey card and don't compensate
    Or meter on grey card and over expose ?
  • Cygnus StudiosCygnus Studios Commercial Photographer San Francisco's North BayPosts: 2,294Registered Users Major grins

    Usually the question is posed as "how do you photograph a white rabbit in snow scene", and more often than not the answer they expect to hear is meter and compensate +1

    Steve

    Website
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,394Super Moderators moderator
    edited June 17, 2017

    My first choice is to use an incident meter, not the reflective meter in my camera.

    When I was shooting snowy owls in daylight in a snow field in Canada I used + 1.5 Exposure Compensation with the meter in my camera .

    My highlights were fine, and my whites were white. I see a lot of very grey snow images on the web that were under exposed due to the reflective meter in the camera trying to get the white snow a mid-tone grey.

    Or use a 16% grey card and the reflective meter in your camera without exposure comp. This should give you nice whites as well. This sounds like the answer they were wanting.

    All these suggestions will work, not sure what the folks asking the question think is the correct answer.

    I suspect they want to see that the photographer understands the limitations of reflective light meters, versus incident light meters.

    Every one should shoot some jpgs of a 16 or 32 step grey scale and see what their meter says is the correct exposure, and what exposure is actually needed to capture the entire grey scale in the image.

    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 20,849Super Moderators moderator
    edited June 17, 2017

    Too little information.

    If this is a studio situation, static 90 percent white subject and pure white photographic backdrop, I would bracket like crazy if I didn't know the intent of the final photo.

    Given the minimal information at hand (what you gave us), the "safest" answer (using someone else's equipment and not viewing the subject and scene beforehand), is probably, ...

    (Properly) meter on (photographic 18 percent) grey card and don't compensate.

    At least that way, if the equipment is properly set up you should get a fairly "normal" exposure for the scene, regardless of the content of the scene. Otherwise, you cannot know the reflectance value of either the subject or the background based on the stated question alone. White can mean a lot of different things to different people and under different circumstances.

    Cameras are designed to meter properly for a scene of photographic 18 percent grey and yield a normal exposure.

    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • Cygnus StudiosCygnus Studios Commercial Photographer San Francisco's North BayPosts: 2,294Registered Users Major grins

    You cannot think like a photographer with these types of questions. There are better ways, but for those who don't know anything about photography (like HR departments hiring the in house photographer) they ask questions that some book told them to.

    These small and medium sized companies that hire in house photographers rarely know or care what is best, they think in simple terms or use whatever answer they find on the internet or in a book. The white rabbit in snow is basically a standard question and 90% of the time, they want to hear +1 EV. If you go back about 10 years or so, you'll find that answer in so many magazine articles on digital photography.

    Steve

    Website
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaPosts: 14,394Super Moderators moderator
    edited June 18, 2017

    Originally, I answered shoot some test exposures in Manual Mode, and expose to the right, being careful not to blow the highlights, but I deleted it because I thought they were after a simpler RULE type answer.

    While I think this is very close to what Ziggy is suggesting also, I think using a grey card ( is it 16 or 18% grey?? I have seen both numbers ) without exposure compensation is the answer they were expecting.

    Lots of ways to skin a cat I always say, and one would hope that a real pro knows several ways to skin a cat.

    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 20,849Super Moderators moderator
    edited June 18, 2017

    @pathfinder said:
    ...
    While I think this is very close to what Ziggy is suggesting also, I think using a grey card ( is it 16 or 18% grey?? I have seen both numbers ) without exposure compensation is the answer they were expecting.

    I moved the exposure card discussion over to a new thread:

    https://dgrin.com/discussion/262053/gray-grey-cards-for-exposure-in-photography

    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • Cygnus StudiosCygnus Studios Commercial Photographer San Francisco's North BayPosts: 2,294Registered Users Major grins
    edited June 18, 2017

    @pathfinder said:
    Lots of ways to skin a cat I always say, and one would hope that a real pro knows several ways to skin a cat.

    Absolutely. I wasn't disagreeing with you or ziggy. Over the years doing product work, I've just heard this question or variant of it way too many times. The vast majority of the time, the people aren't looking for the "right" answers, they are looking for what they read on google.

    Even Nikon uses the white rabbit in the snow EV/EC explanation. (scroll down about half way). Then scroll down further to the expose for light subjects for more of the ev/ec talk.

    A lot of photography classes online and in schools now use this same approach.

    Not that this approach is wrong in and of itself, but the problem is that no one teaches the other ways any longer. If you google "meter and compensate for white on white" the vast majority will automatically jump on the ev/ec bandwagon. Sadly it has become the normal. Every year it seems that photography gets dumbed down a little further.

    Steve

    Website
  • petrochemistpetrochemist Essex UKPosts: 10Registered Users Big grins
    The amount of compensation needed will vary on the subject (size & brightness) so the best answer is to meter on the grey card which is made to be the mid grey the camera averages exposures to - Giving exactly the right compensation, in the same way an incident light meter would. No compensation is needed (or desirable) when a grey card has been used for metering.
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