What do you do with an image that is under-exposed but there is a certain moment that you love?
Well, perhaps you get lucky that when you convert it to B&W and crank up the exposure and embrace the noise / digital grain … and all this adds to the mood and in this case even poignancy of the moment.
Here is the original unedited image of the bride dancing with her dad …
I was shooting a little too fast for my flash to keep up, and got the occasional under-exposed frame when the flash didn’t fire. As I often do, I try to keep the ambient light 2 stops or so under, and then use TTL flash to bring up the exposure on my subject.
Even though I did get lucky here, I did help it in my favor by how I position myself in relation to my subject and the background. I do try to place myself so that I can use some background light to give a sense of place, and help giving the image depth as well. Doing so helped here in creating a lighter background when I pulled up the exposure by 2 stops to give “correct exposure” on the image. With the background now blowing out, it gives an ethereal look to the image, which for me, enhances it.
For us gear-heads:
Nikon D3; 70-200mm f2.8 AF-S
1/60th @ f2.8 @ 2500 ISO
At such a high ISO, under-exposed by two stops .. the digital grain / noise will be there. But really, the noise? Does anyone even notice the noise here? Look at the photograph again … and feel it instead. The mood and the moment. It’s all there.