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Exposing in Hard Sun

MatrixphotoMatrixphoto Member
edited August 2011 in wedding photography
Hi Everyone
Here is another problem I'm trying to work around.
I just did a wedding this weekend , I did this after ceremony of the B+G out side the church.
The first one

I adjusted exposure until there was no Blinkies , after chimping the image I thought the image looked underexposed so I went down to 1/250 from 1/320


The overall exposure looked better but the whites blew out.

Is the LCD image leading me astray.

Also would it have been better to close down the aperture? instead of using H.S.S

Lou Recine


  • AllenAllen Member
    Hi Lou. Having read Neil's blog for a while now, one thing stands out: In bright daylight, start with your camera's max. sync. speed. Instead of 1/320th @ f9, you should have started at 1/250th @ f10 then change the aperture and/or flash exposure compensation to get the result you want. In your first shot, your flash range (direct flash) was just under 2 metres and may not have had much effect. In the second shot the flash range was over 4 metres and would have contributed to some extent, in addition to the 1/3 stop extra ambient.

    Anyway the first shot is easy to correct - it's only slightly under exposed. With the second shot you may be able to retrieve it with the recovery slider.
  • TrevTrev Moderator

    Actually Lou the first one is exposed correctly, for the relevant tones, the whites, I just looked at the 'whites' of that image and it gave a healthy 236 237 239 [RGB] which also meant the WB is good if the dress was white. Just looking at the dress by itself you have great detail in there.

    Now, the appearance of the photo being dark is simply because the majority of the image [side of church] is in shadow, and the couple's skin tones of course are darker.

    I see in the readings you have the Blacks up to 5, pull that back and bring in some fill light, and I bet you will get a good result.

    Also why the second image really went over-exposed when you dropped the shutter by only 1 third is because you jumped back from HSS to normal and immediately the flash took it 'yay, I can now dump some juice on it' simply because of the vast majority of the background being dark and skin tones also.

    Like Allen said, I would normally just stick immediately to the sync speed and go from there.

    Could I look at the files Lou, you have my addy.

  • Lou, the first image is properly exposed for the bride. You can't expose everything correctly in one single take.

    Neil has always said that the wedding dress is the most important element in making sure it stays white in the photos.

    You may also wish to look into a ND filter, but that helps with DOF. It still won't necessarily allow you to expose everything in the picture "correctly."

    Neil has a blog entry about that.
  • AllenAllen Member
    Another contributory factor in the over exposure of the second shot is the sun! Look at the shadows on the floor and the door - much more harsh. It looks like the sun came out at the same time as you increased the exposure.
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    That first image looks nearly fine. But since your subjects have dark skin, the impression is that it looks under-exposed.

    I would just ride the Fill-Light slider a bit, and even the Brightness.

    This way you won't over-expose the white dress, but you will see a good increase in the shadow detail.

    As for the exposure details and techniques, the others have it here.
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