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Spot meter wedding dress

gedged Member
edited April 2013 in wedding photography
What should the approach be when the bride is wearing an ivory colored dress? Should it just be treated as if she is wearing a white dress?



  • TrevTrev Moderator
    edited April 2013
    Very small difference really Ged, zoom in on it and just look at LCD after shot, as long as you can see the details you should be right.

    It's not so much the actual color, it's the luminosity of that color and white/ivory are still in the 3/4qtr to full Highlight range so I'd shoot as white.

    I suppose the theory really should be 'light' and not 'white' since as I said, it's in the highlight range of luminosity.

    Of course some brides do wear mid-tone range like a darkish beige so that's pretty close to a zero setting maybe a +1/3rd.

    If working with a light dress and black suit/trousers, just fill frame with equal amounts of the dress and black and zero the meter.


  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    I would agree with Trev ... it's such a small difference, I'd treat it like a white dress (or perhaps 1/3 stop less exposure.) Either way, the latitude of your RAW file easily covers that.
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    And just in case someone wants to know what is involved, here is the original article:
  • ZenonZenon Member
    I have a question. You mention "spot meter wedding dress". Can you explain how you are spot metering?
  • Zenon - not sure if you are asking how to spot meter the wedding dress (i.e. looking for advice) or how the original poster specifically spot meters... ?

  • ZenonZenon Member
    Spot metering using the camera's light meter or in Canon's case using the FEL (flash exposure lock)? Not sure what Nikon calls that. I'm assuming we are talking about using a flash here?

    I just want to be sure we are talking about the same thing. Not saying this is the case but more than once I have read on other forums people trying to use the camera's light meter to obtain spot metering for flash which has nothing to do with the flash exposure metering system. In Canon's case when you press the FEL the flash fires for a reading. Not like a pre flash like ETTL but an actual flash. Using this the flash metering system meters within the spot flash circle. People like to meter off skin tones using this method but I guess you could apply it to a dress. I'm still leaning to the histogram for that one and I would as Neil and Trev mentioned would not adjust for it and deal with it during PP.

    The zone system approach could be applied to whites when using a flash I suppose. crossover37 posted a link. I read all of Ansel's books, had a 4 by 5 field camera and used the zone system for my B&W photography so this was an interesting read. Zones for skin tones is mentioned in that article.




  • CorojoCorojo Member
    edited April 2013
    don't know if your concerns are re: ambient or flash exposures? For ambient we spot meter under Bride's/Groom's eyes and add slight on camera (-1&1/2 to 2 stops) fill (eliminates racoon eyes). Total flash we use an old hand held Minolta Flash Meter 4 that calculates available light/flash ratios. Background needs to be 1 1/2 - 2 stops below. Of course, total bright day exposures require off camera main. We use Quantum TD's w/battery pack or Photogenic Powerlights w/sine wave inverter for larger location groups. Ed K.
  • ZenonZenon Member
    edited April 2013
    I have no concerns using either. I was just curios if the OP was spot metering with the camera's light meter for flash exposures.
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