Better way to take this shot? CC on exposure please
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Thread: Better way to take this shot? CC on exposure please

  1. #1
    Mega Poster TracyF's Avatar
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    Default Better way to take this shot? CC on exposure please

    I took this photo of a friend while we were out the other day. She picked the spot (wanted to be by the tulips), and I angled her to remove shadows from her face in a spot where there was full sun and not many options.

    My question is: she has very blonde hair, as you can see, and even when I underexposed a fair bit (-2/3 stop), parts of her hair are still blown. Is there any way to take this shot under those circumstances without blowing her hair? I'm just wondering as a learning point, so that I can be more aware of stuff like this the next time. I did see that her hair was badly blown with the initial shot and so took the exposure way down, and then worked on it in GIMP to balance it out, but she would've been REALLY dark if I had've underexposed any more than I already did. What would you advise in this type of situation?

    TIA for helping me learn.



    ETA: Wish I had done some other things differently in this image, too, but mostly I'm looking for advice on the exposure issue I had with it!
    Last edited by TracyF; 05-14-2012 at 11:47 PM.

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  2. #2
    Posting Addict AmberBella's Avatar
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    It's totally acceptable to blow bits of hair in a backlit shot like this.
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  3. #3
    Posting Addict shadow_grey's Avatar
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    I'm interested to see responses. I would have metered for her face and so be it if hair is slightly blown. Otherwise maybe use a reflector?

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    Posting Addict Amy_&_Eva's Avatar
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    I agree, with backlit shots it is ok that the hair is very sunlit at the edges.

  5. #5
    Mega Poster TracyF's Avatar
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    It seems like it's more than just "bits", but certainly after I made some exposure corrections the amount of hair that's blown is much smaller than before. Good to know it's OK! Thanks for the input!

    Married Anthony April 2, 2005
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  6. #6
    Community Host Ladybugsteph's Avatar
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    What Amber said. But since you're still worried about it being more than just bits of her hair, you would want to try this at a later part of the day. Was this late afternoon? You might want to wait until the sun is even lower in the sky. Also, if you could block the sun a little bit by the background, that would help.

    ETA:
    BTW, I think you did a great job getting nice even light on her! Way to go! Backlighting is difficult, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes second nature.
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  7. #7
    Mega Poster TracyF's Avatar
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    Steph, it was about 4 p.m. We were just walking around, waiting for our husbands to finish some meetings and didn't have a lot of choice of time. It definitely wouldn't have been my preference to shoot then and there! Having said that, I'm trying to learn how to take decent pictures regardless of the circumstances and lighting, so this is a little baby step for me.

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  8. #8
    Posting Addict AmberBella's Avatar
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    When I say bits...I do so loosely. Here is an example of totally acceptable blown highlights in the hair.


    9 IMG_1545-Edit WEB by amberbella, on Flickr
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  9. #9
    Mega Poster TracyF's Avatar
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    OK, cool, thanks, Amber. That's a gorgeous photo!

    Married Anthony April 2, 2005
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    Posting Addict marymoonu's Avatar
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    I struggle a bit with back-lighting... I always feel like I don't properly expose the face in an attempt to minimize blowing the highlights. I agree with Amber, when it's some of the hair blown, that looks nice.. I think it adds to the "glowing" feel of back-lit images. But for me, I'll try to do it with my kids who are very fair skinned with very light hair (actually, my youngest is still 99% bald at nearly 15 months)... And rather than just blowing a bit of hair, it's like I'm truly blowing a portion of their skin... And I'm just not sure how to work it out....

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