My brother asked me to take some pictures of his office staff for their website so that he wouldn't have to pay a professional photographer $500 to come out and take them... I tried to tell him that you get what you pay for, and since I've never done this, he might not be too happy. Anyway.... While I was there taking the pictures they all looked pretty good on the display. I shot in M and used the light meter to determine SS. And by looking at it, all of my pictures were "properly" exposed. BUT that was so not the case. I think that portions of every photo ended up being over exposed. This one here is of my brother, and you can see his skin is blown. What should I have done differently? What do I need to look for to prevent this in the future? When in doubt, should I under expose? And since I only shot in JPEG, I am assuming there is nothing I can do to fix it... ? OH, and I know that with the kids I have been trying to keep the SS at at least 250.. should I have done the same here?
f/5 1/200 ISO 1600
I did do a little PP, but I can't remember what exactly...
The problem here is your lighting. He looks like he was very close to the window/light source. And most of his face is in shadow. There is also virtually no light in his eyes. So, to fix it, I would rotate him to face the light more, and pull him a little further away. Is he taller than you? Looks like you shot up at him. I would have liked to see you straight on or slightly above him.
You asked if you should underexpose rather than overexpose. It's complicated. You definitely want to make sure you don't blow out anything to the point of no return, but if you underexpose, you introduce quite a bit of grain/noise. Quite a few photographers will tell you to overexpose slightly, rather than underexpose, but it's constantly debated. You also want to start shooting in RAW. If you do have slightly blown highlights, it's MUCH easier to fix than in a jpeg.
I agree. I would have faced him toward the light and moved him back until the light was even against his face.
You can do a little PS work over the blown parts on his face.
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Thanks! Yes, he's taller. And yes, he was fairly close to the window-- the office wasn't very wide. And he thinks his right side is his "good" side. Every picture I took of him facing the other way, he didn't like. :/ All and all I am very unhappy with the pictures I took. I will do what I can with editing and give them to him. My feelings won't be hurt if they don't like any of them and go ahead and have professional pictures taken. It just makes me realize all over again how much I have to learn.
You've already gotten some good feedback on how to make these better. Also, in terms of getting the proper exposure ... there just is not a 'one size fits all' method to nail it. My advise would be to use your exposure meter as a starting point. After setting what the camera thinks to be proper exposure, check your histogram and look for blown areas. Then start fiddling with your settings until you get the desired results.
Also, I gotta say - don't be so hard on yourself. We are all learning here and it looks like you have already learned a lot with this shoot! As for the pictures - if you are not happy, ask to re-take them! But as these are just going to be for web use and not printed, I think you're probably being harder on yourself than is necessary.
Hang in there and keep shooting!
I agree, his back is to the light and he's too close.
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