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Learn By Doing Photography

Learn By Doing – Using a gray card to find black

I went looking for something black to photograph and found an old pair of boots. These were by far my most favorite pair thus why they still sit in my closet.

Doing these assignments has been amazing for me. Even though everything still seems backwards to me. For instance when I move my dial to the right I expect it to have more light, but in fact it is just the opposite on my camera.  Taking my time and really thinking about what I am doing is paying off! This first picture I metered off a gray card and ended up with an exposure that really showed these boots are black.  The histogram on the right reflects that the boots are indeed black.

This next picture is from the cameras perspective.  I still was shooting in manual but I adjusted my meter to exactly what the camera said was a perfect exposure.  This over exposed my picture!  Now the saying finally makes sense  if you have a scene with a black subject and you want to keep your blacks black – add dark to dark and the opposite add light to light.

Since our camera always wants to find middle gray it is going to look at these boots and say that is just way too much black and over expose the picture until it finds 18% gray in the middle of the histogram.  If we adjust our meter to darken it by about 2 stops we will end up with black!

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