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Shooting a dark subject against a bright background


Los Angeles, US
35 posts

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Grasshopper Registered since 13th Oct 2003
Fri 18-Nov-05 10:16 PM

This afternoon I was experimenting with my new D50 and SB600 speedlight. I attempted to take a picture of a dark green ivy leaf that was climbing up a yellow wall reflecting full afternoon sun. (Under normal circumstances I would just realize it was a lousy time of day to be taking that picture...but for the sake of education...) I found the best picture came from spot metering on the dark leaf and setting the flash to TTL-BL to fill. However, the incredible brightness of the wall behind the ivy still tended to blow out into overexposure. Is there any way of toning that down, while still capturing the detail of the leaf? Are there any other ways you'd recommend trying the shot? I should mention I was shooting with a 50mm 1.8 AF D Nikkor from a distance of maybe 3 feet in "P" mode, so I don't recall the shutter and aperture settings. That said, would it be wise to bump up the shutter speed to whatever the fastest flash sync would be?