Advice needed - black dog with D7100
Note to moderators: since I will be photographing with my D7100, I'll post this here. If there is a more appropriate forum, please move it. Thanks.
Here is my question: I will be shooting a black labradoodle both outdoors in the shade and in a makeshift studio I'll put together in the owner's garage. I've managed some decent shots with other colored dogs, but this is the first time I'm trying to get 'better than snapshots' of an all-black one. I know I'll probably need a little EC, but do you have any advice on how to pick up some detail in the dog's coat and face? Thanks in advance.
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#1. "RE: Advice needed - black dog with D7100" | In response to Reply # 0JosephK Nikonian since 17th Apr 2006Thu 01-Aug-13 01:05 AM
A lot of it will come down to experimentation at the beginning of the shoot. If the black dog occupies a large part of the frame then the camera may by default over-expose to get that medium gray it is looking for. Another part of the problem will be what the ambient light and background light will be like. This may mean that your shade shots and studio shots need different EV settings.
To maintain detail in the fur, I would tend to go with a slight over-exposure then tone it down in post-processing since you cannot get the details back out of the shadows if they were not recorded in the first place.
The Glamour forum and Pet forum might be some good places to check out.
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#2. "RE: Advice needed - black dog with D7100" | In response to Reply # 1RSchussel Nikonian since 24th Nov 2008Thu 01-Aug-13 02:18 AM
In some cases which metering you use can make a big difference. Try all 3 from spot to full and see if one looks better to you.
You might have to add or subtract using the EV option.
#3. "RE: Advice needed - black dog with D7100" | In response to Reply # 2km6xz Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009Thu 01-Aug-13 03:18 AM
Joseph is right, metering will tend to think a dominate dark subject needs more exposure to be an equal perceived illumination between black and bright white. That means the black dog will be overexposed. That is not all bad unless the image is clipping the highest tones. That happens because black is not usually flat matte black but has bright reflected edges of some hair strands.
Detail with a single dominate color is not easy but if you have an additional flash or reflector available you can direct a portion of light from the rear or side to define edges more.
Be sure to shoot in raw because fine adjustment of exposure and contrast will be needed. If using lightroom, the Clairfy slider will help by adding contrast to edges.
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