How to Make Adjustments when Photographing White Dogs

Extremes of blacks or whites are not your camera’s friend for a reason. Your camera’s light meter assumes every photograph you take has a “normal” amount of light and dark colors in it. It then sets your exposure to a setting that takes all these colors and averages them out to a middle (or 18 percent gray).

This works fantastically in situations where roughly the same amount of dark and light are within the frame, but your camera tends to get fooled in environments that have predominantly dark or light colors.

Some of the techniques you use when photographing black dogs translate to white dogs, while others need to be reversed:

  • Direct sunlight is pretty much never a good thing. You want to avoid direct sunlight with your white dog so the detail in the highlights of his white fur aren’t overly blown out. Head for the shade or try shooting on an overcast day.

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    17mm, 1/100 sec., f/9.0, 1250

  • No shade? Take the photo session indoors and try to flood the place with as much natural light as you can. Because the light enters through windows and gets dispersed throughout the room, you don’t have to worry about the harsh, direct nature of it.

  • If you still don’t have enough light indoors, bounce your flash off of the ceiling to add some additional light to the scene.

  • Say goodbye to that muddy, grayish fur by setting your exposure compensation in the positive direction, especially if you fill up most of the frame with your dog’s white fluffy coat.

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