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  1. #11
    RPC
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    Metering a gray card theoretically should give correct exposure but if your meter, metering technique, apertures and shutter speeds aren't on the money, and if you are erring on the side of underexposure, then dark skin may cause excessive underexposure and loss of detail and saturation. Therefore it is a good idea to add a stop or so of exposure.

  2. #12
    Rick A's Avatar
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    Stop making this more complicated than it should be. Negative film gets extra exposure to saturate(expose for shadows), reversal films get underexposed(expose for hi-lites) to saturate. Metering a gray card when possible, especially including a shot of the card will allow the printer(lab or home) a benchmark to go from. Using the gray card to meter will give accurate exposure. Variables such as wonky meters and or shutters be damned, you should already know what your gear is doing, and if it's whacked, fix it, dump it, or know what to allow for difference.
    Rick A
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    BTW: the big kid in my avatar is my hero, my son, who proudly serves us in the Navy. "SALUTE"

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick A View Post
    Stop making this more complicated than it should be. Negative film gets extra exposure to saturate(expose for shadows), reversal films get underexposed(expose for hi-lites) to saturate. Metering a gray card when possible, especially including a shot of the card will allow the printer(lab or home) a benchmark to go from. Using the gray card to meter will give accurate exposure. Variables such as wonky meters and or shutters be damned, you should already know what your gear is doing, and if it's whacked, fix it, dump it, or know what to allow for difference.
    No this is incorrect, metering a grey card will will give you Zone V, dark or Negro skin to show shadow detail should be in Zone 111 two stops less http://www.photoessayist.com/specials/gray-scale.html.
    Ben

  4. #14
    Rick A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by benjiboy View Post
    No this is incorrect, metering a grey card will will give you Zone V, dark or Negro skin to show shadow detail should be in Zone 111 two stops less http://www.photoessayist.com/specials/gray-scale.html.
    Sorry, my meter won't get me to zone 111. I used to shoot portraits for a living, and never had to adjust for "negro" skin. Exposing for the lighting and not worrying about skin tones has always rendered great results for me. I've sold Thousands of dollars worth of portraits and never failed to produce desired results for a client.
    Rick A
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    BTW: the big kid in my avatar is my hero, my son, who proudly serves us in the Navy. "SALUTE"

  5. #15
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick A View Post
    Sorry, my meter won't get me to zone 111. I used to shoot portraits for a living, and never had to adjust for "negro" skin. Exposing for the lighting and not worrying about skin tones has always rendered great results for me. I've sold Thousands of dollars worth of portraits and never failed to produce desired results for a client.
    You've been very lucky Rick, "my meter doesn't give me Zone 111" either, but my brain does. I too used to shoot portraits for a living, and I know that some Afro/Caribbean people get very upset if their skin comes out too light and even white Caucasian skin should be one stop more exposure than an 18% Grey Card that you say you base your exposure on without modification.
    18% Grey Cards don't automatically give you the correct exposure in all situations, just a starting point to think about how your subject differs from that mid tone.
    Last edited by benjiboy; 08-09-2012 at 01:36 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    Ben

  6. #16

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    Part of me thinks grey cards are for girls, but I'll be sure to take it next time.

    I actually meter with a DSLR as to make 'sketches' and reference exposures when using new films.

    Quote Originally Posted by benjiboy View Post
    I too used to shoot portraits for a living, and I know that some Afro/Caribbean people get very upset if their skin comes out too light...
    This is part of my concern, yes.

    I'm happy to take creative liberties most of the time in regard to shadow detail and darker prints for mood. These were formal portraits though, very much personal work, but I had the straight approach in mind so exposure needs to be critical really. The portrait consisted of a bright white wall, a painting, a red sofa and the subject so the grey card would have made sense.
    Last edited by batwister; 08-09-2012 at 12:41 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  7. #17
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick A View Post
    Whenever possible, take a reading from a 18% gray card placed in front of your subjects face in the lighting you are using. Skin color should not matter, as you are using color film, and will get an accurate rendering from the light reading.
    That is true Rick if you are using an incidental light reading, but reflected light meter readings from 18 Grey Cards make Caucasian skin one stop too dark whatever type of film you use, the principals of exposure don't alter for colour film. http://www.photoessayist.com/specials/gray-scale.html
    Ben

  8. #18

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    These are the digital 'sketches' and I would hope representative of the images on film in terms of exposure.

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-B8hmMCDdBz...00/dorrett.jpg

    My memory of her actual skin tone is failing me now...

  9. #19
    RPC
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    Her skin tone doesn't look dark enough to me to cause any concern or changes from what you normally do.

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by benjiboy View Post
    You've ... I know that some Afro/Caribbean people get very upset if their skin comes out too light and even white ...
    ... and others get upset if their skin comes out too dark (even when that is the true color). Some people (no matter what race they are) have a mental image of hteirselves that just isn't quite the same as reality.

    But one "issue" I have noticed with dark skin is that the contrast can be great due to skin oil or perspiration so attention to lighting is essential.

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