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Overlighting and Underexposing


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#1 Laura Breyers

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Posted 19 November 2009 - 03:57 PM

What happens when you use a blinding amount of light on a subject and underexpose the sensor? Does it create a hard contrast or balance out?
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 19 November 2009 - 05:00 PM

What happens when you use a blinding amount of light on a subject and underexpose the sensor? Does it create a hard contrast or balance out?


If you use a lot of light but stop down and expose normally for it... then it's not overexposed, is it? I mean, if you brought sunlight into a night interior, it would seem blinding, yet people shoot under real sunlight all the time.

Basically if you expose normally, generally normal rules regarding lighting contrast ratios apply. There are some minor exceptions at the extreme ends. So if the light level meters at f/22 and you shoot at f/22, then the contrast is whatever the contrast is between the key and the fill level. Of course, if your key is at an f/22, your fill would have to be pretty strong too to get close to a normal contrast ratio.
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