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exposure for black and white

exposure black and white light meter color effects filters

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#1 Stefano Stroppa

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 06:17 PM

How you go about when you expose for black and white? 

 

Does an exposure for black and white differ in term of how you do your exposure and calculation with the light meter, from working in colors?

Does the highlights and shadows work the same way as they work shooting in colors?

Beside any color temperature consideration, how you work with your exposure when you are shooting black and white, you approach it in a very different way taking more in consideration the reflectances on the subjects? 

 

 

I know for instance if you apply a red filter (such as RED #23) the red object will become lighter: how does the gels and color filters work in black and white?

 

any personal experience on making an exposure for black and white?

 

thanks for answering to my very first post! 


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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 06:41 PM

Forgetting the red filter issue for a moment, with b&w you are dealing with tonal values so it just depends on how you want them to render, particularly faces.  Some people like caucasian faces to render a bit hotter in a b&w scene and thus will open up a little from an incident meter reading -- if using a spot meter, just decide how much brighter than 18% grey do you want the face.

 

Adding a red filter complicates things because even if you compensate for the filter factor, red objects will render lighter and blue objects darker, so that may affect your exposure choices.  For example, if you were opening up a little for faces to render them lighter, you probably don't have to do that if shooting a face with a red filter on the camera.

 

Testing is the best way to figure this out.


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#3 John E Clark

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 07:53 PM

How you go about when you expose for black and white? 

 

Does an exposure for black and white differ in term of how you do your exposure and calculation with the light meter, from working in colors?

Does the highlights and shadows work the same way as they work shooting in colors?

Beside any color temperature consideration, how you work with your exposure when you are shooting black and white, you approach it in a very different way taking more in consideration the reflectances on the subjects? 

 

 

I know for instance if you apply a red filter (such as RED #23) the red object will become lighter: how does the gels and color filters work in black and white?

 

any personal experience on making an exposure for black and white?

 

thanks for answering to my very first post! 

 

In the digital age, I've tended to 'filter' in Photoshop (or the NLE for moving pictures...) rather than putting filters on the camera. I'd have to dig up my Wratten 25 to do a test on what the differences may be.

 

As I recall the 25 needed about 2 stops worth of compensation, and because of the blue being attenuated 'more', the result increased the relative contrast to 'red-ish' content.

 

Since I didn't do any aerial photography, nor 'Ansel Adams' big vista photography, I did not have much call for that hard of a cut on blue.


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#4 Stefano Stroppa

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 01:13 PM

Thank you :)


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Pro 8mm

The Slider

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