black clothing and portraits

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Terri French, Oct 2, 2005.

  1. Terri French

    Terri French

    May 5, 2005
    I am going to attempt to take the engagement portrait of my daughter and her fiance this afternoon. They are wearing black sweaters and blue jeans. I know that black clothing can be tricky. Do any of you have advice on exposure compensation or any other tips for black clothing?
  2. Terri, I'm no expert on this, but I would think the color of the clothing, expecially black shouldn't make any difference. Set the exposure correctly for their faces and you should be okay.

    aka beaucamera
  3. Just keep the histogram away from the left edge and you should have wiggle room to adjust the levels... unless they are wearing white shirts then you have to nail the exposure.

    Black is much easier than white.

  4. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Just don't put them in front of a really dark background, you want some separation between them and the background. Also you might want to avoid matrix metering; if there's a lot of black in the frame it will tend to overexpose, trying to bring those blacks up towards neutral gray. I'd try either center-weighted metering on their face, or spot-metering on their face (in the latter case you'd probably need to overexpose a 2/3 to 1 stop from the meter reading). I assume you'll be using hotshoe flash for fill-light like your previous set, in which case that should help bring a little detail out in the dark clothing.
  5. Terri French

    Terri French

    May 5, 2005
    Great advice

    I took one set of pictures and they seemed to work out ok. I am taking some more this weekend and will use all the great advice given here.

    Thank you very much.
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