Photography by Jim Doty

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SARAH - Wedding Photo Compensation with the Canon 10D

I used a Canon 10D digital SLR with a shoe mounted Canon 550EX flash. For parameters I used both the standard sRGB as well as Adobe RGB.  With each of those parameters I used White Balance settings of Auto, Daylight, and Flash. Of the six combinations that I tried, the one I liked best was Adobe RGB with Flash for the White Balance setting.

I have not yet photographed a wedding with a digital camera but I have done enough digital photography to know that the digital CMOS chip responds differently to light than film does.  I will be using a digital camera at a wedding in a September so I needed a chance to practice. Fortunately, Sarah's dress was ready for her November wedding so I asked if she would pose for some shots.

I was also concerned about about flash exposure compensation. Like negative film, the digital chip gives me more exposure latitude than I can get with slide film. Like slide film, if the digital chip is overexposed, the highlights are blown away (washed out). I kept an eye on the histogram for each shot to make sure I wasn't losing the highlights.

For the head and shoulder portrait (above and to the right) I did not use any flash exposure compensation. Digital ISO was set to 100. For the 3/4 portrait (above and to the left) the gown was throwing off the meter in my camera which was set to partial metering mode. I was getting underexposed photos. To get a decent histogram, I set the flash compensation to +1 1/2. With both photos, I did some additional lightening using Levels in Photoshop to give me a print that I liked without burning out the dress.

To learn more about exposure and exposure compensation, Read my Exposure article elsewhere on this site.

larger versions of both photos

August 7, 2003

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