Dark skin and white tux - Advice needed

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by preston_harper, Apr 28, 2008.

  1. This weekend I am shootig a wedding for an African American couple, for which
    the groom will be wearing a white tux. Can anyone recommend the best way to
    expose for this, making sure not to wash out the tux but still keep the
    features of the groom?

  2. bdp


    Sort of like shooting into the sun... Expose for the tux, and fill-flash has face.

    If you're outside in the bright sun you would do the same.

    If she's wearing white also, you have a similar situation
  3. Do some searches. This has been discussed before. In a nutshell, try to avoid photographing them in the bright sun. Try to avoid photographing them against a dark background, where the skin tone will merge with the background, or a white background, where the clothes will merge. If you can manage feathering the light toward the faces and not on the clothes, do so, but this is extremely difficult at a wedding where you don't have the control of time.

    Depending upon your workflow, you can decide to contain any and all highlights (no blinking highlights) and bring the shadows up in post processing or let some minor, small highlights blow and recover them in post. The downsides are, for the former, increased noise in the shadows (and possibly skin) in bringing them up in post, and for the latter, blown highlights that are not recoverable but chances of increased noise are less. Your choice.
  4. Digital or film?
  5. Digital - Nikon D300 with a fast prime lens and SB800
  6. Agree with the above post,
    I would just add to be sure to shoot in RAW format,
    that gives you more flexibility. then lower ISO, gives wider latitude.
    On the D300 there is the D-lighting option. Try to see if it may help. Do also some try before
    the wedding day,

  7. Now you know why so many wedding photographers use the Fuji S5.
  8. Another vote for the Active D-Lighting on the D300 as well. I have experienced this scenario myself and the D-Lighting made a world of difference on saving the highlights and shadows with the extreme variance in dynamic range of the scene.
  9. Also, consider 14-bit RAW if you are really concerned and want the extra bit depth. However, this will come at the expense of slower performance in FPS.
  10. Preston -

    D300 is very similar in handling of skin tones to S5, so don't sweat it too much. Shoot in raw, use ISO 200. (Don't mess with the Lo settings) Set the picture mode to Standard.

    Use 14 bit raw, the Frames Per Second shouldn't matter...You're shooting a wedding, not the Super Bowl or World Series. :)

    Good Luck!

  11. I use a Metz 54 for this situation. It has a small "wink light" on the front. Bounce the main light with the ceiling and use the wink light to help with fill light.
  12. Consider shooting your formals in film. If not you must shoot RAW, and post process. Remember under exposure with digital and slides will allow you to bring up what you need; over exposure in film does the same.

    Try to get the ambient light levels up as high as you can so that the contrast is lower, and shoot digital at a lower contrast level. The dark/white contrast is gonna kill you.

Share This Page