Path: The Design Center _/_ FOTOgraphic _/_Desktop Photography _/_Exposure _/_ Backgrounds

Dennis Curtin's Tabletop Photography

Setting Exposures

The exposure procedure for Tabletop photography isnít a lot different from normal photography but you have the opportunity to control lighting. The biggest difficulty may arise from automatic exposure. Many close-up photographs are of small objects that donít entirely fill the viewfinder frame. Automatic exposure systems can be fooled if the brightness of the small object is very different from the brightness of the brightness of the larger background. The meter averages all of the light reflecting from the scene and may select an exposure that over- or underexposes the main subject. One solution is to make a substitute reading of a gray card and then use exposure compensation to get the right exposure settings.

Gray cards, available from your camera store, are usually white on one side, gray on the other. The gray side reflects 18% of the light falling on it, the same percentage of light that your camera's exposure system expects and average scene to reflect. In other words, the gray card produces the amount of reflectance the meter needs to calculate the correct exposure. Hereís how to meter the card:

Position the card so that the same amount of light falls on it as on your subject when seen from the angle at which youíll be shooting. You can usually do this by positioning the card parallel to the back of the camera.

Focus through the viewfinder. Move close enough so that the card fills the entire image area.

Meter the card and note the exposure settings indicated in the viewfinder and use these settings to take the photograph. If they are different from the settings indicated when focusing on the actual object. Use exposure compensation to override the automatic exposure system.

Choosing A Lens Focusing And Depth Of Field
Setting Exposures Parallax, The Curse Of Point-And-Shoot Cameras
Backgrounds Using A Reflector To Lighten Shadows
Lighting Using A Light Tent
Using Flash _ ... or please continue &Photographic arrow points to the next page

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