Photo Lab #17 On White

I am playing with Prairie Jill( Miriam( We are working our way through Steve Sonheim’s photography book(Creative-Photography-Lab-Self-Expression-Mixed-Media), lab by lab.

This lab was similar to a previous one(Light and Dark) but it had its own twist. I had quite a bit of trouble getting this one going: I needed to find a window with no direct sunlight, setup a tripod, as well as find an appropriate white reflector and white background. Plus, what to use for a subject? After a few trial and error series, I finally got a set-up that basically worked- ie, it demonstrated the purpose of the lab.

I did the lab 2 ways, once with the white reflector and once without the reflector. I found that the reflector helped eliminate shadows and generally did increase the brightness. I combined all the photos into 1 collage.

On the left is a series starting from “auto” exposure compensation and then increases in exposure compensation from plus 0.5, 1, 2 ,3 ,4 and 5. The series on the right is exactly the same except with the white reflector in place:

lab 17 collage without and with reflector for blog

It is amazing how the camera over-compensates when there is a lot of white(it assumes there is 18% gray) resulting in the photos looking too gray. In both series, the exposure compensation that looks best to me is the middle one, at +2. The detail shows up better on the left(no reflector), but there is also more shadow. I think that a +1.5 with the white reflector in place would have worked best- it would have yielded a white background without loss of detail in the red canister.

Interesting lesson.


One thought on “Photo Lab #17 On White

  1. I agree with your comment about realizing how much grey the camera adds to images with a lot of white. It’s tricky getting the balance – a true white without washing out the colour. A great exercise, and I love seeing your results.


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