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@browneyedgirl89, thanks for the reply.  This thread was about exposure, meters and histograms, so I thought this set of photos fit right in.  I appreciate your thoughts on the whole image though.  Fifty years ago, when men wore white shirts to their office jobs, housewives would wash the shirts and during the rinse cycle would briefly drop a bag full of blue dye into the water for a moment.  The explanation I was given was that adding the bluing caused the white shirts to appear whiter.  Strange what memories a comment can stir up.  It may not be evident from the single photo but the bride’s colour theme was purple.  She had purple shoes, purple boots for the outdoor posed shots in case it snowed (weather was nice, she wore them anyway), purple table cloths, and the cake was white with purple and blue trim.

There was a couple of photographers and to their credit, while I dislike their photos (over exposed and low contrast), they are very uniform.  I cannot determine which photographer took which shot, except for those I watched them take.  I could figure it out by looking at the serial numbers of their bodies in the EXIF data but that is too much like work.  Also, to their credit, they were using good gear.  They were both using 5D Mk III bodies with a collection of Canon L series prime lenses.   I was talking to one of them and they mentioned their 24 mm lens was not sharp.  I had the same lens in my bag so I put it on and took a few shots of the cake to let them see.  They are sending their lens for service.  Those test shots are the ones presented here because they have the same subject and they were shot with P and Av and matched the other photographer’s shot using M.  The EXIF data says their flash did not fire and they used a custom white balance.  I used flash to light the cake but not wash out the ambient light, and auto white balance because the hall had a mix of lights including incandescent, halogen, coloured filters, as well as speedlights.  Of course, keeping the ambient light also keeps the ambient shadows and since I like a reasonably saturated and contrasty image, the shadows are fairly dark.

Wide angle lenses are fine for most subjects.  The main caution is to pay attention to their propensity to make near objects appear larger than more distant objects, which will give your subject a very large nose for instance.  In some photos a short lens is used just to get that effect.  Keeping vertical lines vertical can be achieved by keeping the camera level, or with lens correction software in post.  That was done for the last photo — Program Mode, processed in ACR — which I hope you agree has vertical lines nearly vertical if not vertical.  Some lines are vertical and some are slightly off.  The other two photos are completely raw.  24 mm is not particularly wide when compared to 16 mm or 10 mm, but I find many wide lenses tend to have a stretching effect at the edges and the 24 mm does exhibit that effect a little.

Thanks again for expressing your thoughts.