Home Forums Main YANAP Discussion Forum This, that, and automatic modes

  • This topic has 67 replies, 13 voices, and was last updated 10 years ago by Drew.
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    @browneyedgirl89, thanks, I appreciate the feedback although I am confused by it, a little.

    I too thought the image was a bit warm.  I opened up the file intending to reset the white balance and was surprised to discover the eye dropper placed on the top tier of the cake shows the white balance is correct, 205/205/201 was one reading.  It jumps around a bit as the dropper is moved but the numbers are all quite close.  There are lots of white references available but making white be white for some of them would take out the ambiance.  As the dropper is moved down the cake the numbers change with blue falling off the most, due to the candle light.  The flood lights are probably incandescent as they look pretty warm too.

    I liked the landscape view but I appreciate you find the extra stuff distracting.  I just tried out a square crop, keeping the vases with a little space to the edges, which removed most of the Hershey Kisses.  I think that does look better as the eye is not attracted to the lower left corner.

    There are several things I don’t like about the hired photographer’s photo,  over exposure, too shallow depth of field, the flowers on the table in the background are too bright, and there are twigs coming into the frame on the right side without a reason.  There is no detail in the petals and yet the petals appear slightly yellow, and the candle flames are not apparent.  I measured the same place on the cake in their photo and got 240/228/212, so the cake is actually more yellow, ie. white balance is less accurate, although the overall balance of the room is probably more white and values read on the other cake tiers are more uniform due to the candle light having less, or no effect.  The greater evenness of warm tone may make the image look more accurate to you.

    I am also confused that you think there are shadows caused by my flash.  I see shadows caused by the room lights and the candles, but none that I would associate with a hot shoe mounted flash in any of the four shots posted.  Can you point out the shadows from the flash?  Feel free to download a copy and mark it up if that is easier than explaining with words alone.


    @dont.care, depending on the photos you like to take the 24 ts-e may be a lot of fun.  You can increase or decrease DOF and fix keystoning to a degree, with that lens.


    Yeah, i’ll take it out an play with it eventually..


    @cameraclicker, not actually shadows projected on the background, but the background is more in shadow on yours than the hired photog’s. I think it makes it appear as though the flash was a bit too intense. Really, either image works, it could be a matter of personal preference. I do prefer the shallower DOF, partly because it’s my style. I think the WB is more uniform in their image which is why I noticed it seemed more correct. I just don’t like to see blues in whites at all (I do get them sometimes, but it’s easy to lower the blue saturation in Lightroom which is what I usually do). Not that your image has much for blue though.


    I also think they could have cropped it a bit tighter to eliminate the twigs. I took a second look at them all, and yours has shadows on the cake itself from the flowery garland while theirs does not. Also, I noticed a bit of wide-angle distortion in yours with the vases on the sides tilting outwards. You used a 24mm lens and they used 85, which would account for that. Sometimes I think wide-angle lenses are a poor choice for objects that have vertical lines that should stay vertical, know what I mean? I mean no offense at all, it’s just constructive criticism. I know I have done it too but this has made me study it and be more aware of it.


    @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.


    Stef, haha, I did remove some of my “snotty” remarks and added ‘balanced’ to some spots, you mad?

    Nope. After a “hey, wait a minute” moment, I chuckled.


    Go put that TS-E to work. It pains me to hear its lonely wails.

    That lens actually applies to the discussion of using automatic modes, since it’s a manual focus only lens. The TS-E I use has given me enough appreciation for MF that I converted an old 55mm 1.2 to EOS.



    You actually have full control in ‘Program/Program Shift’…why, because you have EV compensation (or should have).  P mode is great for togs that ‘run & gun’, a great many photo-journalist use P, virtually the only time I am in manual mode is when I am mixing flash and ambient light on location or flash in the studio whenI have a target aperture and light my subjects to that aperture.  For this I also use a light meter which is capable of measuring flash & ambient in both incident and reflected modes.  So, in ‘manual’ mode I might drop the ambient 2 stops (shutter speed) and then light my subject at whatever my target aperture is, this allows me to ‘lift’ my subject off the BG.  I also implicitly ‘trust’ my ‘Gossen Luna Pro F’ light meter, it has never ever failed me,  but then my background is film, when we couldn’t just chimp-away at a histogram and see where our exposure was


    The OP is spot-on with his assessment of ‘P’ mode ;-)….and obviously knows a thing or two about lighting ratios 😉

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