Exposures/Grey-card (task)

Monday 7th October 2013

This task was about finding a light/white subject, a dark/black subject, and a pale/grey subject. We had to shoot on manual, using the recommended settings our camera gave us. We had to shoot them close and further away, keeping the same settings for each one. We were trying to create a grey card and see what colour our light, dark, and grey images came out as. Did they create the 18% grey card effect? Where the whites white and the darks dark?
We also had to shoot a green, blue and red subject. Each of these colours produce the same measurement as the 18% grey card – so if you don’t have one at hand, find something green, blue or red, take a reading of it and you should then get the correct exposure!

Close up - white wall 1/100 sec. f4. ISO 200

Close up – white wall
1/100 sec. f4. ISO 200

resize2white

Further away – white wall
1/100 sec. f4. ISO 200

As you can see this wall, was bright white yet the camera’s suggested settings have made it look grey.
For the dark I tried it out on a chair but thought I’d try another but then forgot to do the ‘further away’ shot of the second (a black cardigan). Here are both of the ‘darker’ ones.

Close up - back of a dark chair 1/4 sec. f4. ISO 200

Close up – back of a dark chair
1/4 sec. f4. ISO 200

Further away - back of dark chair 1/4 sec. f4. ISO 200

Further away – back of dark chair
1/4 sec. f4. ISO 200

1/50 sec. f4. ISO 200

1/50 sec. f4. ISO 200

As you can see the image of the chair is quite over exposed. I kept trying to put the shutter settings up faster but then my camera would say it was under exposed so I had to put them down to 1/4 for the camera to say it was exposed correctly! The second dark image looks quite well exposed, yet the slightest sense of grey comes through. It’s not a definite black as it looked in person.
I didn’t have chance to shoot with the grey card but I did find something kind of silver/grey to shoot:

Back of a van - grey/silver 1/60. f10. ISO 100.

Back of a van – grey/silver
1/60. f10. ISO 100.

As you can see it was difficult to shoot and use full stops as the camera would either say it was slightly under or over exposed, that’s why I had to use f10.

Here are my primary colour shots.

Blue painted door - Close up 1/60. f5.6. ISO 100

Blue painted door – Close up
1/60. f5.6. ISO 100

Red car door - close up  1/60. f5.6. ISO 100

Red car door – close up
1/60. f5.6. ISO 100

1/60. f4. ISO 200

1/60. f4. ISO 200

I also thought I’d taking a reading from the green trees…

1/60. f5.6. ISO 200

1/60. f5.6. ISO 200

As you can see the red and blue are the exact same reading. I think the reason the green was slightly different was because on the first green image there was shadowing as it wasn’t a flat surface, and it isn’t a ‘primary green’ like the first 2 colours. Also because the trees aren’t a flat surface, and are natural objects and shapes, they had a slightly different reading.

I found this exercise quite helpful as it made me see how the same/similar reading for 18% grey can be produced using the primary colours – if we don’t have a grey card we could always look around and take a reading from either red, green or blue surfaces and we can be assured a good exposure. It has also shown me how the camera naturally finds an exposure of 18% grey – as the white wall and the dark chair look similar shades!

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