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06-17-2011, 12:53 PM   #1
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exposure against a backdrop

I have been trying to check out settings for my continuous lights in my studio to light a subject against a backdrop of of a beach and waves, I have found that the subject tends to stand out and almost looks photoshopped on to the background.
In order to stop this I incident metered the backdrop then incident metered the lights and found that by reducing the light on the subject the image becomes more realistic.
Now I know that with out door flash if the metered flash out put = the incident reading on the back of the subjects head the lighting is balanced , and that if the flash out put is slightly greater the subject stands out from the background so I assume in the studio the same applies is this correct or is there a trick to getting the subject to look like they are really at the beach?

06-17-2011, 02:19 PM   #2
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Yes, your explanation is right, and as such balancing the subject and background lighting is important to get the right 'feel' in the portrait. Meter for the background, then superimpose your subject lights, adjusting the flash output (leaving the camera settings the same) until you get the desired exposure on the subject. That sequential adjustment should make it easier to get the right results.

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