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Mastering Exposure and the Zone System for Digital Photographers by Lee Varis

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Still Life

The same exposure principles apply to still life subjects. Figure 3.21 represents the same exposure challenge as our wedding couple—a wide value spread between light and dark subjects. In this case, the dark chocolates are placed on a white dish. The challenge is to expose the dish high enough so that the chocolates have a chance of rendering with some color and detail but not so high that you lose subtle tones and shape in the dish. A spot meter reading was taken of the average white value in the dish and exposure was opened 2 stops to “place” the value at zone IX (L=90). The resulting RAW file had the highlight of the chocolate at zone IV, with the darker wrapper coming in at zone III—final post processing pushed the highlight to ...

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