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2-2.7 stops above. Okay. I will try that. I am just curious -- if we render the snow correctly, by using this high exposure compensation, will we also overexpose other regions in the frame? For example, the subject itself? (in your case, I am curious as to how the wolves rendered quite perfectly!)
I Spot meter off the white highlight adding 2 to 2.7 stops above the metered value depending on how flat the light is, with my Canon's. Try plus 2 with Nkon D3(s), if it clips come back a bit, too dark add a little. Some Nikons (D300) meter different than other cameras, and require less exposure, 1.3 stops above the metered value. Once you have your camera zeroed in rendering white should always be very close to the same value. Most problems come about when using large meter patterns (Eval/Matrix) with the subject size being smaller and of different tonality than the background. A Spot meter renders whatever is in the small pattern as a mid-tone value, and negates the background influence. You need only figure out how much or little light to add or subtract from the meter recommendation to render the tone as desired. Example black -2, white + 2, it becomes easy once you get the values memorized.
Meter Patterns determine Exposure, Priority Modes change Variables.
Could you share the exposure compensation setting you used, Charles Glatzer? It would be very helpful. Thanks for sharing this amazing pic with us!
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Six wolves a howling by Charles Glatzer
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