Harry Cutting Photography

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Stock Photos of Children

3825 SE 10th Ave.
Cape Coral FL 33904

All photographs copyright Harry Cutting. All rights reserved.

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Photo of young African American girl
Caption: African American Girl

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Technical data: Photo taken with a Nikon SLR film camera and Nikkor 85mm f1.8 lens; tripod, natural light and fill-flash with -2 stops flash output adjustment. Approximate exposure 1/125 second at f11 - Fuji Sensia 200 transparency film. No lens filters were used.

Film was scanned using Minolta Dimage series film scanner. Photo file was routinely optimized using Photoshop; levels and curves, color balance, sharpening, cropping and dust spot removal using clone tool. I use a Mac for all photo processing.

Comments: This photo was taken outdoors on a blistering sunny day. I placed the girl in shade and used a blank, light colored stucco wall as background. Because of her darker skin tone I used a hand-held light meter in ambient light mode to figure the exposure. (Alternately I could have spot metered her skin and reduced exposure by about 1.5 stops). Then I backed off the fill-flash power a little so her skin would appear natural.

African American skin, and to a lesser extent Hispanic skin, needs about 1.5 to 2 stops less exposure than your camera's spot meter reading. This can vary depending on the particular skin tone of your subject. A hand-held meter (using ambient light mode) will give you the correct exposure; if using your camera's built-in meter simply take a spot reading on the skin and reduce exposure by 1.5 stops for starters.

Also, if using flash with this type of skin tone, it's crucial that you reduce the flash output, too - try a minus 2 stop flash setting. Otherwise the flash will be overpowering and could wash out the skin tone.

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