I recently tried to get some shots of two dogs playing. I don’t expect perfect photos when the dogs are wrestling and running about. I just don’t have the chops for that. But people like them, and I occasionally get a shot that I am truly satisfied with. But… on the two days in question the subjects were Aspen and River — a white dog and a black dog. That’s brilliant white and pitch black. Okay, to be honest, River’s coat has dark brown highlights. But he’s still quite dark.
The contrasting subjects pose a dilemma for the camera’s meter. “Dude, you want the white dog exposed properly or the black dog?” I think that’s what the meter was whining under its breath. Oh, and to make matters worse, the dogs were moving from shade to sunlight, sometimes every few seconds. I doubt I’ve ever heard such foul language from a camera before.
The results were distressing. So distressing that I deleted each and every photo and burned the data card they were recorded to.
Then I did what I often do to recover from such a trauma. I put my favorite lens on my favorite camera and headed outside a bit before when the light was perfect. And I chose subjects that I knew would remain still long enough so even I could focus properly. Yep, I was basically cheating.