This is one in a series of posts on the Sony alpha 7 R Mark IV (aka a7RIV). You should be able to find all the posts about that camera in the Category List on the right sidebar, below the Articles widget. There’s a drop-down menu there that you can use to get to all the posts in this series; just look for “A7RIV”.
I recently shot an event with the a7RIV. It was a Halloween party for the horsey set. Costumes for the people. A few costumes for the horses. Spooky things popping up on trail rides. It was a sunny day with a lot of tree cover. Huge DR. I took the ar7IV and the Sony 70-200 mm f/4 lens. The usual event photographer would have used fill flash. I left the flash at home, and, to increase the degree of difficulty even more, I made myself process the images with no local controls. I’ll walk you through what I did.
This was a really tough one. We’ve got patches of bright sun on light clothes, and a face in deep, deep shadow because of the shade and the hat. We’ve got white clouds and sunlit foliage in the background. I set the ISO at 320, which is one of the a7RIV’s sweet spots, dialled in lots of minus exposure compensation, and tortured the file in Lightroom:
If we look at the raw histogram, you can see that I could have given it a stop more exposure:
The end result is not as good as it would have been had I used some fill, or even as good as I could have done with some local adjustments, but shows how malleable the a7RIV files are as long as you don’t blow the highlights.
Here’s another one:
I needed a lot of negative EC to keep from blowing out the highlights in the cheek, the hair, and the arm, but this one didn’t require quite as much in the way of extreme Lightroom moves:
The raw file shows a good exposure:
Here’s one that was pretty simple to manage because the highlights are all in the background, but the sunlight on the face required pulling the capture exposure quite a bit.
Exposure looks OK:
Here’s a costumed horse in a tricky lighting situation:
Behind me is deep forest, so there’s very little light filling in the shadows. and the sunlight on the face is very bright compared to the important parts of the rest of the field of view.
The exposure may have been a bit generous:
Here is a harsh sunlight situation with a bright foreground and a very dark background. I needed minus EC to keep the detail on the semi-specular reflections on the pumpkins, which don’t show up well on the Lightroom histogram below.
I could have given it some more exposure:
This one would have been easy except for the sunlight on the right side (camera left) of her face:
That could have used another half-stop of exposure:
The camera acquitted its just fine, and the is virtually no banding in spite of the extreme manipulations.