For this week’s Bloggography photography tutorial, we are going to explore exposure compensation. This post was written by my co-host, Manic Mother.
What is exposure compensation?
Exposure compensation is a feature that dSLR cameras (and some point and shoots) have that allows you to manually adjust the exposure levels of your picture.
When your camera takes a picture, the light meter inside of your camera reads the available light and automatically adjusts the exposure for you. However, the light meter does not always read the available light correctly. The ability to adjust your exposure manually can save many a picture.
Exposure compensation is measured in values ranging anywhere from +5 to –5 (varies by camera). A positive exposure value will allow more light in, and a negative exposure value will allow less light in.
The way I remember this is:
+ (positive) value = add light
– (negative) value = subtract light
Choosing a correct exposure value helps preserve detail in both dark and bright areas of an image.
Which exposure value should I use?
There is no easy answer to that question — it differs in every picture you take! So I will give you some examples instead.
Lets say you are outside on a sunny day, but you want to use a large aperture to create a shallow depth of field in your picture. You take the shot and you notice it seems blown out, so to fix this you would need to subtract light by adjusting the exposure value to a negative number.
f/1.8, ISO 200, 1/1250 sec, exposure 0 ———– f/1.8, ISO 200, 1/2000 sec, exposure -0.7
Now lets say you are taking a picture in a shaded area, and your image seems too dark, and lacks detail. Then you would want to add light to your image by adjusting the exposure to a positive value.
f/1.8, ISO 800, 1/13sec, exposure 0 ————- f/1.8, ISO 800, 1/8 sec, exposure +0.7
The best way to learn exposure compensation is by experimenting.
Where is my exposure compensation button?
Note: Exposure compensation only works in M, Av, Tv, or P modes.
On a Canon Rebel (pictured above) press and hold the AV (+/-) button and rotate the front dial to the right (+) or the left (-). Exposure compensation is slightly more simple on my Canon 40D. I just move the mail dial on the back to adjust exposure compensation.
Check out Manic Mother’s blog to see how it’s done on a Nikon.
Experiment with your camera’s exposure compensation. Take an example of a correctly exposed picture and an incorrectly exposed picture.
For an added challenge, find a sign of Spring to take a picture of. Spring is in the air!
*Remember* + (positive) value = add light, and – (negative) value = subtract light.
Don’t forget to come back next Tuesday to link up and show us what you have learned!
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