Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Exposure compensation - video & tips

This Quick Shot question comes from Gary S who asks:

“…I don't really understand what the Exposure Compensation is and when it should be used. I remember seeing you use it by 1 stop I think it was to prevent a white back drop looking grey”

Scroll down for some exposure compensation FAQ's

A few questions that have already arisen:

Where’s Exposure Compensation on my camera?
I might be called EV +/- check your manual.

Can I use Exposure Compensation in Manual mode?
No, exposure composition may is usually only available in Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Program modes.

Isn’t the camera meter always correct?
Modern cameras feature intelligent meters which produce good images every single time… almost. Good as they are they still make mistakes, which is why checking your cameras LCD and histogram from time to time is a good idea.

My Canon DSLR’s exposure compensation doesn’t seem to work.
Make sure you have the on button switched to the angled line symbol.

But I was told real photographers only ever use Manual mode, everything else was for amateurs.
Total rubbish. Most photographers I know generally use Aperture Priority when shooting in natural light.

Can Exposure Compensation be used in other ways?
Yes it can. By deliberately inducing under or over exposure you can add mood to an image. Dark images add drama where light images feel calming.

I thought Camera RAW could pull back two stops, so why do it in the camera.
In fact Adobe Camera RAW can pull 4 stops each way and that can be a life saver at times. But be careful not to fall into the mind set of thinking “I’ll fix it in Photoshop”, it’s a very slippery slope. Try and think I’ll get it right in camera and you’ll be a better, happier photographer.

5 comments:

Paul said...

Gavin, might be useful to add a bit on exposure bracketing.

Great site, keep up the good work!

Valentin said...

Yeah Paul is right will be good information also the so called HDR photos :)

Gary said...

That's great Gavin thank you very much. :-)

Gary S.

Maxence said...

Great video Gavin, as usual. That makes me think to a particular question, I will cover a wedding in june 18th in Germany, I guess the sun will be there, so I'd like to know if I must set my camera to minus 1 or 2 exposure compensation to not have a very white, with no details bride's dress?

Tell me if Im' wrong ;)

Thank you very much for sharing with us your great tutos! :-)

Paul said...

Max, a bit of a finger in the air question I think?

Do what most pros would do? Take some test shots on the day, check the histogram, and if possible download them on to a laptop and see how they really look.

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