Jenn and I love checking out www.digishoptalk.com. They’re a site that has a very vibrant, lively community of hybrid and digiscrappers and store owners. One of the forums I like reading is one on photography. Having a degree in photography and an additional 28 years in the photo industry gives me a lot of (hopefully) helpful advice. A recent question was about using the exposure compensation on your camera.
Did you even know you had exposure compensation?
Well you probably do. If might look something like this:
And it and flash compensation can be one of your most valuable, super-secret tools to being a really good photographer.
Exposure Compensation is no more or less then telling the camera to be wrong. You are telling the camera that “even though you think the right exposure is this make it the way I want and do this.” Now why would you want to do this? One instance might be when photographing really bright scenes (think beach or snow). The camera will often be fooled and always guess wrong at the exposure – and ruining your pictures. So fool the camera and change it. Our Canon Powershot S3 always guesses too light – so I minus the exposure compensation to darken the pictures.
Even cooler is the flash compensation. This tells the camera to do something different when using flash. Our Canon always over-exposes our flash pictures – making them too light. Here’s a close-up of how our flash compensation is set:
Here you see I have ours set at -2/3 – telling the camera to darken the pictures by 2/3 of a f/stop. And we get much better, richer, full color flash pictures.
A few things to remember:
1) All cameras are different: yours might make the pictures too dark, therefore you would need to plus (+) the compensation. Just do a few test shots and you’ll quickly see.
2) The danger of using the exposure compensation is you have to set it back to zero when done photographing the special scene. Our camera works great in normal daylight – it just gets fooled at the beach. So we have to remember to set it back to 0 when we’re not at the beach or we risk all our pictures being too dark. Most cameras put a warning in the viewfinder if you don’t have it set to 0 but check yours to make sure it gives you this warning.
So there you have it – a super-secret trick of the trade! Well, maybe not that super-secret but hopefully informative and helpful. If you want to know more about your digital camera post a comment here or check out our Digital Photography Classes.
Till next week – Keep Snappin’