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Learn By Doing Photography

Exposure Compensation (black) – Learn by Doing Photography

Learn by Doing Photography – Practice your photography skills with weekly photography assignments. I will post a new assignment every Friday, you can post your pictures at the bottom of this post or on the DigitalCamFan Facebook. If you have any questions please refer to the guidelines, if you have no questions jump right in any time!

Learn by Doing Photography Assignment #4 Using exposure compensation for a darker image on a black background

What happens when you’re trying to photograph a black cat in a dark alley, or at a concert where the background is very dark. If you take a picture you’re going to end up with a gray cat in a gray alley and a gray background at your concert. Why? Because your camera is always and will always try to find the middle gray. That is what it sees and that is what it’s always trying to expose for.

To take a drastic image as an example – a solid black wall will photograph gray. A solid white wall will photograph gray. our camera is always trying to find 18% gray. So when there is too much light or white your camera will underexpose to find the “perfect exposure” 18% gray. Likewise if your image is too dark your camera will overexpose to find the “perfect exposure” 18% gray. Only you can decide what the perfect exposure is, not your camera.

That is where exposure compensation comes in. This week find a dark background and a darker subject. Take a few different photographs using your exposure compensation and see how the black changes from image to image.

For the four shots below I set the first one in aperture priority f/5.0 +1 on the exposure compensation. The only thing I changed for all four images was the exposure compensation.

1.3 sec at f/5.0 –> + 1 exposure compensation
Exposure (1 of 4)

0.8 sec at f/5.0 –> 0 exposure compensation
Exposure (2 of 4)

0.4 sec at f/5.0 –> -1 exposure compensation
Exposure (3 of 4)

1/4 sec at f/5.0 –> -2 exposure compensation
Exposure (4 of 4)


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