Canon DSLR Tips 23-28
23 Easy ways to adjust exposure
There are lots of exposure modes and metering options on your EOS, but the simple way to check exposure is to take a picture and then look at the result on the LCD, whatever settings you have used.
You can then use Exposure Compensation to make the next picture you take lighter or darker to suit (for more on this, check out our handy photography cheat sheet on exposure compensation).
With popular EOS models you press the Av+/- button then rotate the Main Dial behind the shutter. A negative setting makes the picture darker, a positive one makes it lighter.
24 Hidden compensations
On a 40D or 50D, Exposure Compensation may be hard to find. Look at the On/Off switch, and you’ll see a third unmarked position. Switch to this, then use the big dial on the back of the SLR to adjust the exposure.
25 How much Exposure Compensation?
If the subject is predominantly black, the camera will tend to overexpose the shot, so use a negative setting. With a predominantly white or light scene, set Exposure Compensation to +1 or +2 for a good balance.
26 Partial Metering
Subjects photographed against a bright background or dark backdrop will need Exposure Compensation to avoid appearing as shadowy silhouettes. You could also switch the Metering mode to one that just measures the brightness from the centre of the screen. We find that Partial metering works well in most situations.
27 Other Metering modes
Two other Metering modes to try with your camera are Evaluative and Centre-weighted. Evaluative is pretty intelligent, but not infallible, while Centre-weighted can be easier to predict and adjust for.
For more tips on metering, download our metering mode cheat sheet explaining how they work and when to use them.
28 Focus Lock
One of the handiest SLR features, Focus Lock gets the autofocus (AF) to focus on a specific part of a scene. Access it by using the One-Shot AF mode, then gently press on the shutter release for the AF system to spring to life – it will then lock when it has homed-in on its target. Keep your finger half-pressed down and recompose your shot, then press the button fully.
For more, check out our step-by-step tutorial on how to use focus lock on your digital camera.
Download free photography cheat sheets
99 common photography problems (and how to solve them)
Famous Photographers: 225 tips to inspire you
44 essential digital camera tips and tricks
10 rules of photo composition (and why they work)