10 common exposure problems every photographer faces (and how to fix them)

    | Photography Tips | 10/04/2013 00:01am

    Are you struggling to get well-lit shots? You don’t need any fancy equipment or complex lighting techniques. This guide to the 10 most common exposure problems all photographers face will show you how to avoid them and start taking better pictures today.

    10 common exposure problems every photographer faces (and how to fix them)

    At some point most photographers take a picture that doesn’t come out exactly as they expected, it’s either too dark or much lighter than they want it to be.

    This might be because of a mistake with the metering, they’ve made an exposure error or because the camera settings are wrong. In this article we explain 10 of the most common exposure problems and how to avoid them.

    Exposure Problem 1. White subject made grey

    Exposure Problem 1. White subject made grey

    Camera metering systems generally expect the brightness of a scene to average out as a midtone.

    There may be very bright and dark sections, but the average brightness is somewhere in between.

    So if you fill the frame with a very light subject, a winter landscape or a light, sandy beach, for example, the camera will reduce the exposure to render it a midtone. Hence a white subject is often made grey.

    The solution is simple, just use the exposure compensation control to increase the exposure above the value suggested by the camera.

    With snow you may need to increase it by over 1EV, perhaps even 2EV.

    The key is to keep an eye on the histogram view and increase the exposure until the trace reaches the far right of the scale, indicating that there are some whites in the image.

    Don’t increase the exposure too far and introduce a large peak at the right end of the histogram as this means that lots of the highlights are burned out.

    Exposure Problem 1. White subject made grey
    Exposure Problem 2. Black subject made grey
    Exposure Problem 3. Camera in the wrong exposure mode
    Exposure Problem 4. Underexposed back-lit subject
    Exposure Problem 5. Spotmeter on
    Exposure Problem 6. Underexposed foreground in a landscape
    Exposure Problem 7. Overexposed clouds in a landscape
    Exposure Problem 8. Exposure compensation set incorrectly
    Exposure Problem 9. Shutter speed too slow to freeze movement
    Exposure Problem 10. Wrong sensitivity setting selected


    10 common camera mistakes every photographer makes
    Photography Basics: the No. 1 cheat sheet for metering and exposure
    Expose to the right: the camera technique every landscape photographer must know
    3 exposure techniques every beginner must know (and when you should use them)

    Posted on Wednesday, April 10th, 2013 at 12:01 am under Photography Tips.

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