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

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

    Exposure Problem 5. Spot meter on

    When to use spot metering - Step 3

    Although your camera’s spot meter can be extremely useful, if you forget that it is selected you can end up with some wild exposures.

    The problem is that the spotmeter measures the brightness of a very small area of the scene and the camera suggests exposure settings that will render this small target a midtone.

    If the spotmetering area falls over a highlight the exposure will be less than it should be and the image will be underexposed.

    Conversely, if the metering spot is over a dark part of the scene the image will be overexposed.

    The way to avoid such problems is to always remember to turn your camera back to the metering setting that you normally use – evaluative, matrix or multi-zone for example.

    If you find that your camera is suggesting widely variable exposure settings, or that you have taken a collection of unexpectedly dark or light images, then check the metering method.

    Special note for Canon SLR users
    Canon’s iFCL metering system weights the exposure towards what is required by the subject under the active AF point and while this can be very helpful, in high contrast situations it can result in images that are much darker or lighter than expected. If this happens you need to use the exposure compensation system to get the image looking right.

    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


    When to use spot metering
    Spot Metering: how to find the right area of a scene
    Creative spot metering: how professionals expose in high-contrast coditions

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

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