10 camera techniques to master in 2014

10 camera techniques to master in 2014

10 camera techniques to master in 2014: how to use exposure compensation

In this section we’ll  look at how you can get your exposures spot-on in different lighting conditions using exposure compensation.

10 camera techniques to master in 2014: use exposure compensation in difficult lighting

The dark background has caused the camera to over-expose the shot. Dialling in negative exposure compensation rectifies this

Deciding whether to increase or decrease the exposure of your shot can be puzzling, as the adjustment you need to make is often the opposite of what you might at first expect.

Here’s how to use your camera’s Exposure Compensation function to lighten or darken your image.

SEE MORE: What is exposure compensation? Free photography cheat sheet

Light subject
If the subject contains mostly light tones you may find that your camera will under-expose your image. In this situation, you need to press and hold the Exposure Compensation button, increase the exposure by turning the dial right to enter a value of +1, then take the shot again.

Dark subject
If shooting a mainly dark subject, your camera is likely to over-expose the scene, so you may need to reduce the exposure. Press and hold the Exposure Compensation button as before, but this time turn the dial left to enter a value of -1.

Decipher the histogram

The easiest way to check the exposure of your shots is to use the histogram display on your camera’s rear screen when reviewing your images. This shows the distribution of tones in your shot, so you can check exposure as you shoot.

To get the most from this handy tool you need to recognise the characteristics of under- and over-exposed shots.

SEE MORE: Histogram – photography cheat sheets for achieving perfect exposure

Decipher the histogram

Over-exposed (left)
There is a gap to the left of the histogram, and the graph goes off the right-hand side.

Under-exposed (right)
There is a gap to the right of the histogram, and the graph goes off the left-hand side.

Camera Techniques for 2014: 01 Take control of focus
Camera Techniques for 2014: 02 Get white balance accurate every time
Camera Techniques for 2014: 03 How to focus on moving subjects
Camera Techniques for 2014: 04 How to use exposure compensation
Camera Techniques for 2014: 05 Ways to cope with high-contrast lighting
Camera Techniques for 2014: 06 How to position your subject in the frame
Camera Techniques for 2014: 07 Learn basic TTL flash techniques
Camera Techniques for 2014: 08 Sharpen photos like a pro
Camera Techniques for 2014: 09 How to control the saturation of colours
Camera techniques for 2014: 10 Add depth by using different apertures


First camera crash course: simple solutions for mastering your new DSLR
10 common camera mistakes every photographer makes
How to use a camera: exposure modes made simple
Expose to the right: the camera technique every landscape photographer must know
10 common exposure problems every photographer faces (and how to fix them)