If you have a new digital camera, or if you’re new to digital photography, all hose abbreviations on the top dial of your camera might seem a bit confusing. Your top dial is where you will find your camera’s exposure modes.
Contrary to popular belief, the exposure modes you shoot with aren’t a reflection of your technical ability. Your exposure mode of choice is also about selecting a mode that gives you the freedom to stop worrying about other settings and start concentrating on taking great shots.
Auto-exposure bracketing enables you to automatically take a series of shots at different exposure settings. By changing the shutter speed (or aperture), the camera brackets the original exposure in preset increments (usually between 1/3 to two stops) to capture three or more successive shots. Bracketing ensures a correct exposure in situations when you need to shoot quickly and you don’t have time to check the histogram.
Auto-exposure bracketing makes this process much easier because it allows you to take a series of frames from precisely the same position (so that overlapping frames will align correctly) with different exposure settings to record both highlight and shadow detail.
No matter how smart your camera’s built-in light meter, it will sometimes under- or over-expose. You can learn to compensate for such errors, but there’s a more accurate and reliable method – using a hand held light meter, such as the Sekonic L-308S hand held light meter shown here.
When using your DSLR’s internal light meter you’re measuring the light reflected from the subject, and the camera assumes that the tones in the scene will average out to a mid-grey. This is fine for most subjects, but when the subject is mainly white or black, the meter will set an exposure to record this as grey. So with white subjects you’ll end up with an under-exposed shot, and with black subjects you’ll end up with an over-exposed shot.
Do you view your memory card as half empty or half full? Don’t let poorly exposed pictures get you down. In the latest of our infographics that aim to explain some photography basics in a different way, we’ve provided you with this useful chart for understanding exposure. Someone very clever on our team had the idea of comparing exposure to filling a cup with water.
Drag and drop this graphic on to your desktop and start getting better exposures today!
Waterfall pictures are some of the most satisfying subjects you can shoot with your digital camera. However, the fast moving water throws up some challenges for photographers.
Often, exposures end up disappointing – you may have set the wrong shutter speed, for instance, and won’t get the traditional blurred-water effect in your waterfall pictures. Other times the exposure ends up being too dark or light, due to having to cope with the combination of dark rocks and bright, foamy moving water.
Exposure blending enables you to mix images to get perfectly exposed skies, not always from the same scene. It’s not only a simple way of making HDR images, but it’s also a way of making more realistic-looking HDR images.
The process when shooting is simple and most cameras have a built-in Bracketing feature to aid you further. It’s crucial that one image captures the detail of the sky and the other that of the foreground – then you use Layers and Masks to blend the two.
Everyone, of any ability, who has taken a picture with a digital camera knows that getting the tones right will make or break your image. Choosing the right part of a scene to meter from is crucial, but how do you which part of the scene is best?
When taking a light reading you want to find a midtone somewhere in the scene, or even just out of the frame. This could be light-coloured foliage, or even a Caucasian face. However, sometimes there won’t be anything around that’s the right tone for you to take a light reading. In these instances, using grey card can help you achieve perfect tones.
Got a new camera for Christmas or just upgraded? Master it quickly with our easy guide to camera settings, exposure, aperture, shutter speed, focus modes, lens choice, flash modes, image editing, printing, camera accessories, camera care, and more…
Reduce the time you spend trying to rescue under- and over-exposed photos in Photoshop by getting the shots right first time in-camera
Use Colour Curves to improve the colour and enhance tone in your photographs Digital Camera’s 10-part series ‘Teach Yourself Photoshop’ builds into a complete video reference library. These easy-to-follow video guides will take you on a start-to-finish journey through perfecting your photos in the digital darkroom. In this video you’ll find out how to give… Continue reading