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Exposure compensation #photography

SNOW 17 JAN 2016  (12)

The light wasn’t very good when I took this photo but the snow reflected some light.  Photographs are a form of art and some photos just give an impression and others are more like fine art and are very sharp.

To get a subject sharp with little blur, we can use a wide aperture and allow the background to blur. For a landscape with all the image in focus, we want a wide depth of field and so a narrow aperture. The aperture for this photo could be set at f16, but with poor light, we would then need a slow shutter speed which could lead to blurring.


I took this photo on Sunday and I wanted a depth of field that would make the pattern on the bridge clear. There are swans and coots in the picture so I have movement. The light was really poor and I needed a fast shutter speed and a narrow aperture. This is where exposure compensation on a DSLR comes in useful. I took one shot and it looked quite dark on the live view (the screen on the back of the camera) and so I increased the exposure compensation by one and took the shot again. Exposure compensation goes from –3 to +3 so you can increase or decrease it. In the days of film cameras, this was done in the developing and printing of the film.

SNOW 17 JAN 2016  (10)

In this picture, the car is my subject but I wanted a scene that showed the snow. The house in the background is less important. I used an aperture of F8 which is narrow but not as narrow as I would use if I wanted a distant structure in focus. This was shot at 1/30 of a second, which is a little slow but there was no movement in this shot.

SNOW 17 JAN 2016  (14)

I shot this image at F8 at 1/40 of a second on aperture priority. The bench gives it a lot of depth and the background wasn’t very important. This was high on the hill and if it hadn’t been so cold I might have tried it at F16 and used exposure compensation to make it lighter.

When you’re choosing settings on your camera, you have to make a guess at what will work and with experience, you get better at making good guesses. This winter we have had lots of rain and stormy weather, so there haven’t been many days when we have had winter sunshine. If we have dark skies and dull light we can compensate with exposure compensation to make our images lighter and less depressing. Moody dark pictures are good for some photography projects, but we choose the image we want. We don’t have to accept the dark images of winter when we can compensate for the poor light by changing our settings.

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