Getting started: Exposure Compensation

by am109145

IMPORTANT: Learn one skill at a time! 

After having a tutorial I have found that a starting point for me into learning digital photography as a new skill would be to explore the area’s listed below one at a time:

– Exposure compensation

– Depth of Field

– Low light photography (low exposure)

– Sport photography (fast photography)

– Fill flash

-Flash strength adjustment


In essence exposure compensation or exposure measurement is the adjusting of the camera’s settings to achieve and record the most information in a photographic manner in comparison to what the eye can see the image to be.

After looking through ‘The digital photography SLR handbook’ by Micheal freeman and Mastering digital photography’ also by Micheal Freeman I have come to recognise some key norms and values that effect the exposure measurement/compensation of a photograph.

– When it comes to manual shooting it is easier for a photographer to guess the settings that they should shoot in using the light metre which is located in the window when looking through the view finder rather than calculating the correct exposure on paper and going by these numbers. The paper calculation may not necessarily create the ‘best/correct’ image however by altering the exposure using the light metre we may find that underexposure of overexposure in ‘numbers’ may create the best image.

– Other ways of judging exposures can be through histograms and clipping highlight warning

– There are 3 specific metering systems within an DSLR , the different systems allow you to prioritise shutter speed and aperture in order for you to determine the best photographic outcome.

– High end camera’s take into account colour, contrast, areas of focus when considering exposure compensation and braacketing.

APERTURE – Simplified to the bone: A hole or opening in which light travels through.

SHUTTER SPEED – The amount of time the lens/shutter is open or exposed to light when taking a photograph.

OVEREXPOSURE – When to much light is exposed to film (in tradtional film photography) the same concept applies to digital photography, when there is to much light in the image.

UNDEREXPOSURE – When there is too little light in the image, the result of this is being the image is far darker than what the human eye can see at that particular point in time.


IMAGE 1: Light Metre: 0 on scale


IMAGE 2: Light metre: +2 clicks on scroller


IMAGE 3: Light meter: +4 clicks on scroller

BEST EXPOSURE: I feel that image number 2 has the best exposure out of the three images that have been captured. I feel as though image 1 is to overexposed thus meaning that there is to much light in the image, the rays of natural light hitting the wine bottle through the image captured does not convey the same as what has been seen with the human eye. I feel as though image 3 is underexposed thus meaning that the image is far to dark and the rich colours of the bottle are not portrayed in there original manner. I feel image 2 replicates and records the correct information, the amount of natural light hitting the bottle is equivalent to the amount of light hitting the bottle which is seen with the human eye.


IMAGE 1: Light metre reading is placed on 0 I feel the image is to underexposed.


IMAGE 2: This image is the image with the best exposure


IMAGE 3: Overexposed image, it seems to be far to dark missing out some of the information/parts of the subject around the bottom edges.












Within these set of photographs I feel that the image with the best exposure and overall outcome would be the last one, the reasoning behind this being that the surroundings of the photograph have very little natural light. If we look at the clarity in image 4 in comparison to image one we can tell that more information has been recorded by the camera in image for as we are able to see the ragged edge of the bottom the third book ‘The Affair’. Unlike image 1 or 2 image number 4 focused on the colours and information of the books which is the main subject within the frame.