Thursday's Thought: Creative Exposure Compensation


At this time of year I often review the contents of some of my regular workshops - to keep them fresh - to add new ideas etc. And one of the things that I wanted to change was some of the images used to talk about the Exposure Compensation setting. So it seemed a good topic to do for the blog this week!

Exposure Compensation is used to adjust the brightness or darkness of a photograph. It's quick and easy to use and can dramatically change how a photo is exposed.

Usually it's talked about as a corrective function on a camera but I also use it creatively - deliberately over or under exposing an image to get the effect I want.

Under exposure - dialling to the left usually (the negative numbers)


This increases the contrast and saturation of images and is really useful when enhancing a sunset photo.

Here the flowers are rendered as stronger silhouettes and the colours of the sky are deeper.

Negative compensation can also help your autumn shots look great as it deepens the tones of the autumn colours.

Over exposure - dialling to the right usually (the positive numbers)


This can create a dreamy look to a photo such as this tulip centre shot with my iPhone. It was already brightly lit so this setting accentuated the brightness.

It's also useful when shooting in bright conditions such as snow (always overexpose snow to get better whites) or on the beach. You'll just need to take care not to overbleach your scene or the people in them!


And if you're not sure where exposure compensation is on your camera look for this sign on a button, or locate it in your menu options.

Have fun with it and I'll be back with more next week!


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All images © Sarah Holmes 2020 No reproduction without prior permission.