In order to make it simpler to expose photos correctly, exposure settings adjustments are now incorporated into every modern camera. Simply said, the goal is to be able to adjust an image’s brightness so that neither it nor its surroundings appear to be excessively bright or dark. This requires the usage of the Exposure Compensation function.
Almost all cameras on the market now provide exposure compensation. This feature allows you to control the exposure variables on your camera, which can be used in a variety of settings and is incredibly easy to use, saving you time in post-production and letting you obtain the result you want with less fuss. You may brighten an underexposed photo, darken an overexposed photo, and produce photos with amazing, breathtaking detail by properly applying for compensation.
Of course, it necessitates some knowledge, thus, you will learn everything there is to know about exposure compensation in this post, including what it is, how to use it, and how it can enhance your photography and optimize your workflow. Discover more about this effective and simple camera feature by reading on!
What is Exposure Compensation?
Exposure compensation allows you to manually increase or decrease exposure to regulate the brightness of your image captured. It’s worth noting that exposure compensation is commonly referred to in thirds of a stop, as in -1, -2/3, -1/3, 0, +1/3, +2/3, +1, and so on. You may enhance an underexposed image with carefully applied correction, darken an overexposed image, and produce images with absolutely gorgeous detail.
Under typical conditions, your camera will automatically measure scene brightness like a sophisticated calculation while you shot and enter its estimated exposure settings if you have it set to program mode, Aperture Priority mode, or Shutter Priority mode, to determine the best settings to employ to achieve the ideal exposure. Metering is the term used to describe this process.
In Program mode, the metering analyses the fluctuating light levels striking the sensor to determine the appropriate aperture value, shutter speed, and ISO to get a particular shade of gray for the brightness.
But here’s the catch:
While your camera does a decent job most of the time, it may not always get the exposure properly. I’ll get into the technicalities later, but there are several scenarios when your camera’s meter will continuously fail. Fortunately, you can train yourself to anticipate wrong exposure values, in which case you may use positive exposure compensation to brighten up the photo (e.g., +2/3) or negative exposure compensation to darken it down (e.g., -2/3).
When you use exposure compensation, your camera modifies exposure factors (such as aperture, shutter speed, and ISO) to give you a brighter image. So, exposure compensation isn’t free; it has the same effect on your photographs as if you manually adjusted the aperture, shutter speed, or ISO. However, when you need to shoot quickly, it’s a good technique to nail your exposure, and it’s also beneficial for photographers who aren’t quite ready to shoot in Manual mode.
When should Exposure Compensation be used?
One feature that can help you cut off a little time here and there, so you can concentrate on more crucial duties is exposure compensation.
Of course, good exposure keeps all the important elements that the photographer wants to capture. Additionally, some elements may not be recoverable in editing or may appear noisy if your photograph is underexposed or overexposed. Sometimes, this could produce an unusable photograph.
You can benefit from exposure compensation in low-light environments. When confronted with the choice between losing details in the highlights or the shadows, it can also help you decide what information is crucial to maintain.
So, what is the actual situation to use the exposure compensation?
For photographers, this feature can be advantageous in a variety of circumstances. It’s because the above-mentioned modes might not be appropriate in certain scenarios. For this reason, camera manufacturers include an exposure compensation feature in their product lines. Depending on the camera mode you are using, exposure compensation operates differently.
When your scene is noticeably brighter or darker than middle gray. Small deviations from middle gray aren’t a major worry because you can resolve tiny exposure errors in post-processing – but you should at the very least apply exposure compensation to really dark and extremely bright scenes. Otherwise, your exposures will seem sloppy, and you won’t be able to recover lost information while editing.
Another reason you could consider using exposure compensation is if you dislike the “proper” exposure. For example, you may wish to darken a scene to enhance atmosphere or drama or brighten it to create a light, airy aesthetic. Photography is a very subjective creative pursuit, so if you want to intentionally under or overexpose your scene, go for it!
Consider bracketing your exposures
Bracketing is the technique of taking two photos for each situation, one slightly underexposed and one slightly overexposed, in addition to the “normal” exposure.
The aim is to increase your chances of attaining the right exposure, which may be quite useful, especially when working with complicated scenes or a wide dynamic range.
You may manually dial in a stop of positive and negative exposure after each “normal” photo using exposure compensation, or you can enable your camera’s Auto Exposure Bracketing mode, which will automatically correct the exposure after each shot.
It’s important to note that bracketing isn’t just for exposure insurance; it’s also useful for high dynamic range processing, which involves blending tones from many exposures for a flawless output.
So, if you have the time and are photographing landscapes or other immobile objects, go ahead and bracket.
Once you want to capture the scene with low light and plenty of dark tones, be prepared for the camera to seek to overexpose it and adjust exposure compensation to take this into account and provide a more accurate exposure.
So, give it a go. The end outcome will speak for itself!
Please check out a few of our cameras with exposure compensation
This feature can be more useful if you got the answers of, do you intend to employ exposure compensation? Have you begun to use it? How do you think it turned out? Still confused? Then feel free to Contact Us