Every photographer has faced these 10 exposure-related stumpers.
Are a higher-than-acceptable number of your photos are coming out differently from what you’d envisioned, marred by imbalances of light, color or value? Are you tempted to blame the lighting? Angela Nicholson, writing for Digital Camera World, encourages you to consider whether you are committing one or more of [these exposure errors]—the good news being that they are easy enough to correct without your having to monkey about with the lighting.
What if, for instance, your subject is supposed to be white but is coming out gray? Gee, that’s not good. (Especially if the entity in question is a bride bedecked in her white-ish wedding gown.) Not to worry, says Ms. Nicholson; it’s a simple exposure error. Just have a look at your exposure compensation control. Increase the exposure to a level above what the camera is telling you, and see what happens.
Each potentially disastrous scenario Nicholson presents in similarly easy to address. What if it’s not a white, but a black subject that’s being rendered as grey? This can be resolved by (again) deft use of the exposure compensation, or alternatively, by placing a photographic grey card in the same scene and the same light as your subject (thus giving your camera a basis for value comparison), setting to manual exposure, and metering to “spot.” Or how about this: In a landscape shot, either the foreground comes off underexposed or the clouds are overexposed. Yowch! “Pfft, no big deal,” is Ms. Nicholson’s debonair response as she directs you to place a graduated neutral density filter over the lens, conforming the dark and gradient portions of the filter to the sky and the horizon.
All the other possible exposure errors Nicholson addresses (underexposed back-lit subject, problems caused by the spot meter, etc.) turn out to have relatively simple fixes. It’s good to know that at least some of life’s little problems can be resolved by restoring decent exposure.