Photography Tutorials and Articles

Shooting Digital 2

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Shooting Digital Part 2

Selecting Exposure Mode

In the previous article we discussed how and why entry level cameras overexpose photos, primarily because it has been programmed to do just this. We also looked at why we should avoid overexposing pictures to maintain the highlights, saturation and contrast if we want to have better looking images. In this article we are going to explore options to correct this problem.

What exposure mode should you use?

Never use Auto, for the simple reason that you don’t have any control over camera settings. If you’re not yet comfortable with dealing with settings use the Program mode. Program mode is exactly like Auto, but allows you to set the controls to your liking. Auto and Program are fully automatic exposure modes.

Shutter priority and Aperture Priority are Semi Automatic settings where you select the shutter speed or aperture and your camera sets the other one automatically. These are better exposure modes if you want to learn photography and I always recommend these ones in my Digital Camera Bootcamps.

In both Automatic and semi automatic modes the camera will slightly overexpose the images. To solve this problem all you need to do is use Exposure Compensation. Just find the Exposure Compensation button, press and hold it and with the main control dial set it to -0.5 (half stop under exposed) and see the result for yourself. The half stop underexposure is a magic fine tweak for most entry level cameras.

Exposure Mode

Set the Exposure Compensation to -0.5 to shoot for the highlight.

Here are the before and after photos.

Exposure Mode

Aperture priority for Exposure mode, and default setting in camera. Notice how the highlights disappeared and image is almost washed out!

Exposure Mode

Same Exposure mode, this time I set the exposure compensation to -0.5. Notice how it affected the whole image.

Exposure Mode

Right image is camera’s default setting and left image is with exposure compensation tweaking.

Is it better to shoot in manual exposure?

For sure it is the best exposure mode, but you need to be ready before making this jump. That is why we developed the Manual Exposure Shooting workshop for you. It is a full day hands on outdoor workshop where you will learn all the tips and tricks for Manual Exposure Mode.

I strongly recommend you take your time and learn the Semi Automatic modes first and then switch to learning full manual mode to enjoy your photography even more.

Please check our UPCOMING CLASSES to find a workshop that best suits your needs and experience level before committing to learning Manual exposure mode. You can always ask us about our Private Classes if you want to learn faster.

That is all for now. Stay tuned for more tips in photography, Lightroom, and Photoshop.

Ted and the Omnilargess Team

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