Rick’s Quick Tip: An Exposure Technique That Sounds Backward

February 15th, 2010 by Rick Sammon

Here’s a quick tip for getting good exposures of both very dark and very light subjects. When photographing a dark subject, such as this leopard seal that I photographed in Antarctica, set your exposure compensation to -1. When photographing a white subject, such as this polar bear that I photographed in the Sub-Arctic, set your exposure compensation to +1.

Arctic Animals

I know that sounds backward, but it’s actually true. Very dark and very light subjects can fool a camera’s exposure meter into thinking that the scene is darker or brighter than it is in reality.

By the way, those are just starting points for a good exposure. As always, check your histogram to get the very best in-camera exposure. You can’t trust your camera’s LCD monitor when it comes to exposure and color.

Think backward, and you’ll remember this tip.


You can check out more from Rick at The Digital Photo Experience.



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