Do you want some help with exposure compensation?

As you probably know, the back of your camera preview is not reliable for checking the brightness of your photo. It is better to use the histogram. My last post showed you the histogram in action, and this tutorial will show you how to correct the brightness in your photos using exposure compensation.

Watch this video tutorial to learn how to use the exposure compensation feature on your digital camera.

Look for the plus minus button on your camera to adjust your exposure compensation

What to do if the histogram on your photo doesn’t look quite right:

  • First locate the exposure compensation button on your camera
  • You might have to crack open your camera user manual to find out where the +/- button is for your particular camera model
  • Get into picture taking mode. You can’t correct a photo that’s already been taken. You’ll have to do that in image editing.
  • Practice moving the dial from (+) plus  to (-) minus and back again, but remember to leave it at (0) zero when you’re done messing around
  • Take a test shot using Program Mode, Aperture Priority Mode, or Shutter Priority Mode.
  • Most cameras don’t let you use exposure compensation when you’re in Full Auto (green square of death) mode.
  • Check the histogram
  • You might have to press the display or info button when you’re in playback mode to see the histogram
  • If it’s low, as in doesn’t go all the way to the right side, then it means your photo is under-exposed and you need to ADD light.
  • If you need to add light, move the exposure compensation to +1 and take another picture of the same scene.
  • Repeat until you get your histogram looking just right
  • If it’s climbing the right side of the graph, then it means your photo is over-exposed, and you need to remove some light from your scene
  • Remove light by moving the exposure compensation to -1, and take another picture of the scene
  • Repeat until you get your histogram looking just right

Do this every time you take a photo

This seems like a long involved process, but you will learn to do it automatically once you are comfortable with all the buttons. Plus, you will save a whole lot of time in image editing. Once you know how to do this you will never worry about badly exposed photos again!

Do you use exposure compensation? Let me know in the comments.

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