Exposure Exposed!

Floggin’ my Bloggin’

I promise to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth here as simply and I can. And I’m a pretty simple gal. So, that’s gonna be pretty easy.

It may sound surprising, considering all the punchy colours we see in modern prints, but did you know the camera looks at everything and tries to make it a dull old grey?!? Well kinda!

Let me explain myself properly…

If your exposure metre is pointing at ’0′ and you:

1. Take a photo of a bright white cloud on an overcast day. The camera does not return the same bright white image, instead it looks grey.

2. Take a photo of say a black tv screen (not while it’s on, and not reflecting light!). Again your camera will return an image that looks grey.

The same is true for colour images. That one eyed camera lens looks at the tonal value of all the colours in your image and in very basic terms averages them all out to grey. It sees in black and white (…just like a bull Рewhhh does that take anyone else back to year 10 science class with a bulls eye, scalpel and cutting board Рsorry to diverge.)

Darker colours like red, purple, navy will be read as dark tones. So the camera tries to lighten then up. (Ever tried to get of portrait of a fair skinned person wearing these colours up top – very enlightening!)

And lighter colours like white, pastels, yellow will be read as light tones. So the camera makes them darker than they appear.

  • Anything with lots of white/light tones will look underexposed.
  • Anything with lots of black/dark tones will look overexposed.
Because the camera is programmed to balancing it out to read grey.

If you have a good mix of both light and dark colours in you images, no worries, you’ll be right mate.

But if you are taking a picture with a bunch of tones that sit more up one end of the dark/light spectrum you’ll need to jiggy with the -/+ exposure button to compensate for this.

If you photographing things are at the lighter end of the spectrum you’ll need to deliberately over expose to get the correct reading (+)

If you photographing things at at the darker end of the spectrum you’ll need to deliberately under expose to get the correct reading (-)

In closing:

If it’s lighter make it even whiter!

If it’s darker, ummmmm, I can’t think of anything that rhymes, which is why I don’t rap, and am instead a photographer!

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