Exposure Compensation

Have you ever picked up your camera to photograph an amazing bit of life only to discover that your image is too light or too dark? You weren’t even trying to do something fancy or shoot in “manual!” Take heart, you’re not the only one.

At it’s heart of hearts, your camera is a really smart machine, but utterly incapable of understanding your artistic vision. Sometimes it just needs a little help.

Exposure compensation is one of the easiest things to understand and use, and almost every camera (smartphones included) has it!

The icon for exposure compensation looks like the +/- icon above. When you set the value to a + number, you make your image brighter. When you set the value to a – number, you make the photo darker. That’s it.

Here I’ve photographed the same scene 5 times, each one at a different exposure compensation setting. As you can see, the image gets brighter or darker depending on the value. The camera takes care of the technical stuff – you just tell it which way to go!

So… the next time you take that picture and it comes out too dark, adjust your exposure compensation and try again!

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