New Feature: Playlist Center! Pick a topic and let our playlists guide the way.

Start learning with our library of video tutorials taught by experts. Get started

Foundations of Photography: Exposure
Illustration by

Exposing for highlights


From:

Foundations of Photography: Exposure

with Ben Long

Video: Exposing for highlights

All of this theory that we've been talking about, this is not just something that you study at home and think about and then go, "Okay, that's in there. Now, I am going to go shooting." You think about it when you're in the field. You work through the same types of thoughts in your head that we've been talking about in the studio in a very theoretical way. And this shot that we found right here is a fine example. So we're driving down this road, and I've got this nice road going into distance with these pretty shady trees. And there is something in the background that you can't actually see right now. The video cameras we are using is a digital image sensor, just the way my SLR does.
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 8m 44s
    1. Welcome
      1m 56s
    2. What is exposure?
      4m 8s
    3. A word about camera brands
      2m 40s
  2. 9m 32s
    1. What is a camera?
      2m 53s
    2. The shutter
      3m 53s
    3. The aperture
      1m 33s
    4. Exposure defined
      1m 13s
  3. 13m 50s
    1. Modes
      2m 7s
    2. Pressing the shutter button
      2m 54s
    3. Autofocus
      5m 22s
    4. Light metering
      2m 3s
    5. White balance
      1m 24s
  4. 29m 26s
    1. Shooting sharp images
      1m 58s
    2. Noting shutter speed
      4m 3s
    3. Taking control of shutter speed
      1m 30s
    4. Stop defined
      2m 50s
    5. Shutter priority mode
      4m 34s
    6. Exercise: Shutter speed
      40s
    7. Reciprocity
      3m 13s
    8. Controlling motion
      7m 8s
    9. Shutter speed increments
      2m 21s
    10. Exercise: Go work with shutter speed
      1m 9s
  5. 26m 3s
    1. Depth of field
      1m 53s
    2. How aperture is measured
      2m 42s
    3. Aperture priority mode
      4m 57s
    4. Lens speed
      53s
    5. Shooting deep depth of field
      3m 53s
    6. Shooting shallow depth of field
      2m 50s
    7. The depth-of-field preview button
      4m 24s
    8. How shallow should you be?
      2m 47s
    9. Exercise: Go work with aperture
      1m 44s
  6. 16m 26s
    1. ISO: The third exposure parameter
      6m 27s
    2. Assessing your camera's high ISO
      5m 32s
    3. Shooting in low light
      3m 32s
    4. Exercise: Shooting in low light
      55s
  7. 14m 30s
    1. White balance controls
      5m 37s
    2. Adjusting white balance manually
      4m 25s
    3. Shooting raw
      4m 28s
  8. 6m 3s
    1. How light meters work
      1m 47s
    2. Why are there different modes?
      4m 16s
  9. 33m 59s
    1. Exposure compensation
      4m 0s
    2. Intentional overexposure
      2m 40s
    3. Intentional underexposure
      1m 42s
    4. Controlling tone
      2m 31s
    5. The histogram
      10m 4s
    6. Real-world histograms
      5m 49s
    7. Tone and color
      2m 16s
    8. Auto exposure bracketing
      3m 58s
    9. Exercise: Go work with exposure compensation
      59s
  10. 12m 56s
    1. Dynamic range
      2m 24s
    2. Exposing for highlights
      4m 15s
    3. Fill flash
      3m 11s
    4. Three solutions to the same problem
      3m 6s
  11. 12m 26s
    1. Manual mode
      2m 6s
    2. Manual mode and light meters
      4m 52s
    3. Manual exposure exercise
      5m 28s
  12. 12m 1s
    1. Custom modes and A-DEP
      1m 39s
    2. Program shift
      3m 52s
    3. Exposure compensation with program shift
      1m 58s
    4. An exercise in reciprocity
      53s
    5. Scene modes and in-camera processing
      3m 39s
  13. 8m 16s
    1. Shooting with post production in mind
      3m 46s
    2. Exposure strategy
      3m 51s
    3. Goodbye
      39s

Watch this entire course now—plus get access to every course in the library. Each course includes high-quality videos taught by expert instructors.

Become a member
please wait ...
Foundations of Photography: Exposure
3h 24m Appropriate for all Dec 23, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Arriving at the best exposure for a photo is part science and part art. In Foundations of Photography: Exposure, Ben Long helps photographers expand their artistic options by giving them a deep understanding of shutter speed, aperture, ISO, and all other critical exposure practices. This course covers the basic exposure controls provided by all digital SLR cameras, as well as most advanced point-and-shoot models. Learn how to master a camera's metering modes, how to use exposure compensation and bracketing, and much more. By the end of the course, you'll know how to develop an "exposure strategy" that will allow you to effectively employ your exposure knowledge in any shooting situation.

Topics include:
  • What is exposure?
  • Exploring camera modes
  • Light metering
  • Shooting sharp images
  • Controlling shutter speed
  • Understanding f-stops
  • Controlling motion
  • Working with a shallow depth of field
  • Measuring aperture
  • Shooting in low light conditions
  • Performing manual light balance
  • Working with the histogram
  • Using fill flash
  • Understanding reciprocity
Subjects:
Photography Cameras + Gear Photography Foundations Lighting
Author:
Ben Long

Exposing for highlights

All of this theory that we've been talking about, this is not just something that you study at home and think about and then go, "Okay, that's in there. Now, I am going to go shooting." You think about it when you're in the field. You work through the same types of thoughts in your head that we've been talking about in the studio in a very theoretical way. And this shot that we found right here is a fine example. So we're driving down this road, and I've got this nice road going into distance with these pretty shady trees. And there is something in the background that you can't actually see right now. The video cameras we are using is a digital image sensor, just the way my SLR does.

And like my SLR, it's got a much lower dynamic range than my eye has. So right now what you're seeing in the sky is just white. So I'm going to ask the camera operator to change the exposure, so that we can see what's actually up there. And you should be able to see that look, there is a mountain looming there in the distance. Now, when I walked into this scene, I was able to actually just see all that. I was able to see nice dark shadow, and road, and mountain looming in the distance. This is shot I want to take. What needs to happen next is right away I need to recognize that's a lot of dynamic range in that scene.

I can't just hop out of my car, snap off that picture, and hop back in. I've got to stop and think about this situation. High dynamic range, more stops of light then my camera can capture, even though my eye is seeing everything just fine. So I'm going to need to think about my exposure a little bit and use a little exposure compensation to be sure that the mountain is visible. Watch what happens if I take a shot as the camera has metered. This is a landscape shot. I know I want deep depth of field, so I put my camera in aperture priority mode to give me control of aperture, because aperture is what controls depth of field.

I've dialed down to F11, which is going to give me a very depth of field. I'm going to take my shot. I've already focus the camera, so I'm just going to knock one off there. This is what we got, and sure enough there is no mountain back there. It's all overexposed. It's gone out to complete white. So what I need to do is think about exposing for the highlights in this image, protecting the highlights by choosing an exposure compensation that's going to be sure that the mountain, which is the big highlight area, is okay. I'm going to dial in an underexposure. When I underexpose, the mountain is going to darken.

I'm going to get detail on it, and actually for that matter, I going to be able to see it all. I want to get some detail on it. I'm also going to pull some color back into the sky. Now, when I do that underexposure, the dark parts of my image are also going to go darker. They may not go so dark that I can't see them, but even if they do, that may not matter. When a shadow goes dark, we just think it's a really dark shadow. When a bright highlight goes bright, it's a big empty spot in our image. So you are much safer often losing your shadows than you are when you lose your highlights. The other thing is that light and shadow, that's the vocabulary of photography.

Its nice having images without detail in them sometimes, against images with lots of detail. These are some of the aesthetics that you work with when you're working with light in a nice image. So what I'm going to do now is dial in an underexposure using my exposure compensation control. Now remember, this is landscape I want to deep depth of field, so I want to be sure I preserve aperture control. If I'm in program mode, and I dial in an exposure compensation, I don't actually know how the camera is going to get the compensation. If I tell it I want it underexposed by one stop, it might underexpose by changing shutter speed or aperture. Or if I'm in auto ISO mode, it might make tiny little ISO changes.

If I make changes to all three, I don't want it touching my aperture setting. Fortunately, when I'm in aperture priority, any exposure compensation changes I make will be made to shutter speed. So I am on a tripod. I don't care if my shutter speed goes too low. I'm going to dial in one stop of underexposure. Now, how do I know one stop? I don't. I'm just starting with one stop, and we'll see what's going to happen. I take the shot, and there it is. There is my mountain looming in the background. So now I've got detail on the mountain. These shadows have got a little bit darker.

I can choose to brighten them up, I could choose to darken them further, or I can leave them alone. That's an aesthetic choice that I get to make later. I don't need another shot here; one shot was plenty to bring the mountain back. So very often in a high-dynamic-range situation, this is the type of process that you're going to go through. You're going to take a shot, maybe review it on the screen, or maybe you're not even going to bother with that first shot. You're going to come into it and go "That mountain is just too bright. I'm going to start with an underexposure." The point is I'm trying to protect highlights. I don't want them to go white, and I'm doing that by underexposing them to pull them back into range, so that I can see those details.

There are currently no FAQs about Foundations of Photography: Exposure.

 
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.
Upgrade now


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

join now Upgrade now

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Foundations of Photography: Exposure.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.