Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Exposure compensation

From: Foundations of Photography: Exposure

Video: Exposure compensation

Let's recap a few things here. We've been covering a lot of different modes. Program mode where the camera automatically picks a shutter speed and aperture for you, that will give you a good overall level of illumination. We've also looked at priority modes: shutter priority where you get to pick a shutter speed and the camera picks a corresponding aperture that will yield a good level of overall illumination; aperture priority mode where you get do pick an aperture, and the camera picks a corresponding shutter speed that will yield a good level of overall illumination. Are you sensing a pattern here? I keep saying that one phrase over and over over: "a good level of illumination." With all of the controls we've been looking at so far, the camera will always try to get you the same level of brightness.

Exposure compensation

Let's recap a few things here. We've been covering a lot of different modes. Program mode where the camera automatically picks a shutter speed and aperture for you, that will give you a good overall level of illumination. We've also looked at priority modes: shutter priority where you get to pick a shutter speed and the camera picks a corresponding aperture that will yield a good level of overall illumination; aperture priority mode where you get do pick an aperture, and the camera picks a corresponding shutter speed that will yield a good level of overall illumination. Are you sensing a pattern here? I keep saying that one phrase over and over over: "a good level of illumination." With all of the controls we've been looking at so far, the camera will always try to get you the same level of brightness.

I'm going to switch to aperture priority mode here real quick. I am metering, and I have dialed in an aperture of f11. If I change that aperture--I'm going to go down to f 5.6 here-- as I change that, the overall brightness in the scene has not changed. The camera is constantly picking a corresponding shutter speed that will preserve my overall light level. In this way, the camera is protecting me from ever over- or underexposing.

Now, believe it or not, as much as we've been talking about how you need to be careful about not overexposing your highlights, and that kind of thing, believe it or not, there are times when you want to over- and underexpose. We're going to spend the rest of this chapter talking about when those times are. Sometimes you will do it to ensure that black-and-white tones look correct. Sometimes you'll do it to improve color. There are lot of reasons why you might want to over- or underexpose. The key to making that happen is your camera's exposure compensation control. Now, most cameras use the same kind of readout for exposure compensation: this type of dial right down here.

In the middle is just a flat exposure, what my camera has decided is correct. And here I've got a little Plus sign and here I've got a Minus sign. On this particular camera, there is just a wheel on the back that I turn. For exposure compensation to work, you first have to meter. So I'm going to half-press to meter, and I let it focus. I'm going to lock my camera now. I'm going to switch my focus on my lens over to manual focus. Now, that it's focused, I don't ever need to re-autofocus on that. So that will stay there while we do the rest of this work.

Anyway, I half-pressed the meter, and now if I dial in a one stop overexposure, this little thing moves over here to 1--this is the Plus side. So I am seeing one stop of overexposure. The image is much brighter now. Let's go back, and you can see that again. Here is how the camera wants to meter. Here is one stop overexposed. So it's brighter now. I have actually managed to overexpose this shot. Let's go the other direction. I am going to go one stop under. My image is getting darker. Here is one and a third stop.

That's what this first little tick mark is. Here is one and two-thirds stop. Here is two stops under. So my image is getting progressively darker. So this is a very easy way to make an under- or overexposure. We'll talk about what those are for later. I just want to go over the control right now. Notice that as I am moving this dial around, the only thing that's changing is shutter speed. That's because I am in aperture priority mode. When you're in a priority mode, that parameter takes priority. I am in aperture priority mode, and I've dialed in 5.6, which means the camera will not change that.

If I tell it to underexpose, the only way I can do that is by changing shutter speed. Let's go in the other direction. I'm going to switch to shutter speed and dial in a shutter speed of say a 60th of a second. As I meter, it comes out at f 5. If I tell it to overexpose, that means it's going to want to open up the aperture. So as I go here, my number should go down, which it did. It went down to f 4. If I go to underexpose, my aperture should get smaller, because it can't change shutter speed, because I am in shutter priority mode, and then we're at 7.1.

So this is exposure compensation. In the next few lessons, we're going to take a look at what it's for.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Foundations of Photography: Exposure
Foundations of Photography: Exposure

64 video lessons · 91625 viewers

Ben Long
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 8m 45s
    1. Welcome
      1m 57s
    2. What is exposure?
      4m 8s
    3. A word about camera brands
      2m 40s
  2. 9m 31s
    1. What is a camera?
      2m 52s
    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 2s
    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 43s
  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 58s
    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 57s
    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 15s
    1. Shooting with post production in mind
      3m 45s
    2. Exposure strategy
      3m 51s
    3. Goodbye
      39s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
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.


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.

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 preferences from 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.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your lynda.com subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

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.