Exposure compensation – I don’t think there’s another exposure control that causes more confusion. In fact, I think most people are in for a surprise or two when they watch this one!
In this video, we’ll explore every aspect of exposure compensation and knock confusion to the curb. We’ll discuss what it is, what it does, why you need it, what exposure control(s) it adjusts, what to do when it doesn’t work, and when it’s a better choice than manual mode.
And, most importantly, we’ll talk extensively about how to recognize scenes where you’ll need it with tons of examples.
Wanna play that exposure compensation dial like a Mozart played the piano? You gotta check out the video!
Metering Mode Note
I’ve had a lot of comments asking if the advice in the video is just for matrix metering or if it applies to other metering patterns as well. Basically, if something like Spot Metering would fix the problem.
The meter will work based on the guidelines in this video regardless of the metering pattern. In fact, Spot and Center Weighted are more prone to wild swings than matrix metering is.
Both Spot and Center Weighted meters are 100% trying to make whatever is under them middle tone gray. Matrix / evaluative metering does as well, but it also takes a variety of other factors into account and isn’t as easily fooled by some subjects. (I cover these concepts extensively in my exposure / metering book.)
For one quick example, let’s say I spot metered off the polar bear you saw in the video. Since the polar bear is white(ish), the spot meter would still underexpose it. If it were a black bear, we’re looking at a severe overexposure with a spot meter. For a complete overview of how the spot meter works (and some dramatic examples to illustrate these concepts) check out the Spot Metering video I did a couple months back.
Again, not to beat a dead horse here, but if you find some of this (or any of this) confusing, you owe it to yourself to grab that exposure and metering book. Most photographers never really get this down and struggle with it constantly. For less than the price of a lunch date you’ll never get tripped up by your meter again.
PS – If you enjoyed this post, I think you’ll REALLY like my e-books and video workshops! Thousands of pages and hours of videos filled with tips, tricks, and techniques – all my best content! Check ’em out – click here (hey, it’s free to look).