Happy happy Wednesday y’all! Today is part 4 of the shooting backlit series here on the blog. Just to recap, here are the first three posts:
Exposure compensation is available on all more advanced cameras from the very lowest entry level DSLR and it looks something like this. It is accessible through the on-screen settings meny like you see on this photo and there is also sometimes a quick access button to turn it up or down quickly. On some cameras, this is coupled with another setting (like on the Canon 5D, when you press the ISO button, one wheel will change your ISO and the other turns the exposure compensation up and down. Some cameras have a dedicated EV (exposure value) button.
When you turn the dial to the right, you’re telling the camera to bump the exposure UP. When you go to the left, it turns the exposure DOWN. So why change your exposure this way instead of just altering all of your settings to change the exposure yourself? Exposure compensation is only available in the semi-manual modes like AV, SV, P and not in full manual. This means you might be shooting in aperture mode and find the need to quickly tell the camera to set itself a bit brighter to compensate for the fact the the camera is exposing for the super bright background. When you turn up the exposure, the camera meters everything a bit differently and alters the shutter speed to compensate and allow the photo a bit more (or less) exposure. You can still shoot at the aperture you want and not have to fiddle with the shutter speed yourself to experiment and find your exposure.
To quote Brooke Snow again this week, she said about the importance of correctly exposing your subject, “Always exposure for your subjects! The reason that backlighting is typically one of the more difficult settings to obtain a proper exposure is the the contrast between bright light coming from behind and the shade on your subject’s face when they turn away from the sun. Manual shooting (with a tendency towards over-exposing) will give you the control to make sure your subjects are properly exposed.” Now of course, this contradicts with the fact that exposure compensation isn’t available in fully manual mode but this brings me to my next point…
If you’re a fully manual shooter having trouble with backlit scenarios, you need to think in terms of ways to let in more light and compensate for the bright background. First, make sure you’re using the right metering mode as referenced above and then slow down the shutter speed, open up the aperture or bump up your ISO to allow for more exposure in your shot.Pin It