Exposure Compensation: Manual Shooting Without Being In Manual

Posted: May 11, 2011 in Articles

Exposure Compensation: Manual Shooting Without Being In Manual.

The Brilliance of Today’s Digital SLR’s

Digital cameras are incredibly intelligent and powerful tools. They can detect and read light, decide exposure values, adjust for white balance, detect contrast to achieve focus, and a whole list of other things that go on behind the scenes that we never even notice. DSLR’s are so smart in fact, that some new photographers make the argument that there is no reason to ever get out of automatic! While I could write an entire article on why that would be a mistake, I will tuck that away for later.

Manual shooting is something that many photogs (even pro’s) are afraid of. When you shoot manual, you are basically turning most of your camera’s systems off. You still have a light meter, but you have to decide if that meter is going to be correct or not. To do this, you have to adjust both aperture and shutter speed to get the correct exposure.

While all photographers are different, I often put aperture before shutter speed. What I mean is that I rarely use shutter speed as a creative function (there are certainly times that I do, but I can easily switch settings if needed). Because of my shooting style, when I shoot in manual I’m usually only adjusting my shutter speed to make the meter show the correct exposure. I’ve already decided my aperture and I want it to stay where I put it.

Exposure compensation essentially lets the photographer shoot in Aperture Value with a manual mindset. Because our cameras are so smart these days my exposures are usually spot on. In Av mode, I simply set my aperture (or depth of field) and my camera decides what my shutter speed will be. When I shoot in Av, I’m constantly looking at my the shutter speed my camera is deciding on and making sure it’s quick enough to get sharp images. If it’s too slow, I first adjust my ISO up to get it quicker. If I have to push the ISO too far I’ll then consider changing my aperture if possible.

Read more: http://www.digital-photography-school.com/exposure-compensation-manual-shooting-without-being-in-manual#ixzz1M2QnA1l8


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