Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Learning about Exposure

Another challenging day for light. I thought it would be interesting to try practicing exposure bias with a white figure against a window setting. Chairman Mao gladly offered his service as key poser for my photo antics. The photo above is straight up with no adjustments to exposure. I like the way the trees outside the window have so much clarity, however the Chairman is quite shadowed and much detail is lost. f/5 ISO 200 exposure time 1/50

The second shot which is on the left above is exposure bias +1. Lets more light in and loses some of the tree detail. The right side is the same photo taken into PSE and level adjusted to bring up some of the detail on the Chairman and trying not to lose too much detail of the trees in the background. The is the "cake and eat it too" attempt. Original photo f/5.3, ISO 320, exposure time 1/30.

This last one I am adding in because I loved the drama of it. This is taken at exposure bias +4. I also opted for black and white to add a little more drama. However, I have to say that really, it was almost black and white anyway in its original format. I love the detail of the Chairman's face in its shadowy state and the way his coat blends into the background. Funny, but its my favorite and I would not have expected it to be. But as I got playing around with the photos, I decided that I really I loved the intensity and the super high contrast and exposure in this photo. It's hyper overexpsure but it seems to suit the Chairman. I might not like it so much if it were something else.
f/5, ISO 2200, exposure time 1/30.
I literally felt like a kid in a candy store learning all this today. Tomorrow is looking like sun breaks in the forecast and I'll be outside to try out my new learnings.


  1. Great post....it really helped me understand a bit more about exposure. I'm new to this too...been using the auto setting with lots of success, so this is all unexplored territory for me. Great shots!

  2. How fun! Very different looks just with the exposure compensation. You picked an interesting subject with lots of lights and darks for the exposure exercise. I can't decide which I like best. Just reading about your experience was so fun. :)

  3. I totally agree that the last one is really cool! I'm having a lot of fun myself experimenting with deliberate overexposure :)



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