“Dial in an exposure compensation of -1”
If that statement doesn’t make much sense to you, then I think it is time to hit the books.
If it does make sense and still if you find yourself never using the exposure compensation feature, then it is time to change how you shoot.
I am not talking about obvious situations like a black subject against the sky or a white subject against the forest which is dark. These are ‘text-book’ cases and are the easiest ones to tackle. Problems are slightly more difficult to tackle when you don’t know that there is a problem.
Problems are slightly more difficult to tackle when you don’t know that there is a problem. You see exposure compensation for a lot of images is more of a ‘mood changer’. It gives the images that extra punch.
Ever felt like reducing the brightness in your RAW processing software? Chances are you could’ve done a better job in the field at such times. Check the following images, Each of the images has an exposure compensation dialled in and it has helped bring out the mood in the scene much better. Assume each of these is clicked in Evaluative/Matrix-Metering.
Image 1 : Exposure Compensation Value = -1 (The Darker background would fool the camera to assume that it needs more light and might end up overexposing the bird). An underexposure here brings out the details much better and the high-contrast situation demands that.
Image 2 : Exposure Compensation = +2/3 (The background is brighter than the bird itself, thus asking for an exposure compensation on the positive side).
Image 3 : Comparison between two frames. The original which was underexposed and the same image brightened up to show how it would have been without the exposure compensation. There is no correct value/image in this case. Whatever suits you best. I like the darker one as it gives a more brooding sense and that is what I wanted to convey
Exposure compensation coupled with metering is the most important combination and you need to practice and get your hands set with it.
So go on, try out that Exposure compensation dial in you camera