Overexposed, Underexposed…How to Get it Right
Metering and Exposure – If you already have an eye for a picture, as they say, the next big hurdle is to get the metering right.
So many people that have written in to my website asking for help on metering, all have the same problem. They are all too often caught out by tricky lighting situations where the camera takes on a mind of its own and they end up with a poorly exposed image.
With practice, you can and will overcome this and learn to evaluate a scene and judge how the camera will record it, and then make any necessary adjustments.
There are also little tips and tricks that you can learn to help get the metering spot on each time. If you are unable to do it at the point of exposure, work out how best to capture the scene knowing you can adjust later in Photoshop or your favourite editing program.
For example, if you just have to leave part of the scene slightly underexposed, i.e. a shady or dark area, take the shot (in RAW mode if possible) and pull out the details by lightening the area in your editing program later on. Remember though, you cannot easily put back details from an overexposed image.
Metering and Exposure – 60th/sec F8 ISO 100
TIP: If shooting in a low light situation where flash is not allowed, indoor sports for example, try this. Shoot RAW and increase the ISO but also underexpose by adjusting the “exposure compensation” down by 2 stops (-2). This will give you 2 extra stops of critical shutter speed. Then simply re-adjust the exposure back up by 2 stops in your RAW editing program.
Luckily, as I shot RAW, I was able to pull the details back, convert to black and white and even win the “Bridal Portrait of the Month” in a professional monthly competition with it, you just never know!