The Basics of Exposure

red roses Since light plays such an important role in photography, the measure of light or exposure is crucial to obtaining quality pictures. A picture that has balanced exposure highlights colors, making them bold and intensified, while also keeping glare under control and maintaining detail.

In order to get the best exposure for your photographs, you must master three important settings in your camera: aperture, shutter speed, and flash.

Refer to our previous newsletters to recap on how to use these settings.

Measuring exposure and light quantities has become easier over the years with the advent of special devices, especially those designed to measure light. In fact, many modern cameras have a built-in exposure meter that adjusts according to film speed, shutter speed, and aperture. According to the measures inputted, the camera will determine the amount of light necessary for optimum exposure.

If you find that you have photographs with under or overexposure, you can ask a lab technician to fix this problem during processing.

When it comes to slide film, exposure is even more important. Since slide films are generally processed into positives that are projected by shining light through them, overexposed images can result in a barely visible image. Similarly, underexposed pictures lose detail when projected, so choosing the right exposure is extremely vital in this case.

If you are photographing a scene where the contrast in color is very marked, an exposure meter might not be as effective at measuring light outputs. In these situations, only your common sense and experience will guide you through a correct exposure measure.

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