Understanding Exposure

Exposure is already touched upon within the Photo Fundamentals and Composition topics. However, it’s such an important part of the photographic capture and creative processes, it really needs its own focused topic.

There are two aspects to this topic. The first is technical; how a light meter works, how to effectively operate a light meter, and the operational differences between in-camera metering modes: Matrix/Evaluative/Multi-Pattern, Center Weighted Average, and Spot. 

The second aspect is creative. A camera cannot capture the broad range of tones the human eye is capable of perceiving; bright tones and dark tones can’t exist together in a single capture.

This is where the creativity comes in. The photographer has to choose which compressed set of tones to expose correctly. For example, should the photographer choose to expose a sunny sky so it looks similar to the eye’s perception, the shadow areas will appear as black. On the other hand, should the photographer expose the shadow areas as the eye perceives, the bright areas will appear white.

With the advent of digital cameras, guided on-camera practical experience has become the best way to learn and understand exposure. Therefore, that is exactly what this session will concentrate on.

Recommended equipment: Any film or digital camera with exposure control and multiple metering modes. Digital cameras are advantageous due to the immediate feedback. I will always have a DSLR on hand for session use.Photography_Lessons.html