The complexity of the pictures
Why are Amateur photos so weak for the most part? First of all, because the average photographer is not aware of their weakness. This is not a problem if the…

Continue reading →

Subject movement
No matter how stable your camera is, its stability is completely useless when shooting moving objects. Only a short shutter speed will help freeze the movement. This is why when…

Continue reading →

Factors affecting bokeh
The number and shape of aperture blades The arrangement of the lens aperture affects not so much the quality of the blur as the shape of the blur circles. In…

Continue reading →

Exposition. The exposure compensation

Exposure is the amount of light needed to create a photo. Nothing complicated.

The exposure is dosed with fixed assets:

ISO sensitivity value
Flash (or other lighting devices)
Basically, in digital photography, it is customary to say that exposure depends only on the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO, but in fact, everyone who says so, omits the flash operation.

Exposure is measured in E. V. exposure units (Exposure Value).

Exposure of the image without changing +-0
Important: if you fix the ISO value and flash power (such as on older film cameras), you will only be able to change the camera’s shutter speed and lens aperture. In this case, shutter speed and aperture is called expopark. They are a pair, because when you change one, the other adapts to the second. This adjustment is just carried out by the camera.

The most important thing is that by changing one of the main four parameters, you need to change one of the other three to save the current exposure. So, by changing the shutter speed, you will either need to change the aperture value or the ISO value to save the current exposure value.

The exposure is shifted 1.33 steps to the left, as there are many dark areas in the image
The exposure meter is responsible for correct exposure in the camera. An exposure meter is a special sensor in a camera that measures the amount of light “absorbed” by the lens and calculates the” correct” shutter speed, aperture, and ISO values, and sometimes the flash power, to create the “correct” exposure.

The correct exposure usually means a balanced filling of the image with light and dark areas. usually, the exposure meter tries to make a” correct ” histogram. In General, it is very difficult to explain how the exposure meter does this on your fingers.

The exposure is shifted 1.33 steps to the left, although the idea was to shift it to the right.
Exposure metering in automatic modes

In automatic modes, in fact in all modes except P, A, S,M, the camera completely determines the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO parameters. If the flash is enabled, the power for the flash is also calculated. Depending on the shooting mode, the priorities of a particular parameter in the exposure are calculated.

Exposure correction

Usually the camera (camera) has the ability to move the overall exposure of the image to the left or right on the histogram (either add the amount of light or reduce the amount of light). A special button is responsible for this, which is very easy to find, it has the designation “+-“. For example, on Nikon cameras, the “ + – ” correction can only be used in creative modes P, A, S,M, and the correction will not be available in all other modes.

Exposure correction
Exposure correction with flash off and auto ISO off:

1. In a mode (aperture priority) – when using“+ -”, the camera will change the shutter speed to compensate for exposure

2. In S mode (shutter priority) – when using“+ -”, the camera will change the aperture to compensate for exposure

3. In M mode (manual mode) – the camera will not respond to the “ + – ” correction if the AUTO ISO function is disabled. If AUTO ISO is enabled, the camera will change the ISO value.

4. In P mode (program mode) – the camera can change both the shutter speed and the aperture

If the flash is turned on, the compensation occurs with changes in the flash power and other parameters. Especially when the flash is turned on (in the automatic flash power TTL mode), the “ + – ” correction is strongly felt in the manual mode.

The camera’s exposure meter handles some tasks well.
The camera’s exposure meter handles some tasks well. And the amendment doesn’t need to be used

Flash power correction

Another complication when working with “+-” is the separate flash power correction function. This function has the same icon as“+ -“, but also adds a lightning bolt icon. This feature has a direct impact on the amendment power of the flash. Changes in the same way, for a certain amount of E. V. it is Very difficult to calculate the correction of flash power and exposure at the same time. For example, if the normal exposure correction “+-” is enabled with a value of +0.3 EV and ” lightning +-” with a value of +0.7 EV, the total exposure will have a shift of +1EV.

Shooting in difficult fog conditions requires exposure correction
Shooting in difficult fog conditions requires exposure correction

And even worse, the flash power when using external flashes changes in two places – on the camera, and on the flash itself. The camera can have a flash power correction of +1E.V., and the outermost flash can have a power correction of -0.7 E. V. eventually, the photo will receive +0.3 E. V. of the total exposure correction from the standard that the camera’s automation will offer.

And if you wind up all three values of exposure adjustments: the flash in the camera menu, the external flash, and the total exposure, then the devil breaks his leg to calculate the final result.

Strong exposure adjustment to the left (towards shadows) to give the image the desired effect
Strong exposure adjustment to the left (towards shadows) to give the image the desired silhouette effect.

Why do I need an exposure correction

The correction is necessary to create the desired exposure for the photographer. The camera always tries to do something in the middle, which is not suitable for creating the desired effect on the photo. Therefore, the photographer makes an adjustment and gets either a slightly lighter picture, or a slightly darker one.

Isn’t it more convenient to use manual mode instead of exposure correction?

No, it is not more convenient when there is an active shooting, it is best to work in the semi-automatic P, A,S and perform the correction, rather than taking pictures at random. As my experience shows, fully manual mode is only good for slow scenes, photo experiments, and Studio shooting. If you shoot in semi-automatic P, A,S, then usually the camera makes more or less normal exposure, which is easy to hold out, shooting in RAW.

Why do I need to adjust the exposure in manual Mode?

When the flash is turned on, modern cameras still measure the exposure and use the flash power to try to make a ” correct picture”, taking into account the correction from the measured norm. The correction only works if the scene is underexposed according to the camera.
When the auto ISO is enabled, modern cameras also still measure the exposure and use ISO adjustment to try to take the ” correct picture”, taking into account the correction from the measured norm.
In the viewfinder, it is convenient to view the exposure deviations with the specified correction from the norm that the camera shows.
When switching to another mode, for example P, A, S, the “ + – ” correction starts working, sometimes it is very convenient.
Strong correction left exposure
Strong exposure correction to the left in order to save the skin texture from overexposure, frequent reception when shooting people

When should I use exposure correction?

In fact, it is the photographer who decides when and why he needs to correct the exposure. There are General recommendations:

Increase compensation when shooting white on white
Zoom out when shooting black on black (black cat on a black background)
Normal exposure correction when the camera’s exposure meter is “lying”.
But, each modern digital mirror camera has its own exposamer, which measures according to its own criteria. You need to get used to your camera, know exactly what scenes the camera will make “overexposure” or “underexposure”. Let me give you an actual example: my simple Nikon D80 camera has a bad property of shifting the exposure to light colors, thus making the scene overexposed.

Personal experience

I often use the exposure correction. Basically, no more than +-2 e. v. All modern CCS have this function, and it is very convenient and practical. I don’t give advice on setting up the exposure, since everyone must decide how to emphasize the desired atmosphere in the photo using the exposure.

Sometimes even with a flash the camera works out the exposure normally
Sometimes even with a flash the camera works out the exposure normally

Nothing is clear and difficult

If you don’t know how to correct the exposure, try using an escosition bracket. And even easier-shoot in RAW and adjust exposure in a RAW Converter, such as Adobe Camera Raw, Adobe Lightroom, and native camera programs. From RAW, you can almost without loss of quality indulge in an exposure correction of +-2 E. V.

Lantern light with exposure correction
Lantern light with exposure correction


Adjusting the exposure helps to achieve the desired effect in the photo and simply adjust the automatic metering of exposure in the camera. Exposure correction is a creative element that must always be selected individually for each shot. If you have questions about the exposure correction, please ask in the comments, as the topic is quite complex. I advise you to get acquainted with a related topic – methods of measuring exposure.

Basic settings of the camera
I recommend that any novice photographer actively use the camera's automation whenever possible. This applies to matrix metering, autofocus, automatic white balance, and everything else that can only be automated,…


Exposure: theory
Good exposure is critical for getting high-quality photos. However, the essence of the exhibition is very simple. Exposure is just the amount of light that hits the photo sensor. The…


Buchach castle
Composition is the most important aspect of artistic photography. Composition is the art of placing various elements of an image in the most harmonious way that meets the creative intent…