“It’s hard to be a bright light in a dim world.” ― Gary Starta
“Light,” as a wise photographer once told me, “is light” but while that may be true, you’ll need to measure the amount to get the accurate or correct (for the mood) exposure. If the exposure doesn’t let enough light reach the sensor, the image or part of it will be too dark. Conversely, too much light reaching the sensor results in a blown out or overexposed shot.
Accurate exposure begins by correctly setting the lens aperture and shutter speed in relation to each other. You can set the proper exposure yourself manually or let the camera do it for you. The manual method requires either a separate hand-held light meter or you can use the one that’s built in by setting the camera manual mode. For 90% of photographs made, the metering systems inside digital cameras do a fantastic job in producing correct exposure.
The above photograph was made inside a thickly wooded bamboo forest in Japan it was so dark that the in-camera meter produced an image that was unrealistically light. To maintain the mood of the situation, I underexposed by one-third stop using the Canon EOS Digital Rebel’s exposure compensation feature. Lens was a 16mm Zenitar f/2.8 lens with an exposure of 1/30 sec at f/3.5 and ISO 400.
Fore more exposure tips, click on the three links listed below this post.
Barry Staver and I are co-authors of Better Available Light Digital Photography that’s out-of-print with new copies available from Amazon for $19.95 (non-Prime) or used copies for giveaway prices, less than $7 as I write this.