Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Photography Tips: Exposure Value (EV) Expose Yourself !

This photo shows you the light meter on one of my cameras when it is in Manual Mode.  The scale of Exposure Values (EV) reads from -2 to +2.  What you're looking at is an exposure of -2/3.
So, if I took a photo at the shutterspeed and aperture I'm using, it would be underexposed by -2/3 EV.

To move the settings on the light meter closer to "0" I have to let more light enter. You get a choice here. Either open the aperture more or slow the shutterspeed down. I slowed down the shutterspeed here and brought the readings on the scale to -1/3 EV. If I kept cranking down on the shutter, I could move it all the way to "0" and have what is known as perfect exposure, Hah !

The camera has a computer and sensors, all kinds of brainiac gadegtry in it but, it doesn't know what I want to show you in these photos. It reads the light and makes a judgement for proper exposure values (EV) based upon the whole scene showing in the frame.

What I want the person looking at my picture to see is the little orange tickmark on the EV Scale. So, the camera's judgement gets overruled. I underexposed by -2 EV to take these shots.

You can overexpose, underexpose, perfect expose or rip up all your photos, if you want to. It's your camera, you paid for it, I hope.

Even if you don't have a fancy DSLR, you can take control of your EV's.  If you don't have a light meter, you can still make your camera take +EV or -EV photos.

Look it up in your camera manual; there is a way. This is just a primer so, you'll have to experiment on your own. But, before long, you'll notice an improvment in your photography.

Don't let your camera decide what Exposure Value (EV) you need.  Get out there and expose yourself !


Unknown said...

Mike, great tip. I'm shooting with a Panasonic G2. Going to investigate my EV settings tonight.

RyukyuMike said...

Go for it. I just returned from a shoot and probably changed my EV a few dozen times as the light in the scenes I was shooting changed with each passing cloud.