Exposure compensation might sound like a clunky term, but it’s critical for amateur and professional photographers alike.
Though exposure compensation can address both the darkening and lighting of a photo, it’s typically used to make dark images brighter. As a photographer, exposure compensation gives you incredible leverage to fine-tune your exposure to take images in low-light or high-contrast scenes. With older cameras, this type of adjustment was nearly impossible to achieve, especially for amateur photographers without a lot of experience.
Today, only the most basic point and shoot cameras fail to offer at least limited exposure compensation adjustments. However, you need to realize that cameras have a mind of their own. In other words, the same scene will look different, depending on the camera that you select.
Most cameras provide exposure compensation in auto mode, though most also provide at least minor compensation tools through manual processing.
Adjusting exposure compensation is typically performed on a camera through a sliding scale, usually indicated with a plus/minus sign. The scale typically ranges from -2.0 on the left to +2.0 on the right. An indicator on the scale shows the current exposure compensation adjustment. By default, most cameras have this setting at 0. You can manually adjust this number on the camera’s built-in sliding scale.
When using exposure compensation on your camera, there are many factors to consider. These include unusual lighting distribution, variations within a camera system, filters, non-standard processing, or deliberate underexposure or overexposure. Rather not rely on your camera for exposure compensation? Most photo-editing applications also provide exposure compensation software tools. If for nothing else, having these at your disposal is important to add some conformity to your photographs.
For example, the most popular photo-editing application, Adobe Photoshop, offers solutions meant to improve dark photos. Typically, you perform this by correcting tonal values of High Dynamic Range (HDR) images. To apply the Exposure adjustment in Adobe Photoshop, you Choose Image > Adjustments >Exposure. From there, use the eyedropper tool to adjust the luminance, or brightness, values in the picture.
You should use exposure compensation tools when your main subject appears brighter or darker than the overall scene. This situation often happens when you have a backlit subject. Conversely, exposure compensation is necessary when you are photographing an object or person in front of a bright background, such as a bright, sunny sky. In this case, your camera's automatic adjustments will typically leave you with a dark subject.
Unfortunately, taking control of your photos isn’t an easy process. Even with auto mode, getting the exposure just right involves testing and playing around. Add to this how each camera acts differently, and the learning process can grow longer. Thankfully, there’s Photolemur, which takes the guesswork out of photo adjusting. Using robust smart technologies, Photolemur analyzes a variety of factors to adjust things like color recovery, natural light correction, and yes, exposure compensation. These tools analyze every photo pixel by pixel and make the necessary adjustments.
There are various solutions for making dark images brighter. You can rely on the exposure compensation tools found on your camera, or concentrate on doing the job post-processing. The easiest solution, however, is to use Photolemur, which does the work for you automatically.
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