Okay, back to basics.
Remember how we discussed the magic formula of light?
Shutter speed x aperature x ISO setting = Your correctly exposed picture.
Here’s a little secret. If your camera sensor picks up too much light from the background of your picture, it can be “tricked” into underexposing the central or main character of the photograph.
You’ve seen the pictures taken of that special someone at sunset where you have the brilliant colors of the evening sky and nothing, or not enough of the person in the foreground to remember the picture by?
Why not use this to your advantage? Certain images can be made more powerful, not by focusing on the person, or the subject, but where it is in relation to its background, the action it is performing, or its shape.
Here’s a tip:
Without using your flash. Make sure the camera exposes for the background, not the main figure in the image for some interesting results.
This can be used in the broad daylight as well. Just make sure after the camera gives you its recommended settings, you “step down” or reduce the amount of light coming into the camera. Be aware: You will have to manually take control of your cameras settings to do this.
If you are in “P” or “Auto” mode on your camera and you reduce the light by using a smaller aperature (higher aperature number), your camera will correct the exposure by compensating with the ISO and shutter speed.
This is one time you do not want your camera to “compensate” or correct the “mistake” you are making.
Look at what the camera is recommending and intentionally reduce the amount of light.
If, on the “Auto” setting, you camera says, f/8, 1/100th, at an ISO setting of 400, try setting the manual to f/16 or f/22 with 1/100th at 400 to see what you get.
Still too much light? Reduce the settings on two of the variables instead. Try f/16 at 1/100th with an ISO setting of 200 or 100. Experimentation is the key.
Here are a couple of my favorites.
Have some fun on your own.
See you next time.