Making an effort to underexpose your images (just a little) while shooting can improve your photography workflow. Under exposing leaves you more photos to choose from after the shoot is over AND more options and freedom when you edit. Here’s How...
How To Underexpose
Underexposing may sound like photographer jargon and tricky, but it is not...
On a mirrorless camera or DSLR, there is an exposure compensation dial right on the camera or in the menu system. You can set that so your camera automatically underexposes.
On an iPhone or Android device, you can choose a focus point and use exposure compensation by dragging your finger up or down across the screen. Drag down, and you’ll see the image get darker. Drag up, and you'll see the image get lighter. What you're doing is changing the exposure compensation!
By under-exposing, your photo will look darker as you shoot, but that’s the point! Keep reading...
More Photos To Choose
Having more shots to choose from is always better than missing the shot completely. Or even worse, getting the shot, but it's overexposed and a throwaway.
Since you’re probably not shooting film, you can afford to take a bunch of digital images and choose the best ones. Underexposing, especially on a sunny day when it’s easy to slip up and blow out your images, is an easy way to end up with MORE usable images.
Freedom When Editing
With editing software, you can bring out details from the darker parts of the photos. The details in the darkest areas of an image can be brought back to life. Whereas, most of the time, you can not save the details from the overexposed areas.
There is a reason why camera manufacturers make it so simple to adjust exposure compensation while shooting. All the pros do it, and so should you. It will help you produce more usable shots, and give you a ton of freedom while editing.
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