our world this week: exposing for your subject

I had always heard ‘real’ photographers use the term, “exposing for your subject,” and had no idea what it meant until my most inspiring friend, Brittany, took a couple minutes to explain it.  I am sure I don’t fully understand it, but if you want to read more about exposure there is a great article on pioneer woman about it. 

I have started to play around with exposure and am so excited to share this tip with you! Look at these two photos:

These two pictures  were shot in the exact same window, 20 seconds apart. The first photo was “correctly exposed” on automatic, and the second photo was “over exposed” on manual.  You see, on automatic, your camera doesn’t know what you want it to do, so it tries to compensate to get the entire frame correctly exposed and because of the back light from the window the front subject is in the shadows. However, on manual, you can tell your camera what to do and what you want to be exposed. Get it?

So, what should you do on manual mode to get your camera to take shots like the second one? It is kind of counter-intuitive but you actually tell your camera to over-expose the shot. This adds too much light and blows out the background- but gives your photo wonderful light that is perfectly dreamy and exposed correctly for your subject. (Which, in this case, is Kirst’s beautiful belly!)

You can use this technique for any back-lit photo! You will not get much of the background in the picture, but your subject won’t have awful shadows. Isn’t that fabulous?

I hope that makes sense. Let me know in the comments if you don’t understand.

Comments

  1. BJ_Mama says

    Very COOL! Is this with a Point-and-Shoot? Or do you have a fancier camera?
    If PAS….how do you tell your camera this good advice???

  2. The Sisters 4 say MORE is more says

    Super helpful! I am a wanna be photographer so tips are the BEST!
    I love baby tummys too:)
    sister#2

  3. kirstin & jordan says

    I have a DSLR camera, but you can do this with a point and shoot. Usually on a PAS there is an exposure meter (it has a plus sign on one side and a minus side on the other with an arrow at the middle) The goal of exposure meter is to keep the arrow closest to the middle (i.e. correctly exposed) But you should be able to move it manually. Your camera manual should tell you how to access your exposure meter and move the arrow towards the plus sign (over exposed). Hope that helps!

  4. kirstin & jordan says

    I have a DSLR camera, but you can do this with a point and shoot. Usually on a PAS there is an exposure meter (it has a plus sign on one side and a minus side on the other with an arrow at the middle) The goal of exposure meter is to keep the arrow closest to the middle (i.e. correctly exposed) But you should be able to move it manually. Your camera manual should tell you how to access your exposure meter and move the arrow towards the plus sign (over exposed). Hope that helps!

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