Measuring Exposure: Part Two

I had to take a photo measuring what  I thought was the correct exposure then take a series of photos with four different exposure half a stop lighter then the next and then two more which were half a stop darker. I chose the beach to experiment with this.

I photographed these horses on the beach changing exposure as I took the photo. The first photo is too underexposed. The focus is also a little off on the horses.



The photo is lighter and I would say it is the correct exposure though initially I thought it was the next one. IMG_1001

Clearly however this one is peaking at the right hand of the histogram, the photo is beginning to look quite bleached. IMG_1002

The last photo is so bright that it is starting to lose detail, the histogram is soaring and the contrast is weak with all the whites looking the same.

At the same time though I do like this more high key image.


Once again the photo that I deemed to be the best exposure was in fact wrong. Instead reviewing this I prefer the one which is one stop lighter.


Staying on the beach I sat on the steps using my 18-135mm lens to close in on this art sculpture on the beach. As I was photographing it these kids came and started climbing over it .

Due to the brightness reflected from the water this image despite being -0.33 is fairly light.


-0.67 doesn’t seem to have much of a change of the overall image. Perhaps because of the brightness of the water.


The same applies to the next image.



This image is a lot brighter which makes me wonder whether I found the correct exposure in any of the images. Perhaps I would choose the one before as the exposure is having a more radical effect on the image.


By the time the exposure reaches 0.67 the background is becoming quite bleached though this has a positive effect as the subject is able to stand out more.



IMG_1253 IMG_1256 IMG_1255 IMG_1254


The differences can be noticed more strongly here as the higher the exposure goes, the less detail is retained. However, this said I think the last photo at exposure 0.67 the image seems brighter and stronger. Yet more contrast is needed. One step down however and there is a sheen of darkness which doesn’t work. For that reason I’ll choose the last photo as the exposure I’d be happy with but I would increase contrast so it looked like this.



IMG_1368 IMG_1366 IMG_1365 IMG_1364 IMG_1367Taken of a leaf positioned in front of the window.

I took a reading for the best exposure which is the third one. That’s as bright as it should go however as the last two photos may have the leaf in focus and correct exposure but the background is completely blown out and over exposed. A way to combat this would have been to place a standard colour behind the plant. The first exposure may have a pleasant correctly exposed background but the leaves are dark and not so appealing.

IMG_1375 IMG_1373 IMG_1372 IMG_1371 IMG_1370

The first of these photos is clearly too underexposed, the colours are dark and they eyes are searching for some brightness. That said, the following images are still fairly dark though I would choose the third one as the correct exposure. The lighter one is blown out yet still retains enough detail. With this in mind I changed the last photos contrast to see the effect. IMG_1370

You can see how the exposure is now correct just by adjusting the levels slightly and despite my initial thoughts, this is the image I would choose.

This exercise has taught me a great deal about the different exposures and how each can affect an image or be used creatively by the photographer depending on the mood they want to evoke.



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