Exercise: Measuring Exposure

In this first exercise I have taken 5 photographs which are deliberately lighter or darker than the recommended exposure. It is assumed that the 'average' exposure referred to in the coursework is one taken with matrix metering. So what I have done here is chosen to improve the image by manually overriding the camera's recommended exposure setting.

This image was exposed slightly darker than suggested to make the colours richer and avoid the washing out of the paler colours particularly in the top left.

This image was exposed lighter than the in camera exposure meter suggested; otherwise the whites of the painted woodwork and the pigeon's feathers would have been more grey.

This image was deliberately darkened (although possibly slightly too much) to increase the dark, damp feel.

In this image the woman's features would have been too dark as the camera would have attempted to reduce the overall exposure to darken the very light background.

Here is another image deliberately darkened to create a specific look. Here I wanted the light behind the window to be the only thing visible. Normal exposure would have shown the outside of the building too which would have spoiled the effect.

This next part of the exercise shows sets of bracketed images; 5 sets of 5 photographs which show almost identical images but with exposure altered from the recommended camera setting by -1.0, -0.5, +0.5 and +1.0 stops. The recommended exposure value setting is also shown as the first, large image.

This image is exposed at the recommended in-camera setting.

This image is exposed at the recommended in-camera setting.

In this first example I feel that the darker images have the best feel to them as the colours are richer and there is a moodiness about this sunrise that is lost in the lighter images. The lighter images appear too washed out. The 'correct exposure is fine but isn't my favourite.


This image is exposed at the recommended in-camera setting.

This image is exposed at the recommended in-camera setting.

The second set of images is slightly more difficult. I wasn't aiming for any particular look with this so to make it darker and moodier doesn't really make any sense. If anything, the more exposed images are better as it shows the white of the painted wall more accurately.


This image is exposed at the recommended in-camera setting.

Bracketing 3-3.jpg

The camera has underexposed the statue in this image so the more exposed images look better. Although the dark sky adds an ominous feel in the darker images I think that the subject should be lighter hence my preference for the lighter images.


This image is exposed at the recommended in-camera setting.

Again with this collection; the white wall looks better with the greater exposure so I am inclined to prefer the images which are slightly over-exposed compared to the camera's automatic setting.


This image is exposed at the recommended in-camera setting.

I included this shot as I figured it would be a tricky one for the camera - the tonal range is very wide. As it turns out I think the in-camera setting is probably about right. Underexposed just looks, well, underexposed and dingy, and the slightly increased exposure doesn't really affect the image in any beneficial way, other than to lighten the shadows a little - the sky and building in the background get quite washed out.