Photography 101 | Exposure

You’ll hear photographers talk a lot about exposure.  What does exposure mean anyway?  Exposure is a simple term to determine how much light (or lack of light) your camera frame needs to take a decent picture.  Exposure is all about light. That’s why when you have your camera on the Fully Automatic setting, it’s going to read the light around you and determine what it thinks is the correct Exposure…or how much light (or lack of light)… is needed to take a good picture.  When your camera reads the light around it and around your subject, it will automatically set itself to the settings it feels necessary to properly expose for your picture.

So, why is this important for you to know?  Because 90% (in my own opinion) of taking a good picture is based on the correct exposure of your image….i.e. is it too dark or too bright?  For most pictures you only have one chance to get it right.  Your child will only walk across that stage once, make that greatest play ever, or blow out their 16 candles once, and you don’t want to stand there waiting to capture that memory as it happens only to find yourself looking at the back of your camera screen to see a way too dark or way too bright picture staring back at you.  That’s called EXPOSURE.  The goal is to get it right the first time.

For the next few Monday’s, I’ll be going over exposure with you.  I know this seems like a boring start to the Series, but this is the foundation of what we’ll be talking about over the next few weeks.  We’ll talk about light and adjusting your camera settings to work together to create that perfectly exposed image you can be proud to show off!  Not to give you too much info right now, but there are times when I intentionally over or underexpose my image because of the look I’m after, but for now our goal is to work on the correct exposure.


Exposure=how your camera (and eventually how you, yes you…’cause eventually we’ll get that camera off of the fully automatic mode) reads the light and therefore creates an image.  Underexposed=too dark (under the appropriate settings for correct exposure, overexposed=too bright (over the appropriate settings for correct exposure).

Just right.My Aunt and Grandmother.  I took this picture after an all day trip to Mobile.Best Friends before their Jr. High Prom.Don’t forget to share some love around!  Let me know what you think…or if you have any questions!

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Samantha - June 5, 2012 - 4:02 pm

Hi Marinda, I’m glad you found me. Thanks for reading and your kind words.

Marinda - June 5, 2012 - 10:16 am

I really just love how you show examples and really just spell it out how I can understand it! So glad I ran across your site!! Thanks so much for the time you put into this!

Bekki - May 17, 2010 - 8:03 pm

A friend told me about your blog class. I am so excited! I really want to learn how to use my camera well. I have a Cannon Rebel XTi.

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