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Expose in Photography – First Snow of 2012

Achieving proper exposure in photography is a fundamental skill needed if you want to stop taking snapshots and start making real photographs. You have to break away from "program mode," but fear not, calculating proper exposure is simple to learn!

Your camera sees the proper exposure at 18% grey; this means your camera will take a meter reading (a calculation) over the focus point in your viewfinder and set what it feels are the best values for this. Ah, but there’s a catch… cameras are dumb. Since the camera sees proper exposure at 18% grey, what if your subject isn’t actually 18% grey? Well, your photo is either going to be under or over exposed!

Manually setting your camera exposure comes into play in scenes where the majority of your subject is white or black – it’s also beneficial to do this 100% of the time, but let’s take baby steps for now.

Here’s what happens… say for example you wish to photograph snow; the camera will see your snow as 18% grey and under expose the shot making your beautiful, fluffy, white snow murky and grey. The exact opposite happens when shooting dark or black scenes. The 18% grey camera reading will overcompensate and blow out all those deep, intense shadows.

A solution which I rely on time and time again to get proper exposure is called the PhotoVision Digital Target. As an added bonus, this target will also set your white balance! I use the 14" version because it fits nicely in my bag.

I promise… my little photography blog tips will soon flourish into a fully-blown dedicated learning section on my website; more to come on that…

First Snow of 2012

There is a method to my madness. Getting the correct exposure ties in nicely with my next picture.

We have been blessed with our first snowfall of 2012 this past Saturday! I love the look of pristine untouched snow on roads, pathways, trees, rocks, and anything else for that matter.

Everything looks so pure and clean. Any bit of color in the drab winter months comes to life with snow. Blue US Postal Service mailboxes, red street signs, orange construction cones, and green pine needles pop out of the frame. Oooh, I just made up some new photography ideas! I must update my 365 project ideas list.

Pine needles draw pointed attention to a branch in the lower right portion of the frame where fluffy, white snow sits.

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