A Short Course Book
Using Your Digital Camera
A Guide To Great Photographs

Chapter 3. Controlling Exposure

Automatic exposure control is one of the most useful features of your camera. It's great to have the camera automatically deal with the exposure while you concentrate on the image. This is especially helpful when photographing action scenes where there isn't time to evaluate the situation and then set the controls manually.

You shouldn't, however, always leave the exposure to the automatic system. At times the lighting can fool any automatic exposure system into producing an underexposed (too dark) or overexposed (too light) image. Although you can make adjustments to a poorly exposed image in a photo-editing program, you've lost image information in the shadows or highlights that can't be recovered. You will find it better in some situations to override the automatic exposure system at the time you take the picture.

Situations in which you might want to override automatic exposure often involve interesting or unusual lighting situations. For example, you need to take control when you photograph into the sun, record a colorful sunset, show the brilliance of a snow-covered landscape, or convey the dark moodiness of a forest. In this chapter you'll learn how.

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