A Teachable Moment

I’m sifting through my online photos when I notice that one of my photos is too dark.  I checked the “Exposure Bias” in the EXIF data and when I saw the zero value, I realized I uploaded the wrong image to Flickr.  I was going to delete it immediately and upload the correct image.  However, I write my blog and upload photos not only to display my images, but explain what I’m doing and why.

The top photo is the correct image and the bottom is the original.

Starburst in a tree IMG_037176

The images are nearly identical with the exception that the bottom image (the original) is darker.  Photographing snow is “tricky” for cameras.  The camera typically provides us with the correct “exposure” whenever we take a photo.  However, there are some instances where we adjust the settings to provide us with the desired result.  Snow is a difficult subject for the camera.  The pure “white” snow seems too bright.  Therefore, it makes adjustments to the exposure to darken the image.  The result is an image with gray snow.

We want that bright exposure because it accurately reflects what we see.  I had to increase the camera exposure by+2/3 to obtain the top image.  Some people might increase the exposure even further.  The increased amount is based on personal preference.

If you have similar winter images that appear dark, do not get frustrated.  It is a function of the camera and a simple exposure adjustment will increase your satisfaction.  Consult your manual for changing the exposure value or exposure compensation.  Although, you must remember to change it once you are done.  Otherwise, the photos you take afterwards will be too bright.

The automatic watermark is another indicator that the bottom image was too dark.  The bottom image’s watermark is in white letters.  However, the lighter image was done in black letters.

If you have any questions, concerns, or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me.  I’ve provided plenty of options.  Nevertheless, I hope my upload mistake has been a teachable moment for you. 🙂

-Roger

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