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Photography: Avoiding pictures that are too dark

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Extremely light subjects will tend to produce a dark image.

Why? Because the camera's light sensor automatically sets the brightness of the scene for a middle grey.

Thus, light areas become “greyed out”, and areas of medium brightness become blacked out. The only option is to correct the exposure.

Handy tips

  • It will not always be possible to correct the picture with photo retouching software.
  • Brightening the image may result in digital noise: areas of degradation where details are covered in blue-green specks.

1. In A and S modes

  • Correct the exposure by placing the cursor towards the positive end of the scale: 0..+1..+2.
  • Fix the exposure by pressing the AEL or Ý button, focus and compose your picture, then release the shutter.


2. M mode

Select a slower shutter speed or wider aperture: this will let more light on to the sensor.


3. Scene modes (Portrait, Landscape, Sports, etc.)

With most cameras, you cannot correct the exposure.  It is therefore better to use A, S or M modes.

Hands on: Sunsets

If you point the camera directly at the sun, the sensor will darken the foreground, producing a silhouette. To avoid this:

1) Place the leans at a 45° angle to the sun, focus on the horizon and measure the exposure over this  area.

2) Fix the focus by pressing the shutter button half way, and fix the exposure on  this area.

3) Get the sun in frame and shoot!

Warning: do not look at the sun through the viewfinder for too long as the light could damage your retina.