One of the most basic components of great photographs is an accurate exposure with a broad range of tones, yielding details in both shadows and highlights. This goal can often be a challenge when shooting outside under complicated mixed light.
If you struggle with outdoor images that are too bright or too dark, the tutorial below is just what you need. Danish pro Mads Peter Iversen explains how he consistently achieves perfectly exposed landscape photographs and how you can do the same.
In this behind-the-scenes episode from a swampy location full of interesting, gnarly trees, Iversen demonstrates his approach to handling rapidly changing light, while offering several powerful tips for nailing exposure every time. After mastering his straightforward techniques, you’ll no longer worry about proper exposure, and be free to concentrate on composition, focus, and other important variables.
Iversen begins with a discussion of the camera settings he prefers, and why he often shoots in Aperture Priority while using EV compensation to make any necessary adjustments. He provides a clear explanation of how the meter in a camera is calibrated to properly expose scenes with a value of middle gray, and why it’s necessary to compensate when photographing lighter or darker subjects.
You’ll see how the manner in which you frame a scene can affect the exposure settings you choose, and how to use “Zebra Stripes” as an adjunct to the histogram for increasing your odds of getting things right.
Iversen also explains when to intentionally underexpose an image, as well as how to employ the technique known as “exposing to the right.” You also gain insight on how and when to use auto exposure bracketing to capture multiple images from which to choose.
You can find more tips and tricks on Iversen’s YouTube channel, so be sure and take a look. And don’t miss the helpful tutorial we shared last week, with five simple tips for shooting great outdoor photos with a long telephoto lens.