No Such Thing As Correct Exposure

Photography - 101 Understanding Exposure
6 minutes
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There's an artistic point that I want to talk about in this video. And that's that there is no such thing as the correct exposure. Well, let me phrase it a different way. There is such thing as an incorrect exposure. And that's basically when your exposure is not where you want it to be. It's not your desired exposure.

And this is why for this entire course, I've been talking mostly at least when I talk about exposure, I try to always say, That's not very that basically the desired exposure is, if I have said correct exposure, then think of that basically, meaning as that's not my desired exposure. The reason that I want to bring this up is because a scene can be exposed any number of ways and it just goes back to again, the artistry, what you're going for in a specific scene. And I'm going to show you exactly what I mean and this specific scene because in this scene, we have several different ways of shooting and exposing the scene for different artistic effects. Now let's go ahead and talk about the scene real quick. So what we have here is we have our lovely model Whitney, she's dressed in a yellow dress and we have yellow balloons and any of you can guess why that is, if you guys said it's because a complimentary or it's because it's a complimentary color.

Scheme then you are absolutely right. So what I wanted is we're going for this scene, I knew that we'd be shooting over a blue backdrop, which is this lovely kind of, well background view of Laguna Beach, it looks absolutely incredible. And because it's all blue in the background, what I wanted is a nice contrast look with our clothing. And so with the clothing with the balloon, we went with yellow because it's a complementary color to blue. So we're going to get this beautiful pop off a background kind of look. Now with the shot, what I want to do is go for a lot of negative space, we're going to shoot it low, we're going to cut off kind of Whitney's kind of right here at the calf.

And then we're going to shoot with mostly background and mostly like kind of sky in the back. So we get this beautiful negative space kind of you. With this thing, we could expose any number of ways. Now it's 12 something 30. So it's a terrible time to actually be shooting, but we're still getting somewhat directional light, at least the light we can place to our backs. That means that we can still work with this type of a scene.

If the light is directly overhead, there's no way for us to really modify or place it against our backs, and that's when it's difficult to shoot. Alright, so I'm going to have you in the scene right now and then we're just going to expose A whole bunch of number of ways. Now let me show you what I want you to do real quick on the post, we're going to go for a very whimsical kind of look. And the final shot that I want to get is going to be a really bright and airy shot against you in this background. Okay, so, we're gonna have you do is probably kick. Let's have you kick the back leg over to the side.

Sorry, that's not your back like your right leg. So let me go. Let's see. Yeah, that's good. We'll figure it out one way or the other. Okay, so we're going to kick that side I'm going to have you hold the dress with the left hand and we have to work a little bit with the wind because it is really really windy right now.

So we're going to basically wait for the wind to die and when it dies, we're going to catch the balloons that are right up in the air. This kind of I want it to be a little bit to the side. Now we're going to be shooting anything from basically our silhouettes over to bright and airy shots and with the silhouettes and in order for it to look good. What I don't want is Whitney looking into the camera because what happens is when we shoot a silhouette we want to see profile we want to see shape on the face otherwise, if you shoot a silhouette with me looking directly in the camera, while you can't see any facial detail, there's No shape, there's just kind of a blob. So when you're going to actually be looking kind of towards the balloon sign, there we go. And then we have the hair pulled over onto this side.

That looks awesome. And then we're just gonna basically wait for the wind to come into place. So as far as camera settings go, because this camera and basic DSLRs, they're limited to one 4,000th of a second, we do need to bring the aperture up. So I'm going to be shooting around five, six, I might drop it down to f4 when we get to kind of a slower shutter, and we're going to go from a very dark to a very bright look. And we're going to show you that artistically, any of these looks are fine. It just depends on what you're going for.

The only incorrect exposure is the one that doesn't match what you're going for artistically. Otherwise, well, it just depends on the look and I think my favorite look in this I can already tell you my favorite look is going to be basically with this beautiful bright blue sky behind her and it's going to have a really nice bright and airy look which would look awesome with like vintage toning. Okay, you're gonna get the shot. Okay, we're gonna get the shot. One thing I do have to do is I'm on my 35 millimeter on my D 5200. That way I can get a little bit wider I'm going to shoot low The reason why is I don't want to get any of the city backdrop in there.

I just want ocean blue and sky blue in the backdrop so it's going to have an absolutely wonderful look to it. Very simple, very clean yellow and blue, it's going to look awesome. But getting low does mean that we're going to have to play around a little bit we might have to have Whitney lean forward a tiny bit because we are shooting from a lower angle. I'm also going to crop out the calves which I mentioned. So let's go ahead and start and I'm going to get into position. I should have done more AB workouts.

Oh my gosh, it's burning. Got it. Gonna slit on the shutter again. Perfect gonna slow down again. So hopefully this video helps you all in understanding that in any particular scene there is more than one artistically correct exposure. Sure, we can go for that correct or that perfect technical exposure, but really it matters what we're going for in our overall composition.

Now for this particular scene, we shot everything from the silhouette to the bright light in every shot. Now, what was your favorite Whitney, I showed you all of them. I couldn't pick, you can pick you like them all. They're all equally awesome. I kind of preferred the bright and airy look, but that's kind of what I was going for in this scene. But really, in any particular scene, the only right or the correct exposure is the one you're going for.

If you don't get the correct exposure or that desired exposure, then you could say okay, we need to look back on what we've done. Make sure we get the right exposure, the one that fits your overall vision. That's it for this video. We can head on to the next one now.

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