Exercise – Measuring exposure

For this part of the exercise, I am to produce between four and six photographs which are deliberately lighter or darker than average, and say why in my written notes.

I would say, that in general I prefer underexposed shots to overexposed ones. Underexposed shots can have lots more shadow and texture and therefore have a lot more detail, obviously depending on the position of the light source and the subject.

I like my first underexposed image. The two swans create silhouettes which contrast against the texture of the water, being lit by the warm glow of the sunset in the distance. If i were to improve the shot, thinking about it now, I would get lower to the ground to show a little more creating a leading line made up of the sunlight hitting the water. This may of made the composition a little more interesting, but overall i’m happy with the image i’ve produced for the purpose of the exercise.


The image below, again is another underexposed image which I feel works. I think it has ‘the calm before the storm’ look about it. I like the texture of the clouds and again the silhouette of the boat in the distance.


Below we have our first overexposed image. As you can see the shot above is very similar, only with one being under and another being overexposed. In this case, I feel that they both work as images, (although, preferring the underexposed shot) This image has a crisp, fresh, early morning feel to it. However, the clouds combined with the overexposure blends the sky, making it a little too bright. But I feel the ramp at the forefront of the image creates a leading line, somewhat distracting the eye from this.


I feel the next image, being overexposed, should again have a bright and breezy feel to it, but when I look at this shot it has the opposite effect feeling almost a little creepy. The branches look like they are almost reaching into the image and my eye is drawn to the end of the footpath making it (in my eyes) an interesting image.


Below are two more images which are over and underexposed which i feel both work.



For second part of the exercise, I am to take five or six different photographs of any subject, but for each one make five exposures arranged around what I have measured as the best exposure. The first should be one stop darker, the second, half a stop, the third average (the best exposure), the fourth half a stop lighter and the fifth one stop lighter.

I will make notes, to first see wether or not the central exposure is, as I would expect. Next, which, if any of the other exposures are also acceptable. Depending on the subject and kind of lighting, some of the shots may work being over/underexposed. In other scenes, all of the shots may work. Silhouettes often work at a number of different exposures and the exercise wording has explained that I may prefer a slightly lighter or darker result than I had planned.

IMG_3001  Underexposed by 1 stop

IMG_2999 Underexposed by half a stop

IMG_3002 Correct exposure (average)

IMG_3002 Over exposed by half a stop

IMG_3003 Overexposed by 1 stop

The above set of shots were taken at sunset. I feel that they all work, except the shot overexposed by 1 stop, because the silhouette and sky aren’t as dramatic as the other images. I feel the image that’s underexposed by 1 stop has the most impact. The sky looks dramatic, although if there were more cloud, it would of worked in my favour.

i like these sets of shots, as the suns refection acts as a leading line and draws the eye into the picture with the silhouette of the boat an interesting subject.

IMG_3014 Underexposed by 1 stop

IMG_3013 Underexposed by half a stop

IMG_3012 Correct exposure (average)

IMG_3015 Overexposed by half a stop

IMG_3016 Overexposed by 1 stop

With these sets of images (above) I feel the complete opposite. The underexposed image, in this case, does not work. All the others I feel do. Although the lighter the better, as more detail can be seen. The overexposed image makes the photograph as a whole look much brighter and I feel more pleasing to the eye, it has a much warmer feel. Compared with the underexposed image, this shot looks like a much darker, more stormy day.

IMG_3054 Underexposed by 1 stop

IMG_3053 Underexposed by half a stop

IMG_3052 Correct exposure (average)

IMG_3055 Overexposed by half a stop

IMG_3056 Overexposed by 1 stop

The next set of images (again, above) I feel all work, the fact that some are over and some are underexposed, to me, doesn’t make a dramatic impact to the images. The correct exposure in this case works the best, however all would work well as individual photographs.

IMG_3437 underexposed by 1 stop

IMG_3436 underexposed by half a stop

IMG_3433 average exposure

IMG_3434 overexposed by half a stop

IMG_3435 overexposed by 1 stop

With this next set of images, I feel that some shots would work as individual photographs, where as one, maybe would not. The underexposed image by 1 stop I feel does not work, this is because the pathway (being the leading line) has too much shadow in order for it to have any impact, the trees are too dark also, which takes any detail the image may have away from the photograph. All the other images, I feel work. The best shot again, would be the average exposure (the same as the previous sets of images) This is because i feel that there is just enough shadow on the ground in order for the pathway (leading line) to have impact and draw the eye in and out of the image, but at the same time, the shadows creating texture and detail to the shot. Also the brightness of the blue sky and green trees have a much more pleasing contrast compared with the rest.

IMG_3463 underexposed by 1 stop

IMG_3462 underexposed by half a stop

IMG_3461 average exposure

IMG_3464 overexposed by half a stop

IMG_3465 overexposed by 1 stop

The final set of shots are my favourite. I feel the images have a lot of depth and detail in both the foreground and background. I feel that all the images work as individual photographs except for the overexposed image by 1 stop. It has a much more washed out look which takes detail away from the photo. I prefer the overexposed shot by half a stop. This is because the colour of the sky looks a lot brighter and again, as per the previous exercise, gives a nice contrast to the photo. I also like how the position of the sun has almost created a silhouette against the central tree giving the image another interesting dimension.





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