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From the author of Key #6—Overriding the Camera’s Suggested Exposure Settings

Key #6—Overriding the Camera’s Suggested Exposure Settings

It’s easy to get good photos in the daytime, especially when the background and your subject are about the same brightness. However, in dim light or at night, you might need to give your camera some help.

The EV or AV adjustment option [+/-] enables you to provide more exposure (+) or less exposure (-) when needed:

  • Night outdoor sports against a dark sky or dark seating: -1 EV
  • Spotlit stage or concert performers against a dark background: -1 EV
  • Subjects next to a window or other bright background (Figures 9 and 10): +1 EV

Figure 9 The bright lights of the merry-go-round fool the camera and make it hard to see the riders.

Figure 10 Doubling the exposure (+1 EV) makes the riders easier to see.

The ultimate override is to use Manual mode, in which you set both aperture and shutter speed. It’s perfect for shooting pictures of fireworks, sparklers (Figure 11), or other situations in which the camera would be hopelessly confused by the lighting in use.

Figure 11 Capturing the sparkle in manual mode.

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