Last week I published Part One of Chapter 12 from my latest book which was written to help YOU take winning photographs of animals. Here’s Part Two, which covers some common shooting situations that your camera meter will incorrectly expose, and what to do.
First Example:You shoot an animal portrait with a lot of bright sky included in the picture. The meter reads the bright sky and says, in effect, “I need to shut down (shut out some of this light) to produce an average 18% middle gray exposure. When the meter shuts down, the animal gets even less exposure.
Reminder from the last blog….The meter wants to produce 18% middle gray with every exposure. It doesn’t discriminate among the different objects in the scene, so it doesn’t give more importance to the tonal values of one object over another. This works well as long as there is a good balance of tones from light to dark, but with animal and people photography, we usually don’t care about all the light in the scene, we care about the light falling on the subjects.
Solution: The bright sky is influencing the meter. Move in close and fill the viewfinder with your subject. This will eliminate most of the sky so the meter will read the subjects and base the exposure on those subjects.
Second example: There is too much glare in the photograph because you are shooting into the sun.
Solution: Move around until you get rid of the glare. When possible, always try to position yourself to shoot with the sun behind you.
Third example: The photo is too dark.
Solution: Move the animal into the light. Or if that isn’t possible, change the ISO setting. (See page 86.)
Once you have mastered the basics, you’ll be ready to attack the creative side of your camera’s command dial, where you must do the thinking instead of the camera.
Ok, that’s it folks. If you want to know more about advanced exposure, there’s lots more information in the book and the blog.