What a difference a stop makes.

Shoot a late evening scene the “normal” way – auto white balance and exposed for a bright scene:

And now shoot it with shade or daylight white balance, and exposed by two thirds to a stop less:

…and you will see a huge difference. Now, do not get me wrong: it is OK to feel that one way is right, or the other way, or even a way in between. What I want you to realize, though, is that a slight exposure difference can make a huge difference in the image.

Lower exposure accentuates and saturates colours, like the red in this image, and makes skies visible rather than detail-less white.

This is why you should think of exposure as a valuable tool rather than as a hassle. And why you should always shoot RAW, so that you can make adjustments later. Not that you would plan to do that – you should pklan to get it right in the camera – but it cannot hurt to at least have the option.


3 thoughts on “What a difference a stop makes.

  1. Do you have a tinted windshield? I do. Another reason to shoot raw is that you can colour correct for the tint. Same when taking pictures through a tour bus window. Almost all vehicles with air conditioning have tinted glass. A JPEG does not have enough data to provide sufficient colour correction.

  2. Exposure is a tool, not a hassle–that’s pretty quotable! Maybe not as good as “bright pixels are clean pixels” though 😉
    I love the underexposed look, but proper exposure in camera and artistic darkening in LR feels a bit safer than underexposing from the start.

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