There are times when you may want to let in more, or less, light than your cameras meter will suggest. This is a creative choice. There is no such thing as a correct exposure in a given situation, it should be driven by what you want the image to look like. Your aperture and shutter speed controls do this, however I rarely shoot on full manual and prefer to let the camera do the heavy lifting. I shoot on the cameras Program mode where it determines the aperture and shutter speed depending on the amount of light available. I then use the cameras Exposure Compensation Dial to creatively over or under expose the image.
In this example I set the Exposure Compensation Dial to overexpose by 2 stops (let in more light). This is a good creative choice when you want to create a softer, lighter look. Photographing a bride in a white wedding dress might be another good situation for this look, also known as "High Key."
Every camera is different in terms of how the controls are laid out. The Exposure Compensation Dial on your camera will look something like one of the above icons. On Automatic mode you may not have access to this feature, try changed your camera to Program mode.
Changing the Exposure Compensation Dial to the minus settings will let in less light and underexpose the image. Changing to the plus side will increase the amount of light let in and overexpose the image.
In this example I set the Exposure Compensation Dial to underexpose by 2 stops (let in less light). This can be a good creative choice when you want to create a darker more moody image, "Low Key."
Tomorrow will be the last post in this series and deal with putting everything together in "Presentation."