Food Photo Tips: Part 3 - Lighten or Darken Photos with EV

ann_tJanuary 1, 2013

Posted by canarybird (My Page) on Wed, Jul 22, 09 at 14:41

FOOD PHOTO TIPS : Part 3 - Lighten or Darken Your Photos with EV

Hi everyone! I'm back again with another chapter of hints on how to use your digital camera for taking tabletop photos.

I hope everything so far has been easy to understand. But I'll be going over and repeating some things as well so they're not forgotten or misunderstood.

For those who are unfamiliar with this very useful item, I want to introduce the EV function on your camera. EV stand for Exposure Value and the button or menu option is called the Exposure Compensation, or Exposure Bias. Here's the icon, which is a square with plus and minus signs inside.

You may find this icon stamped on the arrow pad on the back of your camera as in Fig, 17.

When that upper arrow is pressed, it produces a new icon in the top right corner of the LCD screen as in Fig. 18, where a black rectangle shows 0.0 and two blue right/left arrows. That tells you that you are now able to use the EV function, and by pressing the right and left sides of the arrow pad you will either increase or decrease the value which will appear in that top right corner of the screen. The increments go up to plus or minus 2 in steps of 1/3 or 1/2. Example: +0.3, +0.7, +1.0 etc. up to +2 (or minus when using that arrow pad.)

So for what is that used? In short, you can manually lighten or darken the picture you see in the viewfinder before shooting by using this setting. Sometimes when your subject is dark against a bright background, the light meter adjusts the overall setting for the brightness, leaving your subject too dark. In that case you would (on my camera here) press the right side of the arrow pad as in Fig. 18a. Now you see the number in the top right screen corner has changed to +0.3 to brighten the picture. If I were happy with that, I would then press the OK button in the centre of the arrow pad and then press the shutter to take the picture. If I wanted the picture to be lighter still, I would press the arrow pad twice instead of once, which would give me +0.7.

In the case where the overall picture was too bright and the subject was going to look lighter than I would like, then I'd press the left arrow and that would give me a minus value, darkening the photo Fig. 18b.

You can get some very lovely effects with a -0.3 setting, especially outdoors where it is often so bright that your photos can look a little overexposed. I keep my cameras set at -0.3 for nearly all my outdoor photos. And my daughter was very pleased when I told her about that when she was getting used to a new camera. Her garden photos turned out so much better with the EV set to -0.3 on bright days.

And some closeup flower photos can look quite dramatic at this setting.

Here is where I find the EV option on my little pocket Stylus. By pressing the main menu in the centre of the back arrow pad I get these four options in Fig. 19. On this camera one presses the top and...

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