More exposure

by Adrian Toon, director of a2n

In this column, I try to offer assistance to readers who take their own pictures for promotional purposes. What I tend to see on a regular basis is that many pictures are just too dark and, as a result, lose some of the detail in the darker or shadow areas.

This can occur for a number of reasons, mostly due to automatic exposure on most cameras/phones. When a dark area in an image is then taken to a magazine print, it tends to lose much of the detail – in fact the image often appears darker in print.

The solution is to either increase exposure when taking the picture, sometimes pointing away from the subject matter to a darker area at the same distance, holding this exposure level and then reframing can work well. Alternatively, use an image app such as Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop Elements.

If taking images on your phone, you can easily increase the exposure in the app itself. Don’t make the image too light, but ensure you ‘pull out’ the dark detail – if there is a shadow/highlight feature, this works the best.

I’d also like to answer any questions readers have and offer answers in this column. Remember, that increasing your skills in photography is an iterative process; experiment and remember what works for you.