Exposure value

A cameras metering system can be fooled when taking pictures where large areas of a scene are very bright, very dark or contain strong contrast. To help prevent a photo from under or over exposure, adjust exposure values (EV).

Exposure values, represented by numbers with a plus or minus in front of them, override settings automatically selected by a cameras exposure mode. When the main subject is darker than the background, increase exposure value. If the subject is much lighter than the background, decrease exposure value.

Over exposed trees

For overexposed subjects (too light), decrease EV.

Under exposed trees

For underexposed subjects (too dark), increase EV.

Suggested exposure value settings

  • Bright sunlight coming over the back of you when taking a photo: -0.3 or -0.7 EV compensation
  • For shots with strong light coming behind the subject (back lit): +0.7 or +1.0 EV
  • Scene with bright sun: 0 to -2 EV
  • Snow, beach or highly reflected water: -2/3 to -2 EV
  • Close-up of white or yellow flower: -1/3 to -1 EV
  • Dimly lit night sky: 0 to +2 EV
  • Land or seascape taken just prior to dusk: 0 EV to +2/3
  • Very dark or black objects: + 2/3 to +1 1/3

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