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Gary Detonnancourt

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More Than A Snapshot provides online photography education.

When is Overexposure a Good Thing?


This is the blog for More Than A Snapshot's Online Photography Classes.  In these blog posts I will give photography tips, tutorials, and show images.

When is Overexposure a Good Thing?

Gary Detonnancourt

1.  Back lit scenes with distracting backgrounds.

I was shooting my daughters 12th birthday party in our outdoor room.  The outside of the room was much brighter than inside the room.  To help balance the exposure I used a fill flash which is how I have the subjects and background all having the correct exposure.  While this may seem to be correct, it really depends on the background.  In this case we see a lot of distractions.  Since this was a raw file I was able to increase the highlights to overexpose the background on purpose.  In the image below you can see how the distractions have been minimized.

2.  To correct poor skin

A slightly overexposed image of a person can help minimize skin problems and reduce the amount of retouching needed.

3.  At the beach or any time the dynamic range is too great for a proper exposure throughout the entire image.  Sometimes for creative reasons you just have to let it go and let the highlights add drama to your image.