One of the most frustrating things about learning photography is when you find yourself in situations where you just can’t get your exposure right. I found that there is a really simple trick for getting it right every time. Here is an example of how:
I came across a rocky outcrop while on the moors looking for landscapes to photograph. The is some interesting detail in the sky so I set up and take the first shot. It looks like this. The sky is blown out with no detail. Eeeuuugh.
So I increase my shutter speed and take a second shot. Hope fully this will reduce the exposure in the sky, keeping the detail that made the shot interesting. Oops, That didn’t work either. A bit less blown out but still not very nice.
So I increase the shutter speed again, reducing the exposure further. Success? Not quite. The sky looks better but now there is not detail in the shadows and a lot of the rocks are too dark. How frustrating.
So what is the simple solution? HDR? Multiple exposure blending? Complicated filters? Nope! None of these, Its even simpler than that. Move your feet. The problem in the shot above is not my settings, just that sky is simply too bright in comparison to the rocks. If you change your composition you can change the brightness in the shot and make the exposure more even. Here I simply spun through 180o and caputred the shot in one easy exposure. The light from the sun at my back created lovely colours in the sky and deep shadows for contrast.
So next time you are struggling to expose correctly, move your feet.