Get perfect exposure with exposure compensation

Everyone who has a black or a white dog knows how hard it is to get them correctly exposed, especially if you want to have a bit of environment in the photo. A black dog goes all black, a white dog all white.

This is what happened when I took a photo of my dark brown dog against the sky:


The camera compensates for the bright sky, and my dog is underexposed.

A quick and easy way to fix this is the exposure compensation button! exposure-comp

It works a bit differently on different cameras, but you get a slider that looks like this:


It is probably (hopefully) put on 0 and not +0,5 as the picture shows. If you want the photo to be brighter (as I do), you move the slider to the right. You add light.


Of course, it works just as well the other way! If your dog is too bright like this:


Move the slider to the left instead. Subtract light.


How much you need to move that slider varies, so you need to do a little try and error if you don’t get it right at once.

And as you see, it’s the whole photo that gets affected. That means that sometimes the background gets incorrectly exposed in order to expose the dog correctly:


To get my dog bright enough, the background gets overexposed.

My “ule of thumb” is that if the dog is the only interesting part in the photo, I always expose the dog correctly. If the dog is a smaller part of the photo, as above, I expose to make the background look nice. webb-1827-2

But it’s just a matter of taste, really!

I also try not to put a dark dog against a bright background, you can see the difference when she is on the green! And her colour comes out much nicer 🙂


Want to learn more? I found these two helpful articles online:



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