Sure, you want to properly expose your images, but not always! I know. Weird, right?!!
Here’s an example…
Just a few days ago, I was setting up our Christmas tree. I love seeing my children’s faces when I turn on the holiday lights. There is something magical about holiday lights, and I wanted to capture that moment I turned them on.
The room with the Christmas tree had boxes of holiday decorations and bins in the background. Ideally, I wouldn’t want to have clutter in the shot, but this wasn’t a photoshoot, but rather, a capture of a moment in time.
Since there wasn’t any time to pretty it up, what can I do?
Here is the image when properly exposed:
You get this if you have your camera set on Auto, Program or Aperture/Shutter Priority mode. Your DSLR will make sure your image is properly exposed. With that, you see all the details — in this case, clutter — in the room.
Here is the same exact scene when I purposely UNDEREXPOSED the image:
I shot this in the Manual setting, so I had full control of the output. I knew exactly how I wanted my image to look: I wanted the focus to be on the lights and my monkeys’ faces… I wanted a scene that depicted the magic of Christmas.
Here were the settings to both images:
By NOT having perfect exposure, I was able to create the look and feel I wanted.
Happy holidays to you and yours,