Underexposure in digital photography — Photography podcast #24

This pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast talks about DELIBERATE under­ex­po­sure in dig­i­tal pho­tog­ra­phy. Many new dig­i­tal cam­eras have a ten­dency to blow out the high­lights when the scene is too bright. Through judi­cious use of delib­er­ate under­ex­po­sure you can get back some of those blown out highlights.

The dig­i­tal pho­tographs below were taken at the Grand Canyon in Ari­zona. You can see that even though the 2 stop under­ex­posed image is way too dark when uncor­rected, I was able to pull out quite a nice pho­to­graph with excel­lent high­light detail. You can click the pho­tos to enlarge them.

You can down­load this pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast directly by click­ing the pre­ced­ing link or lis­ten to it almost imme­di­ately with the embed­ded player.

Meter read­ing — uncorrected

1 stop under­ex­posed — uncorrected

2 stops under­ex­posed — uncorrected
Final photo from the 2 stop under­ex­posed image — color cor­rected with local dodg­ing and burning


  1. KellyM says:

    Thank you Marko; I appre­ci­ate you check­ing out my pho­tos :)


  2. admin says:

    Thanks for the com­ments Kel­lyM! Just took a look at your link and you have some realy nice ani­mal shots!

  3. KellyM says:

    Hi Marko;

    Just recently found your site and have been very impressed. I have been work­ing my way through the dif­fer­ent pod­casts (which is an awe­some idea). Also like the idea that this is Cana­dian basic site.

    I have been delib­er­ately under­ex­po­sur­ing many of my pho­tos, partly because I love the edit­ing aspect of dig­i­tal pho­tog­ra­phy. But also because I find that my high­lights are always blown out and i thought this was just me. So its nice to know its not me :)

    I look for­ward to the next pod­cast and learn­ing from this site.

    Thank you so much
    Cal­gary AB CA

  4. admin says:

    Hey Thanks Andre — I just love shar­ing knowl­edge!
    BTW — just took a look at your Flickr pho­tos — really nice nature shots!

  5. Andre says:

    very nice work you are doing! i have down­loaded all the pod­casts, really like’em!

    a big thank you from brazil!


  1. […] Post edited August 18 2008 — Adding 2 of my own images to fur­ther illus­trate the dif­fer­ence between the image after it comes out of the cam­era ver­sus the dodged and burned result. The result looks much live­lier and the main rea­son is the local dodg­ing and burn­ing. These are of the grand canyon and they are the same images from the pod­cast on delib­er­ately under­ex­pos­ing your images. […]

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