Why Overexposing Your Subjects Can Be Flattering For Them

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When it comes to portraits, photographers would always tend to gravitate towards a method that brings out the best in their subjects. In this way, a photographer creates an image that captures the true essence of someone with a unique sense of creativity that highlights their features. And yet, that feat doesn’t seem so easy as it may sound. In fact, a lot of photographers still struggle to get that look no one else has achieved for their respective portraits.

That’s where the magic of overexposure comes in folks. Essentially, this act entails you to expose for the shadows and shoot at the widest aperture available. Here are some reasons why the end result should convince you to overexpose when capturing portraits.

 

Always expose for the shadows when shooting portraits

Always expose for the shadows when shooting portraits

 

Overexposing Gives Your Subjects That Much Needed Glow

When you open your lens at its widest aperture and you place your subject in a location where good, natural light is readily available, the end result is much more pleasing that what you’ve expected. That’s because increasing the amount of light coming into your camera brightens up your subject and makes their skin lighter than the usual. At the same time, it also evens out your subjects skin tone and makes it more natural. This feat will make your portrait photos look more balanced as long as you’re shooting outdoors and there won’t be any shortage of natural light around.

 

Overexposing Makes Your Subjects Slimmer

Can you guess what happens when the right amount of light wraps around your subjects?

Overexposing your subjects make them look like they’re glowing

Overexposing your subjects make them look like they’re glowing

 

The answer folks is as simple as pie but as amazing the sliced bread. What happens is your subjects will look slimmer and more slender. The explanation for that is because you overexposed your shots, the light shaves off a part of their bodies when the image is processed in your camera. This feat will be really handy, especially when you’re shooting women since they would look better in their portraits.

 

Overexposure brings out better colours for your shots

Overexposure brings out better colours for your shots

 

Overexposure Leads To A More Natural Color

Have you ever tried underexposing your images or shooting in conditions where there’s no good light to be found? If you have, chances are, the color of your pictures are really bad. In fact, if you’re not used to shooting in low-light conditions, the images you’ve produced from them are those you haven’t shown to anyone.

On the other hand, overexposed images shot outdoors seem to exhibit a livelier feel when people look at them. These pictures look like they’re gonna pop out into your hands and there’s nothing dull to be found in them. When the final version of the overexposed photo has beed processed, you can see how the color impacts its overall quality and you’re gonna say to yourself you’re never gonna shoot using just the right amount of exposure again.

 

Of course, there are gonna be some things you might need to properly overexpose your photos. First, better get the fastest portrait lens you can afford. The faster, the better your images will come out. Second, although it’s not really a requirement, a full frame camera will most definitely help. That’s because the image quality of these cameras are way higher than cropped or micro four thirds sensors and the results can surpass your expectations. Last, but most definitely not the least, find an outdoor location that isn’t too sunny and one that’s filled with spots conducive to image overexposure. If you find the ideal place, that’s already half the battle won for your portrait session.

Do you thing overexposure is the best thing to happen to portraits? Or is there a better way to go when it comes to capturing photos of people? Sound off on the comments below and let us know what you think folks.

By |2017-04-06T09:45:43+00:00April 6th, 2017|Categories: How-to Tips|5 Comments

About the Author:

mm
As a child, I've always been in love with stories and how it can change my idea of the world. As I grew older and got my first camera in 2008, I learned to translate that love of stories into photographs of anything and everything I’ve encountered. Since then, I’ve always made it a point to inject a sense of wonder and creativity into every shot I take. Eventually, it lead me to a whole world of amazing possibilities - weddings.
 I first started way back in 2010, learned under some of the best wedding and portrait photographers and never looked back since. This paved a path towards something that fulfills me artistically and keeps me sleepless at night with all the amazing ideas floating in my head. I love the thrill of weddings and the nostalgic atmosphere the day brings upon my creative side.

5 Comments

  1. Mateo_Meo April 6, 2017 at 10:40 PM - Reply

    All I have is a kit lens to work with since I’m just beginning. Will this be enough?

    • mm
      Julio Munar April 6, 2017 at 6:21 PM - Reply

      I’ve always been a advocate of doing the best with what you have. If you’re gonna go with a kit lens, make sure you’re in the great outdoors. Otherwise, you’re gonna have a hard time overexposing your shots. If I were you, better get a cheap nifty fifty because a prime lens will give you better results.

  2. JoyJoyJoy19888 April 7, 2017 at 6:50 AM - Reply

    I’m having problems getting the color I want when I overexpose. Any tips on how to solve that problem?

    • mm
      Julio Munar April 7, 2017 at 1:53 AM - Reply

      Learn how to set your white balance manually. That’s the secret to solving your color-based problems. Also, be mindful of any color casting in your surrounding and learn how to adjust it in your camera so you won’t have any problems processing your images.

  3. Oliver April 13, 2017 at 7:55 AM - Reply

    Ilky waterfalls, gloomy clouds and still reflections are the photos that come in mind when someone says “landscape photography”. But how to capture those wallpaper type pictures?

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