Deliberate Over Exposure is often necessary, when taking pictures toward bright sky, or strongly back-lit scenes. However deliberate Over Exposure can also have artistic merit and convey a mood. One example could be interesting harsh shadows on on a sunlit white sand beach where you want to bring out the structure of the shadows and just give a hint of the environment.
This is an example of an interesting silhouette of an ibis coming in for a landing near the blind at Frank Lake east of High River Alberta. This is actually a lucky shot, as I had been taking pictures of ducks on the pond in front of the blind. While walking back to the car, this ibis suddenly appeared, and I had no time to adjust the camera, which was on manual. You could argue that the ibis is actually “Under Exposed”, however the sky is definitely “Over Exposed”. Normally I would have rejected this shot, but the awkward shape caught my attention during post processing.
The Frank Lake blind is actually a poor location for “bird in flight” photography, as it faces mostly south into the sun, and passing birds are often silhouetted against a bright sky. It takes a bit of skill to set your camera for the proper exposure of the bird’s foliage. Below is a properly exposed bird in a completely “Over Exposed” background. As it was I had to push the image in post processing to get the color in the feathers.
Exericise: Try to find a subject suitable for “Over Exposure”
June 12, 2017 – We went out to the Frank Lake observation blind and got a great opportunity to photograph barn swallows. The swallows had built their mud nest right under the eave of the shelter and were flying very close as they came in to check on the nest. I just snapped away as they flew in and out. Amazingly frustrating, as barn swallows twist and turn unexpectedly in many directions. After reviewing the nearly 150 pictures I took, I found this image that was suitable for “Over Exposure”. I liked the translucent aspect of the back-lit bird. Next I enhanced the image by de-saturating the colors and pushing exposure to as far as possible, without losing detail in the wings. I rotated the image slightly to give the wings a diagonal aspect. A good example what can be done with post processing.