Photo Tips for Exposure

It happens all the time: you see a great shot and you pull out your HTC One to capture the moment. But as you line up the shot you realize that the scene is unevenly lit, meaning that part of the photo will come out under- or over-exposed. Now, you might think of using HDR mode in this situation. But sometimes HDR can over-saturate one part of the image and under-saturate another, giving your photo uneven color.

Thankfully, your HTC One gives you another option by letting you manually adjust your exposure settings so you can expose just the part of the image you want. Here’s a quick guide to digging deeper into this function.

To access the exposure settings, open the camera and tap the camera settings icon — the row of three dots in one corner of the screen. Scroll down and tap on “Image adjustments”. The first item will be “exposure” and you’ll see a scale ranging from -2 to +2.

HTC One Camera exposure menu
Changing the exposure setting is basically like adjusting the shutter speed on a regular camera. If you choose a low setting, it will speed up the shutter, allowing less light to hit the sensor, while a high setting will slow down the shutter, letting in more light.

Here’s a summary of how each exposure setting works:

Exposure of -2

Use this exposure compensation setting if you want to get more the light in the background of a shot, as seen in the  left column of the samples below.

Exposure -2

Without exposure compensation With exposure compensation

This setting works best if your subject is lit from behind, as in the top left image; otherwise it will under-expose, which you can see in the bottom row.

Exposure of -1

Use this setting if you want a bit more light in the background yet still get a foreground that is evenly exposed, as seen in the left column of the photos below.

Exposure -1

Without exposure compensation With exposure compensation

This exposure setting works in a similar way to the -2 exposure setting, but exposes both the foreground and background more evenly, as you can see in the top left shot. In the bottom left shot, you can see how this setting begins to bring out more detail in the clouds.

Exposure of 0

This is the default exposure setting on the One. This setting produces great shots when good lighting is available, but when light is uneven it will sometimes leave part of the scene over-exposed, like the sky in the top photo; or under-exposed, like the clouds in the bottom photo.

Exposure 0

Default exposure

Exposure of +1

This setting is perfect if your subject is in front of a bright light source and you want to expose the subject yet still retain some of the background detail. Also, if you’re shooting in very dark conditions, it will bring out more detail in the shot.

Exposure +1

Without exposure compensation With exposure compensation

Exposure of +2

This setting is best if there is extreme backlighting or if you are in really dark conditions.

exposure +2

Without exposure compensation With exposure compensation

You can see how this setting really brings out the foreground but also dramatically over-exposes the background lighting in the background.

Hopefully this gives you an idea of how you can fine-tune your One photos for even better results. The next time you are taking photos in uneven lighting, play around with each of the exposure settings and see what happens. Soon you will have a good idea of what settings works best in each situation.

  • zinkn

    Love theese tips! keep em coming! 🙂

  • TRNR

    Just wanna say how simple yet very effective this tip is. Thanks a lot Andrew!

  • sundar

    thanks for giving like these tips ..