Ensure you are not going beyond the Brightness range


“The camera is not the same as a person” may seem like an obvious statement, yet a common mistake many beginning photographers make is that they want the camera to act like they do in terms of seeing the world. The camera is restricted by technological limitations that your eyes and brain do not have.

This is especially important with exposure. Photographers see a subject and take the picture with the expectation that the “right” exposure will give a good picture. When the photo does not cooperate and results are poor, they think that they just did not

adjust the camera right. In fact, the scene might be beyond the capabilities of the camera, even though you can see it perfectly.

This is most common in extreme lighting conditions. Your eyes can handle a huge range of detail from dark to bright in situations such as a scene where the light goes from brightest sun to dark, dark shade. The camera simply cannot handle such conditions and no exposure will be “right.” Sometimes it is important to recognise when a good photograph is not possible and then move on to something that is.


The human eye is capable of seeing quite a range of tones in the real world from 10,000:1 to 1,000,000:1 depending on conditions and how the eye adapts to those conditions. The digital camera, on the other hand, has a range of approximately 1024:1. This is why you can see things in light that causes problems for a camera. 


Photographers often are so strongly attracted to a subject that they want to take its picture regardless if a good photo is possible or not. One thing that can help you become a better photographer is remembering that you always have a decision to not take a picture, to just say no to bad light and poor exposure.