When I was first starting out in photography there were a few things I wish I had known. One of which deals with exposure. I would always look at the pros stuff and wounder why they had such rich colors, and images that popped out of the screen. I loved the look of their images but for a long time was unable to reproduce anything that was close. I instantly thought that it was just because they used Photo shop and made everything perfect, but just about year ago, a real turning point for my photography career, I found that simply over exposing the images and slightly bringing up the contrast does wonders. Not just wonders, but can make an ok image, into, "WOW, AMAZING!!" Anyone can easily over expose their image and then open it in Picasa (which is free!) and push one button, and presto, you went from amateur to pro. More often then not, an image will look alright on your viewing screen on your camera, and then you upload it to your computer and find that it is just a little darker then you remember. That's because the image is a little darker then you remember. By over exposing your image by just a few stops you will actually be capturing more information (pixels) which is always better. And it is easier to take away pixels then it is to add them. Below is a few example of what I am talking about. The first image (photo A) is what my camera said to do, and the image after it (photo B) is the post processed example where I added alittle contrast and brought up the lighting a bit (looks alright). The next picture (photo c) is where I over exposed it. And the last photo (photo D) is the post processed version of that one where I only added alittle contrast.
Photo A, "properly" exposed, no post processing.
Photo B, this is photo A after I have brought up the contrast and lighting ever so slightly.
Photo C, this one is slightly over exposed with no post processing.
Photo D, this is photo C after post processing, all I did was add a little contrast!
So what do you think? Now you give it a try and see if you are as amazed as I was. Try it out and let me see what you come up with.
Cheers, and happy shooting