Shooting Challenge: Overexposed

Illustration for article titled Shooting Challenge: Overexposed

We’ve all seen dark, noir photography. But what’s the opposite? Celebrate the light. For this week’s Shooting Challenge, I actually want you to overexpose your photos.


The Challenge

Take a photograph that’s purposefully overexposed, or blown out, or whatever term you want to use.


The Method

So the premise of overexposure is pretty simple. You want to let more light into your lens. And you do that two basic ways: by opening your lens up (that paradoxically means going with a lower aperture), and by letting light in for longer (which is your shutter speed).

There are plenty of tutorials to help you do this. And you should read them! But for those of you on, say, your phone, or using automode on your dSLR, here’s an easy trick: Aim your camera at a shadow in the image, autofocus on it, and then take the photo with those settings.

You’ll be telling your camera, “Hey, this [really dark] part of the frame is too dark! Brighten it up!” And everything else will brighten up, too.


The Example

Our lead shot is by Liz West, and it’s a great example, not just of a nice overexposure, but how using overexposure can actually salvage an otherwise bad shot. (Your camera would normally try to expose for the backlight, which would put the flowers in shadow.)


The Rules - READ THESE

0. No watermarks. They’re so ugly.
1. Submissions need to be your own.
2. Photos must be taken since this contest was announced.
3. Explain, briefly, the equipment, settings, technique and story behind shot.
4. Email submissions to, not me.
5. Include 970px wide image (200KB or less) AND a native resolution sized shot in email.
6. One submission per person.
7. Use the proper SUBJECT line in your email (more info on that below)
8. You agree to the Standard Contest Rules - though we DO accept non-US resident submissions.
9. If the image contains any material or elements that are not owned by you and/or which are subject to the rights of third parties, and/or if any persons appear in the image, you are responsible for obtaining, prior to submission of the photograph, any and all releases and consents necessary to permit the exhibition and use of the image in the manner set forth in these rules without additional compensation. If any person appearing in any image is under the age of majority in their state/province/territory of residence the signature of a parent or legal guardian is required on each release.


Send your best photo by Monday, September 21st at 10AM Eastern to with “Over” in the subject line. Save your files as JPGs, and use a FirstnameLastnameOver.jpg (970px wide) and FirstnameLastnameProduceOver.jpg (2560px wide) naming conventions. Include a story of the shot in a few sentences. And don’t skip this story part because it’s often the most enjoyable part for us all beyond the shot itself!

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How many people are going to willfully misinterpret this and send dick pics?