Understanding negative exposure in photography.

Learn about negative exposure in photography, why it matters, and how to edit images that have been underexposed.

Photography can be a fun challenge but also a tricky one —especially when you’re just starting out. Typically, capturing perfectly balanced images is built on the foundation of understanding aspects like exposure, aperture, ISO, and shutter speed.

In this article, we’ll dive into exposure — more specifically, negative exposure — to help you better understand how to capture well composed images.

What is negative exposure?

Though cameras differ, it’s likely that your camera’s settings allow you to adjust your exposure in stops. By adjusting up or down, you either add exposure or take away exposure — positive numbers indicate that your exposure is brighter, and negative numbers indicate that you’re making your exposure darker.

Cameras often offer an auto-exposure setting that balances your exposure meter automatically but it’s still important to know how to adjust exposure settings yourself. Why? Because If an image is too bright, you’d need to dial down your exposure compensation by using negative exposure.

How to edit negative exposure images.

Sometimes when using negative exposure while capturing an image, it’s possible to underexpose your photos. If this isn’t the look you’re going for, a quick edit in Adobe Lightroom can help balance the exposure.

To edit your images, simply adjust the Exposure slider to brighten or darken your entire image. If you prefer to fine-tune your edits, adjust the individual sliders for highlights, shadows, whites, and blacks.

Explore new editing skills.

Unlock your editing potential and discover next-level photo tips to start you on your creative journey. Discover all you can do and tap into your creativity with Lightroom today.