How to Use Exposure Compensation Effectively When Photographing Wildlife

If you’re in the process of learning how to use your camera and enjoy shooting wildlife, this excellent short video runs you through how to use exposure compensation to make sure that you’re not losing details in the highlights or shadows.

Most wildlife photographers will be very familiar with shooting dark objects against bright backgrounds and bright objects framed by dark backgrounds. Knowing how to override your camera’s judgment — whether you’re shooting in full auto, aperture priority or shutter priority modes, or even just auto ISO — to ensure that you don’t blow highlights or let details disappear into the shadows is a handy skill. Janine Krayer from Pangolin Wildlife Photography talks you through when you might want to use exposure compensation and how to put it to good use.

Mirrorless cameras offer a significant advantage over DSLR cameras and their optical viewfinders. Not only can you become accustomed to your EVF and learn when the camera’s metering might be a little off, but it also offers handy features such as an in-view, live histogram to give you an accurate idea of what you’re about to capture.

Personally I want the rotating seat and rig that Pangolin Wildlife Photography has for shooting out in the Chobe National Park in Botswana. Looks like a fantastic setup!

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5 Comments

barry cash's picture

Personally if your adjusting exposure when a bird lands in the shade you have missed the shot the correct set up in mind would be to have exposure already set so as the bird is landing your shooting not fooling around with your camera.
Another way that works is to have two cameras one set for bright light or the ambient light of full sun the other for shade or the ambient light in shade then you have a chance to make epic images.

It still amazes me how many photographers do work correctly!

Troy Straub's picture

No time to turn a dial a click or two, but enough time to switch cameras? Can't wrap my head around how that works.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

Lol, I know, right!

Timothy Gasper's picture

This is the type of article we need more of. I use EC quite a bit....even when doing landscapes in certain instances. And don't forget to check for proper metering when shooting snow. I usually overexpose by one stop or can even use exp comp (EC) when neccessary. Thanks for the article. Do more like this.

Andy T.'s picture

OK. I fully understand her point. and if this is only about exposure compensation then "check please.". Why not simply spot meter? Granted it may be hard for birds in flight, but it would certainly work on the elephants. the closeup of the ox (?) or the lions.