Dealing With Underexposure

by | Jul 6, 2018 | Perspective | 5 comments

Do your pictures turn out overly underexposed sometimes?

180705-James Staddon_525418

This happens to me all the time. Especially when I’m shooting in full manual. The light changes, or I point the camera in a different direction, or I put a filter over the front of the lens and, yeah, I forgot to adjust my camera settings for the abrupt change in light.

So, question: is the light source to blame? Is it the lack of ambient light that caused underexposure?

In most situations, no.

It’s a problem on my end. I forgot to compensate for the change in ambient light.

And it’s usually ISO that I go to to fix the problem.

In low light situations, I’m usually shooting aperture wide open, letting in as much light as possible. I’m usually using a liberal shutter speed too, just fast enough to keep the photo from being blurry, but still as slow as possible to let in as much light as possible.

So yeah, ISO is usually the key to fixing the problem.

Here’s the exact same shot, with the exact same amount of ambient light and the exact same camera settings….except with increased ISO sensitivity, from 400 to 1250:

180705-James Staddon_525259

Much better. I can appreciate the details now!

So, in this situation, it wasn’t a lack of light that caused the problem of underexposure. It was simply a lack of light sensitivity.

The other day I was reading my Bible.

I thought, “God, why am I not seeing anything. Why aren’t you showing me something today?”

Think, underexposed picture. You’ve experienced “blah” devotions too, right?

Before too long, I read “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable” and this random thought hits me:

“Lack of light isn’t the problem. The problem is lack of light sensitivity!

His greatness is unsearchable. God is full of light. His Word is a bright lamp to our feet. It’s not that God wasn’t showing me anything that day. He was providing plenty of light. It my problem, my light sensitivity. He was prompting me to consider adjusting my ISO.

In that moment, I had an immediate perspective change.

My prayer changed from “Why aren’t you showing me something today?” to “Help my heart to be sensitive to what you want to show me today.”

From that point, it kinda didn’t matter if God showed me anything! He had moved my focus off of religious obedience and insight expectation, to true, genuine relational fellowship.

And that’s what I remember from that morning’s devotion time. May we live day to day in God’s presence, always surrendered to His will and with a desire to be sensitive to His voice and the many needs around us.

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  1. Logan Lamar

    So God really did show you something from that “blah” devotional!
    Sometimes it feels like there’s nothing in a passage for us to see (think Genesis 36—my pastor preached through it a couple of months ago and you’d be surprised at the application almost staring you in the face!), but we need to remember that ALL Scripture is inspired by God and thus is profitable for instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). Great blog post!

  2. Alyssa

    This is such a good post, and one that I needed. My Bible time yesterday was “blah”, but with a simple attitude change and prayer, today’s was a time of real feeding on the Word. It’s amazing how much we can get out of God’s Word when we are sensitive to His Light. Thank you! 🙂

  3. Alyssa

    And the second and third pictures are beautiful 🙂

  4. James Staddon

    That’s amazing! Yeah, ferns are beautiful little things to take pictures of. 🙂


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