Unfortunately, I think I already know the answer to this but I'm hoping I'm just missing a trick:

On a sunny day, is it possible to compensate for a 2 second shutter speed so the photo doesn't come out completely white?

When I was out yesterday, I set my camera to f/29 ISO 100 (the lowest I could go) to try to get a slow shutter speed photo of a river. The problem was, though, the sun came out and I ended up with several areas of the photo that were overexposed beyond repair. In manual mode, the exposure compensation feature on my camera does nothing. Is there a way to prevent the whiteout or am I just out of luck?

Also, would it be better to take the slow shutter photo, take a quick duplicate using aperture priority, and then compile the two?

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Btw, I'm using a Nikon D5600.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ FYI, not sure why you thought exposure compensation would help; it doesn't do any magic, it just tweaks shutter speed/aperture/ISO to achieve a darker/lighter result than the default, in exactly the same way you do yourself when you use manual mode. \$\endgroup\$
    – user29608
    Sep 11, 2017 at 11:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also see photo.stackexchange.com/questions/27528/… \$\endgroup\$
    – vclaw
    Sep 11, 2017 at 11:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ Although it is in response to a very different question, this answer explains what exposure compensation is - and that it is not what many people seem to think it is. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Apr 22, 2019 at 22:18

1 Answer 1


You basically have 3 ways to control exposure - aperture, shutter speed and ISO. (Actually, there is another option, which is not really exposure control, but you can modify the light levels in the scene, by adding artificial light for example.)

If you use the smallest possible aperture and the lowest ISO setting, and your selected shutter speed still overexposes the shot, then you have no option, but to use a faster shutter speed. Exposure compensation is not a magical solution in this case.

Well, actually, as I said earlier, you do have another option, if you are determined to use a slow shutter speed - you can use a Neutral Density filter, which will reduce the intensity of the light entering your lens and allow you to use the slow shutter speed. (The ND filter is effectively changing the light levels in the scene.)


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