Pro Controls Made Easy

Reading the Expodo Circle

Published on April 17, 2020

The Expodo Circle is not just a watermark randomly put on your photo – it is a sticker that shows the arcs as they were set when you took the photo.

You can apply it to any photo after it has been taken and see what the settings were used*.  Four photos below show you very clearly what settings were used to produce that image.

(note that some ways of sharing a photo – such as WhatsApp messenger – strips this data off a photo but you can see it on any original).

You will see on many of our pictures an Expodo Logo. This is actually not just a logo but a “stamp” of the settings that were used to take the picture.

YELLOW: shows how bright it was in the scene. A long yellow arc means it was very bright, like on a sunny day outside. A short yellow arc means there was very little light, for example indoors at night time.

RED: shows how long the shutter on the camera was open for. This is traditionally called shutter speed and on DSLR cameras is shown as fraction of seconds (for example 1/1000). We like to think of it as motion blur: The longer the red arc, the longer the shutter was open for and the more motion you see on the picture. Knowing this will help you decide how to take your picture. You might want to make the red arc short if you want to freeze an action shot, or make it long to show light trails.

BLUE: Traditionally called ISO, this is the “sensitivity of the film”, pixelation, or as we like to call it “grain blur”. You will usually want to make this arc short to have a crisp picture (the bottom left picture has a long blue arc and you can see the pixelation)

GREEN (DSLR/Mirrorless cameras only): The green arc is the size of the aperture (the hole that the light goes through). The bigger the arc the bigger the hole. The effect this has is to increase the blur in the background. On smartphones this size is fixed and we have chosen to not show the green arc on photos taken with a smartphone.

THE CIRCLE: A complete circle means a “normal exposure”. An incomplete circle means that the image is underexposed, while an overcomplete circle means an image is overexposed. This can give a nice artistic effect

Showing the effect of the Expodo magic wand on clouds
Long yellow arc shows it was a bright day. Red and blue arcs had to stay short to avoid overexposure
Showing a light trail caused by long red arc - long exposure
Short yellow arc meant red and blue arcs needed to be long. Long red arc meant shutter was open for a long time and the sparkler left a nice long trail with the Chinese Sign for Happy New Year

The yellow arc fills half the circle meaning it was a bright evening. The circle is not complete meaning the photo is underexposed.
It was a bright day, the yellow arc is long. The circle is more than complete which means the photo is overexposed. The red and blue arc had to be relatively long to compensate. The red arc was kept short to freeze any motion.

More from us

Tips and tricks:

Side lighting on face

Side Lighting 

Get a dramatic shot by shooting with the light from the side at Golden Hour

Get down low 

Getting down low is a great trick to get a more dramatic shot

Expodo Features:

Showing the effect of the Expodo magic wand on clouds

Magic Wand 

The magic wand adds contrast to your image before you take it.

Reading the Expodo Circle 

The Exposure Donut shows your camera settings when you took the photo


Pro Controls Made Easy