*Sunny 16 and the Moony 8. Shootin’ the moon.

Most of us have heard of the Sunny 16 rule by where the rule of thumb for “proper” exposure on a sunny day would be setting your aperture to f/16 and your shutter speed to 1 / x, where X = your ISO setting.  Basically, at f/16 and shooting at ISO 100, we would set our shutter speed to 1/100 and you’d be set (1/200 at ISO 200, etc).  Of course there are other variables to take into consideration depending on your desired outcome or subject, but it gets you close enough.  Well, after some trial and error (emphasis on the latter) I came to realize that when shooting the moon, I was having a very hard time properly exposing it.  Wanting to eliminate as much noise as possible, I was shooting at lower ISOs and after some more trial I found that I was coming in at about f/5.6- f/8 when spot metering and compensating for the extra brightness (I figured I should account for about 2 full stops over midtone) with the same one over rule as the Sunny 16…  This got me wondering if there was in fact a night shooters rule of thumb, and there in fact is…

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*The Exposure Trifecta. Or, how to shoot on Manual.

Have you ever taken a photo where your subject looks like a deer in the headlights from the flash while the ambiance in the scene behind them fades quickly to a black abyss?  Or, you try to catch your child scurrying around the house and no matter what you do, the picture turns out as a blurred mess?  This post is being written to help those (mainly my mom) who’ve asked me “how do you do that?” when they see a picture that avoids some of the common frustrating problems.  Whether it be a selective focus, blurred action to accentuate movement or an image that is intentionally over or underexposed, the key to photography is understanding the three main components of proper exposure control.  Hold on to your hat, I am going to help get you off of the ‘auto everything box’ and manipulating your own exposure in no time. Continue reading