Someone stated, during a recent class that I was teaching, that a teacher from another class wondered why anyone would want to work their camera in manual exposure mode rather than an automatic exposure mode.
In photography, you can choose the outcome of your composition by working your camera in fully manual exposure mode or [...]
Matrix, evaluative, center weighted, partial, spot.
These are the names of some of the more common metering patterns that you’ll find on your camera.
Program, automatic, aperture priority, shutter priority, manual.
These are the names of some of the more common exposure modes that you’ll find on your camera.
Your camera meter measures brightness and each metering pattern measures brightness differently based on [...]
If you’re an average photographer, you’re making photographs in an average way.
The average way of making photographs consists of working in an automatic exposure mode.
An automatic exposure mode, since it picks your exposure settings for you, produces an average exposure and what follows is an average photograph.
An average photograph has been created because, beyond the [...]
If your picture is too light, you’ve overexposed it. Overexposure means…
During my Introduction to photography classes, in Washington DC, one of the first things I ask students to do is, introduce themselves, talk about their background in photography talk about what they’d like to get out of the class.
Inevitably most, if not all, of the class wants to learn how to “make better pictures”. That’s [...]
Today we make photographs with exposures in fractions of seconds.
The first photograph, created in 1826 by Joseph-Nicephore Niepce, required an 8 hour exposure.
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A participant in the Introduction to Photography commented that the “M” on the mode dial on her DSLR no longer meant “mystery” to her.
Beyond what it really means, which is manual exposure mode, I hope it also means…
Thank you Alicia.
Take the mystery out of the using the “M” (manual exposure) mode [...]
Until you press the shutter release to make an exposure you are a deciding photographer.
When you press the shutter release to make an exposure you are a decisive photographer.
If you are unsure of yourself and continue to make decisions, your pictures are produced from a place of uncertainty. Your work can become diluted if you spend too [...]
Imagine that you’re looking through the viewfinder of your camera.
You’ve framed the content of your photograph perfectly, you’ve put a lot of effort and thought into this photograph.
Your subject is just where it should be, the light is perfect, this picture is going to be AMAZING!!
You press the shutter release to make your exposure when everything is [...]
There’s photographing WHAT you see and then there’s photographing HOW you see .
It’s easy to create a photograph based on what you see.
Photographing what you see involves getting an average exposure for what you see and framing it.
Anyone could photograph what they see with a point and shoot camera while working in an automatic exposure [...]
If you want to go beyond point and shoot photography you’ve got to start somewhere.
Getting to know your camera and learning a few basic things about photography will get you off to a good start.
Simply learning the following three things will get you on the path to working your camera in manual mode and will [...]
You are ultimately responsible for your photography, but you can choose to be totally responsible for your photograph or partially responsible for your photograph.
If you work your camera in an automatic exposure mode you are responsible for working your camera in auto exposure mode.
In automatic exposure mode you have chosen to have your camera pick your [...]
I don’t think the importance of exposure could be overstated as an element of photographic composition
If you put all of your effort into framing and all of the other elements of composition and you miss the mark on your exposure, all of your other efforts are diminished because your picture is too bright or too dark.
Once you learn [...]
In order to meter effectively, and to get the tonality and visual information that we want in our images, It’s important to understand how our camera metering patterns work.
Think of a flash of lightning.
Think of the way lightning appears when it’s nighttime.
Think of the way lightning appears during the day.
The brightness of the lightning is appearing with the brightness of either daytime or nighttime.
When does the lightning appear the brightest? Daytime or nighttime?
In the nighttime scenario, all you see is the lightning and [...]
Although VERY limited when it comes to modifying the characteristics of the light emitted, your pop-up flash is the gateway to inexpensively learn about basic flash operation and will prepare you for making a more informed decision/purchase if you decide to upgrade to a more powerful and versatile flash unit.
Exposure is subjective.
Overexposure is when your picture seems to bright to you.
Underexposure is when your picture seems to dark to you.
The right exposure is whatever you think the best exposure for your specific picture should be.
I think of overexposure and underexposure as negative terms when describing a picture. It means I missed the mark when [...]
When you work your camera in an automatic exposure mode you are taking pictures.
In an automatic exposure mode your camera picks an aperture, a shutter speed and an ISO for you, so you TAKE what you get as a photograph.
When you work your camera in fully manual exposure mode you are making pictures.
In fully manual [...]
You’ve got to start somewhere.
The place to start is to learn how to work your camera, preferably in manual exposure mode.
Learn to set your exposure by setting your aperture and shutter speed.
Learn to pick the right ISO based on the compositional outcome that you want.
Learn to focus by learning how to use the focusing modes [...]
During the Introduction Photography class we talk about three things that we often do as photographers with our cameras to create a photograph.
Metering: Using a light meter in our camera to measure the brightness of light.
Making An Exposure: Controlling the amount of light that we allow to fall onto light sensitive material.
Focusing: Using our lens [...]
When you make a picture in an auto exposure mode your camera will get you an average exposure based on whatever you are metering. Your picture may be good enough in terms of exposure but is probably lacking in the very thing that takes a picture beyond good enough; you, the photographer, are what’s lacking.
When you make [...]
Your exposure mode dial is usually found on top of your camera and is usually filled with letters and icons that allow you to pick how you want to make an exposure.
On a lot of cameras there are a lot of exposure modes to pick from.
Here are a few modes that I’m familiar with and [...]
If you give your photography the thought process that involves working your camera in fully manual exposure mode you’ll get a photograph that is thoughtfully composed and reflects you, the photographer.
If you give your photography the thought process that involves an automatic exposure mode you’ll get a photograph that lacks thoughtful composition and reflects your camera, a [...]
Your camera primarily does three things to create a photograph
Your camera focuses light (This is really done with your lens).
Your camera measures light.
Your camera exposes light sensitive material to light.
If you’ve been working your camera in an automatic exposure mode your camera has been doing these things for you.
If you want to create photographs that are [...]