Proper Exposure & ‘The Sunny 16’ Rule
Jan27

Proper Exposure & ‘The Sunny 16’ Rule

“So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.”—T. S. Eliot If you agree that lighting is one of the key elements that differentiate a good photograph from a snapshot, then it’s necessary to understand proper exposure. Believe it or not, there was a time when cameras did not have built in light meters, let alone automatic exposure. In those days, photographers either used a hand-held exposure meter or...

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What’s the Correct Exposure?
Nov15

What’s the Correct Exposure?

In a recent post about digital infrared photography I talked about the importance of obtaining the proper exposure, but as significant as it is for IR—and it may be more noteworthy—it’s crucial for every photograph that you make. That’s because proper exposure is a perfect storm of shutter speed, aperture, and ISO that produces a pleasing result. Pleasing to whom, you might ask? You are the ultimate arbiter of what is...

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Exposure: It’s the Age of Aquarius
Aug25

Exposure: It’s the Age of Aquarius

Photographically we’re in an age of enlightenment. Whether you began your photographic journey with digital, the trip will go smoothly if you have a good understanding of basic exposure. Image files captured with digital cameras have the same sensitivity to light as color slide film. If the exposure doesn’t let enough light reach the sensor, the image or part of it will be too dark. Conversely, too much light reaching the sensor...

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Minimizing Noise in Digital Images
Jul29

Minimizing Noise in Digital Images

As cameras get better and better, they are offering higher and higher ISO settings. The Pentax K-1 has a high—not extended—ISO of 204,800. (You can read my review here.) At the same time, newer cameras are getting better and better as coping with digital noise with most not only having cleaner high ISO settings but also in-camera noise reduction, that works well depending on the cause of the noise and the camera used. Like film grain,...

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Tips for Photographing Fireworks
Jul01

Tips for Photographing Fireworks

“We’re going to live on; we’re going to survive. Today we celebrate our Independence day.”—“President Bradford” in the (original) film Independence Day Some photographic subjects, such as fireworks or lightening, can’t easily—at least for me—be captured using any of the standard exposure metering systems but some cameras, including some from Olympus, offer a Fireworks Mode that slows the shutter speed and sets the focusing point to...

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Hysterical Over Histograms
May10

Hysterical Over Histograms

“That which is measured improves. That which is measured and reported improves exponentially”— Karl Pearson A histogram is a graphic representation of the distribution of exposure data in an image file. Mathematicians will tell you its an estimate of the probability distribution of a continuous variable (like image exposure) and was first introduced by Karl Pearson (1857-1936,) an influential English mathematician. An...

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Meat & Potatoes: Exposure
Mar08

Meat & Potatoes: Exposure

In response to several suggestions from new readers of this blog, over the next few weeks we’re going back to the basics with a look at some subjects that challenge new photographers—especially these shooters moving up from cell phones to an SLR or mirrorless camera. When teaching workshops, the number one question I hear from students and one that usually permeates the entire event is a quest for perfect exposure. Back in the 1970’s...

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