Alley in Pisa, Italy

by Lars Kotthoff

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I'm looking for advice on handling tricky exposure situations, such as backlit portraits, in terms of picking between: 1. Manual exposure 2. Shutter/Aperture/Auto exposure, and using the AE/AF lock button, the +/- button

It seems that Manual exposure substitutes for having the AE lock, so it makes sense to figure out the exposure, maybe by zooming in, or maybe by using the single point exposure meter with manual. And then maybe bracketing a bit, again manually with the shutter or aperture.

And if the lighting is not tricky, then I should pick one of the auto modes. In other words, I don't use the AE/AF button much.

And what about flash photography? Such as backlit harsh shadows in the sun, or sunsets portraits, or indoors with a bounce flash. (using Nikon TTL flashes)

Any way, I understand what all the modes do, but I'm looking for advice on what experienced pros find most useful.

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Flash and non flash are completely different Q&As(I recommend removing that and separating it). Of course, for both, the simple answer is, if the camera can't figure it out for you, use manual mode. If you are in a repeatable situation without significantly changing conditions, manual mode is likely the way to go with some combination of spot metering as that will give you the most control over a known subject. –  dpollitt Jun 18 '13 at 1:54
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I think your biggest benefit from what you are describing could come from a better understanding of metering modes(if you don't already have a solid understanding). Try: When best to use Multi-Zone/Matrix, Spot, or Center-Weight? –  dpollitt Jun 18 '13 at 2:05
    
    
Although the question photo.stackexchange.com/questions/4687/… has the information needed to answer most of the concerns of this question, is it likely that searching for terms related to exposure modes would lead to that questions? –  Michael Clark Jun 26 '13 at 5:21
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