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18
votes
3answers
891 views

Why does a 15-second exposure on my camera actually last 16 seconds?

I was doing a test and wanted the shutter to stay open for 15 seconds -- no problem, I have a 15-second exposure setting in my camera. It seemed to stay open for about an extra second, though, so I ...
18
votes
6answers
4k views

What is one “stop”?

I always hear this term, e.g., I had to go down one stop Increasing X by Y raises Z by one stop I turned down the flash/the light two stops This lens/sensor/strobe/Photoshop tweak raises X by ...
18
votes
4answers
2k views

Why are there limitations to the upper limit of exposure time in digital cameras?

For example, my Canon 550D will only go as far as 30 sec (and then of course the bulb mode). For measuring exposure, I think all the camera needs is a timer, and I have no doubt they would have to do ...
13
votes
3answers
689 views

What is Bulb Mode?

My camera has a 'bulb mode,' and several questions on photo-SE refer to using Bulb Mode. A few questions: What is 'Bulb Mode?' Why is it called 'Bulb Mode?' What is 'Bulb Mode used for?
17
votes
4answers
10k views

How do I “focus and recompose” using spot metering?

I usually use the "[auto]focus and recompose" method for taking candid photographs. In situations where there is a high degree of contrast, I would like to use spot metering to correct expose for ...
4
votes
3answers
626 views

Why would one recompose after setting exposure?

I am reading Bryan Peterson's book Understanding Exposure. Quoting text from the book: I set up my camera and 75-300mm lens on a tripod. I set my focal length to 130mm and aperture to f/32 and ...
17
votes
3answers
8k views

How do I predict exposure when using flash?

So I've got the basics down for the exposure triangle, but sometimes you just need to add more light to the room and the flash can be the most convenient way of doing that. The problem is that the ...
20
votes
4answers
536 views

What's “real” and what's “virtual” on a (digital) camera?

I recently upgraded from a standard compact digital camera to one of the newish "halfway cameras", hoping to get a bit better at taking photographs through having a little more control over the ...
88
votes
6answers
14k views

What is the “exposure triangle”?

What is the exposure triangle? How do the "sides" affect my photographs?
26
votes
7answers
4k views

When to use shutter priority instead of aperture priority?

Under what circumstances would you use aperture priority vs. shutter priority and vice-versa? I typically don’t use shutter priority (ever) and favor aperture priority to try to get a max aperture ...
10
votes
3answers
813 views

How do I use the different shutter speeds my camera offers?

If I use a shutter speed below 1/30 on my Nikon P100, I get extremely dark images which are completely unusable. If I use the flash, it comes out fairly bright but just not natural. My camera ...
12
votes
2answers
489 views

How do I use the +/- scale of the light meter in my camera?

I have just recently used the metering scale. I assume that if the scale arrow points in the middle, this means that the camera detects that the current exposure settings are the "right" ones. ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

What are general rules for ISO settings?

Being a novice in photography and reading about preferable settings of my camera I'm a little bit confused about ISO settings. Sometimes I'm advised to set as little ISO as possible to have higher ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

What is sync speed?

When referring to flash exposure, what does "max sync speed" mean?
20
votes
5answers
1k views

What is mirror lockup and what is its primary function?

My SLR is equipped with a mirror lockup function. What does it do, and when would I employ such a feature?