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by Bart Arondson

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Exposure is the total amount of light allowed to fall on a sensor or film during the taking of a photograph. This is determined by the exposure time (shutter speed) and amount of light admitted (lens aperture). Today, sensor/film sensitivity (ISO speed) is often also considered to be part of ...

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2answers
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What's the result of stacking ND filters in terms of total stops?

If you stack two 3-stop neutral density filters, does it reduce the exposure by 6 stops or 9 stops?
14
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3answers
720 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?
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4answers
1k views

Why should I use the Zone System when the histogram gives me all the information I need?

DSLR cameras, by and large, give very complete information about how the photo is exposed, in the form of a histogram and image of a trial exposure. It shows the light distribution for both luminance ...
14
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5answers
893 views

What's a good ad-hoc replacement for a gray card?

I know that a real gray card is the best thing to use to determine exposure. But I'd like to know if there are other naturally available features that can be used in a quick and dirty way. Are fields ...
14
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3answers
2k views

Do the same camera settings lead to the same exposure across different sensor sizes?

Let's say I have a micro-4/3rd camera and a full frame camera, both set to 1/60 at f/2.8, taking a picture of the same scene in the same lighting. Will the exposure be the same across both cameras ...
14
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2answers
2k views

How can I think logically about getting correct exposure with flash?

I recently got a new off-camera flash (Nikon SB-700), and I'm having trouble thinking about the variables that go into proper exposure. For example, without flash, I have a little mental decision ...
14
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2answers
6k views

What is the difference between luminance and illuminance?

The more I read about this, the more confused I become. Illuminance, as I understand it, measured in lux, is the perceived brightness of light on a surface. It's what you'd measure with an incident ...
14
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2answers
802 views

When comparing sensor dynamic range, what are those numbers based on?

Dynamic range EV's are bandied about all the time and I get the feeling that a) they're not on the same 'scale' and b) they're misleading in what they're indicating so I'm hoping somebody can clarify. ...
13
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6answers
20k views

How to take fast-shutter-speed photos that aren't dark?

I was taking pictures of some water splashes. I knew I needed a fast shutter speed to make them look frozen in time. I have not used manual mode yet. I use the settings where I can pick the shutter ...
13
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5answers
708 views

Why are only certain shutter speeds or apertures available?

For the exposure control function DSLRs there are specific shutter speeds available. For example there are 1/4, 1/100, 1/500. Why, even in high end DSLRs, is there no option to use a custom shutter ...
13
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9answers
5k views

How do I take a portrait at night with detail in the background instead of just blackness?

I was trying to make a photo of my girlfriend around 9 pm with a D7000, Sigma 24-70 2.8, and SB-900. She was in the center of the frame, taking up about 20% of the frame. About 40% was taken up by ...
13
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6answers
2k views

Can you fix incorrect exposure during post processing?

If a photo is over or under exposed but not to the point of clipping (histogram does not reach the left or right side) is there any reason you couldn't just fix the exposure in Photoshop or Lightroom? ...
13
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7answers
555 views

Why can't digital camera sensors expose each photosite individually?

Why is it impossible for camera sensors to function the way the human eye can? What I mean is, why does a certain portion of the image have to be over/underexposed if we compensate for dark and light ...
13
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8answers
653 views

What exposure mode and techniques should I use when out-and-about?

I'm interested to hear what exposure/metering techniques people use when taking out-and-about shots (no tripod). I almost always have my camera set to Aperture Priority mode, and I suspect most people ...
13
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4answers
446 views

How to edit the exposure/contrast of two different areas of a photo with a smooth transition between the two parts?

I'm a complete newbee in photography and in photography editing, but I made a a photo I really like with my phone, and I would like to improve it numerically. Here is the photo. I know how to use ...
13
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4answers
272 views

Why do cameras often produce digital images that benefit from levels adjustment?

See: http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/levels.htm In the examples on that page, the original image doesn't have any pure white or pure black in it, so contrast can be added by changing the ...
13
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2answers
347 views

How can I use a histogram to expose correctly when the scene is very dark?

If I am photographing a scene with a lot of dark background, how can I use the histogram to tell if the exposure is correct? For instance, at an outdoor concert in which the performers are moderately ...
13
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2answers
873 views

Capturing vapour or faint steam

I was trying to capture a scene that was in a dark area with a bright background. There was faint steam that I wanted to be the focus of the picture. I tried first by having a very large aperture and ...
13
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2answers
520 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. ...
12
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3answers
2k views

How can correctly measure light using a built-in camera meter?

Many times I shot photos, but the photo is some times too bright or too dark and the colors are incorrect. Some times the white on the photo is not the white that I have on background but gray and I ...
12
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4answers
1k views

How to achieve pictures filled with light like these?

I would like to know how to achieve the effect of highly exposed pictures filled with light like the ones presented below: unknown source From http://dziecisawazne.pl/iza-faber/ Is this ...
12
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6answers
673 views

How do I compensate for a bright sun with a point and shoot?

So I'm in the bright sun with no shade around. What can I do to minimize over exposure and shadows with just a regular point and shoot? Should I go into "manual" mode? If so, which mode and what do ...
12
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3answers
691 views

How do you photograph Christmas Lights?

How can you best photograph Christmas lights? I've had tons of problems, the auto-meters don't work at all, and I'm fairly clueless, other than to get a tripod and keep trying until something ...
12
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5answers
4k views

What camera settings should be used to capture sky shots without over exposing the clouds?

I have spent some time photographing landscapes with blue sky and white clouds, but the clouds always come out overexposed. I have tried different settings and still have the same result. What should ...
11
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6answers
548 views

Are meteors dim?

I was out last night trying to shoot the Geminids meteor shower. I was using a Canon 5D2, 17-40mm f4.0 lens set to 17mm and f4.0, ISO 400. The camera was mounted on a non-tracking mount (only because ...
11
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6answers
26k views

How to take pictures in a dark room?

I'm a total newbie to photography. I have a Nikon D90 and at the moment I'm trying to learn how to actually use it. I've noticed that whenever I shoot in a dark room with the on-camera pop up flash, ...
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5answers
1k views

How do I effectively photograph when the sun is in the frame?

I have been trying to get a good shot out of direct sunlight but my shots just turn out dark, even if I set my shutter speed to the 1000-4000 range at ISO 200. Another odd thing is that even if my ...
11
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3answers
929 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 ...
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4answers
6k views

What are good exposure and timing choices for time lapse photography?

I am shooting a time lapse and am doing some calculations beforehand to make sure I get everything right. I am shooting a road trip from the west coast to the east coast and am planning to compress ...
11
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1answer
973 views

What is “exposure safety shift”?

I ran into the term "exposure safety shift" in this answer. What is exposure safety shift, and what is its intended purpose?
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4answers
3k views

How do I get this “Washed out” effect for street photography?

I was browsing an unrelated question here and noticed this photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sparth/5730541580/lightbox/ I've seen countless street-photography shots with this kind of color effect ...
10
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4answers
941 views

Do any other manufacturers other than Canon use the terms Av and Tv?

Canon uses "Av" (aperture variable) for the automatic exposure mode that entails the user choosing the aperture and the camera body choosing the shutter speed. This mode is called "A" by Nikon, and I ...
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5answers
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Should I use Manual or (semi-)automatic mode for timelapse in changing light?

I'm planning a long road trip (east coast to west coast, about 45 hours of driving) and am thinking about shooting a time-lapse video of my drive. As I can expect the light levels to change pretty ...
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3answers
2k views

What is sync speed?

When referring to flash exposure, what does "max sync speed" mean?
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6answers
1k views

What are typical situations where you should use auto-exposure lock (AE-L)?

What are the typical situations where you should use AE for locking exposure?
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3answers
2k views

What is EV, when used as an absoute measurement?

I know there is already a question about EV, but it doens't quite answer my question. I understand EV as a relative measurement, 1 EV being one stop (doubling or halving the amount of light), but what ...
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4answers
1k views

How to choose the correct exposure?

I have a Canon 60D that I use for my primary hobby that is photography, but sometimes the pictures that I took are with the incorrect exposure like this: So I want to know how I can choose the ...
10
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2answers
416 views

How can I expose a waterfall scene correctly?

Last day, I was photographing a waterfall. It was a bright day and I was shooting around 2-3 in the afternoon. I set aperture to f/11 and took the meter reading pointing camera towards the sky. ...
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4answers
2k views

Should I use low-end expanded ISO?

My Pentax K-5 comes with a "regular" low ISO setting of 100, but if you enable "expanded ISO" you can set it as low as 80 (plus go up to an absurd 51200!). I know that in general to reduce noise, ...
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2answers
426 views

Why does exposure compensation have no effect with my hotshoe flash?

Taking photos with my Canon XTi and 550ex. Camera exposure compensation did not seem to effect the exposures. I figured out I needed to use the on-flash exposure comp. But the flash output is ...
10
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5answers
385 views

For night photography with lots of unexposed areas, should I go with high iso and low exposure, or low iso and high exposure?

I have been doing so much research on iso, and for awhile I've been going with the theory that low iso= less noise, so I've been shooting at iso 100 and then adjusting my flashlights and increasing ...
10
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5answers
407 views

How to meter to clear subject details with a strongly backlit scene, as Elena Shumilova does?

Looking at the photos from Elena Shumilova on 500px, you can see a clear preference for backlighting and halo effects on many of her subjects. For example, this and this. How do you meter with the ...
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2answers
290 views

What is “photometric exposure”?

What is "photometric exposure," and how is it related to what is commonly called "exposure" and "exposure values"? I have also seen the term "radiometric exposure" used to describe a similar ...
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4answers
580 views

How can I get the right exposure when parts of the scene are in the shade and others are in the sun?

Have a look at these snaps. On the first one the church has the right exposure but the tree is too dark. On the other hand in the second one the tree is perfect but the church is too bright. Is there ...
9
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3answers
265 views

How sharp of an image should I expect at night?

I'm a beginner with my first camera (sony nex6 mirrorless). I was trying my first few night shots Using the kit lens but I wasn't able to find a way to take sharp images. I've done the following: ...
9
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3answers
528 views

Why are exposure settings different while using different lenses under the same lighting conditions?

I was shooting a scene, using a Canon 28mm 1.8, and after a few seconds I switched to a Canon 100mm 2.8, and the in-camera meter was suggesting different exposures! Why does this happen? Is this ...
9
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1answer
281 views

Why doesn't noise depend on exposure time?

In the post Why do cameras use a single exposure rather than integrating across many very quick reads? an important question was if the noise depends on the exposure time or not. By noise I mean the ...
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2answers
209 views

How could some old film cameras without electronics set exposure?

I once had a film compact camera, but I was too young to understand anything else than "click". I'm much more familiar with digital photography, and setting exposure has always been a possibility in ...
8
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6answers
508 views

Can photographers pre-visualize complete camera settings of a scene in their heads?

Can an experienced photographer walking down the street with no equipment visualize exactly what settings would work with a particular lens/body to capture a scene at that moment in time? Similarly ...
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5answers
2k views

How do different aperture and shutter settings affect a photo with the same overall exposure?

Ok, here's my doubt. Suppose I want to get a certain exposure for an image. Keeping the ISO constant, there are two tentative possibilities here: Put the camera at f 1.4 (say) and at 1/1600 shutter ...