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I was taking photos of birds in a sanctuary. There I experienced few challenges. I want to know how to handle these.

  1. There were frequent daylight variations as it was partly cloudy. It was a bright sunny day but after a couple of minutes again there was low light due to clouds. While I was focusing on the subject and set the quality meter to 0 (the autoscale which appears on Nikon D5600), suddenly due to light the photos turned out to be either under exposed or over exposed. How to handle these variations?

  2. By the time I manually adjusted the settings, the subject moved.

Below are the details:

Camera: Nikon D5600

Lens: 70-300mm

Mode: Set to Manual

Day-Light: First set to Auto and later changed to H or L depending upon daylight

Focus: AF-S, Single Point Focus

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Slight under or over exposures are not the end of the world. Shoot RAW and adjust in post.

If the lighting is drastically changing, such that your settings would lead to blown out highlights or too dark shadows (risking ample noise on correction), then really the best solution is to let the camera do some of the heavy lifting.

Go with Av or Tv mode (Canon) / A or S mode (Nikon) and then simply keep an eye on the camera computed parameter to make sure it's in spec for your shot. For example, go with Av/A set to f/4 and make sure your shutter speeds stay up and over 1/focal length or some minimum to capture subject motion.

If you are working in some challenging light (apart from the constant changing) like a strong backlight, then use the Exposure Compensation dial combined with Av/A to get a proper exposure on the fly. Alternatively, use the Exposure Lock button to lock in an exposure metered from a similar, but not so strongly backlit, scene that mimics the one you want to shoot. Use of spot or center weighted metering over evaluative will also help a bit in these situations.

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    I agree, but you're thinking Canon. Nikon has PASM, so I'd go A - aperture controlled & use manual ISO to keep the shutter speeds up, if required. [ISO is easy to get to, it's on the left Fn button under the annoyingly close built-in flash trip + the data wheel] – Tetsujin Aug 26 at 16:58
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    @Tetsujin yea, the only time I ever really shot Nikon was a Fuji S5 Pro. It's been way too long since those days. Could use all the help I can get on the Nikon idiosyncrasies – Hueco Aug 26 at 17:04
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    No worries - didn't want to tread on toes ;) In A of course aperture itself is right on the data wheel, EV compensation is on the top button right behind the shutter release, but if you're holding 2-handed, the Fn button on the left is actually quick to get to. Fn+data wheel is a really zippy way to dial the ISO up & down. & allows the camera to still 'guess' itself rather than try to out-think it with EV. – Tetsujin Aug 26 at 17:06
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This sounds like a good situation for using Auto ISO.

Use center point for exposure and you only have to set the shutter speed and aperture as needed. I usually find that you can stick with a single aperture for most cases and then simply adjust to the slowest shutter speed you think is acceptable for the situation.

ISO will automatically adjust.

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