Questions tagged [exposure]

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 exposure.

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153
votes
10answers
56k views

What is the “exposure triangle”?

What is the exposure triangle? How do the "sides" affect my photographs?
11
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4answers
7k views

What is the relationship between ISO, aperture, and shutter speed?

I know digital cameras have ISO options, and that ISO is the camera's sensitivity to light, but if you set higher ISO then you can get a noisy image. I also know there are two other camera options, ...
34
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6answers
46k 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 around ...
120
votes
7answers
9k views

How and why do you use an image histogram?

I realize that an image histogram is a graphical display of an images tonal distribution (i.e. horizontal darks to lights, vertical pixel distribution), but how does one really use it and why? I mean, ...
13
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3answers
3k views

What is sync speed? [duplicate]

When referring to flash exposure, what does "max sync speed" mean?
30
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3answers
4k views

What is the meaning of “white balance”?

I would like to understand the term white balance. My camera has settings for white balance with the following options: Auto white balance Daylight Cloudy Shade Flash Incandescent lights White set1 / ...
31
votes
2answers
26k views

What is T-number / T-stop?

Usually, when discussing aperture of a lens, F-stop and F-number are used for quantifying. But some photographers, and especially videographers, also mention T-stop. The concept and numbering used (e....
20
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8answers
50k views

Why can't I get a decent white background with product photography?

I'm a new photographer, and I'm trying to take photos of a product with a pure white background (#ffffff). I'm using a light box (something like this one), so my lighting should be solid. But I can'...
45
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5answers
16k views

What does it mean for a photograph to be “high key”?

As I learned the term, a high-key image is one where the shadows are effectively eliminated, and the mid-tone detail pushed into brighter zones. My question is simple: is this an accurate definition, ...
12
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4answers
18k views

What is the EV scale?

I have seen an "EV" (exposure value) scale that's sometimes used to express a camera's exposure settings, or scene brightness. How exactly does this scale work?
4
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4answers
3k views

How to make camera LCD show true RAW data in JPG preview and histogram?

With Canon 650D (and presumably all the other Canon), I noticed that the picture style and full JPG processing is used to generate a review JPEG which is what the camera actually reads when reviewing ...
43
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5answers
7k views

When best to use Multi-Zone/Matrix, Spot, or Center-Weight exposure metering modes?

What are Multi-Zone/Matrix metering, Center-Weighted metering, and Spot metering? What about Partial? Is there a good rule of thumb, or a few pointers, on when best to use each exposure metering mode?...
21
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4answers
7k 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 ...
67
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5answers
29k views

How to get the best results for landscape and stars photographs?

I'm leaving for holidays tomorrow, and there's a good chance that I'll be able to be by night on a field with no artificial light around, and no moon in the sky. I'd love to take some picture of the ...
25
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6answers
7k views

What is exposure compensation?

What does exposure compensation do? If I take a photo with a given shutter speed, aperature, and ISO, and then take the same shot with +1EV or -1EV, what is actually happening? Is this just a gain ...
4
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4answers
4k views

What is “Dragging the Shutter”?

I've heard this term of "dragging the shutter". What does this mean and why would I use it?
74
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21answers
142k views

How do I set the proper exposure for nighttime moon photos?

All my attempts to get a good shot of the full moon with my DSLR result in an overexposed circle on a black background. I've tried using a tripod, remote shutter release, low ISO, and long exposure, ...
24
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4answers
9k views

How do you use a gray card?

There are already two questions on how to make a gray card, but unfortunately my ignorance goes deeper than that. How do you use a gray card?
11
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5answers
3k views

What's the difference between “Fake HDR” and real, bracketed exposure HDR?

As I began to brush up on my landscape photography skills I came across the polarizing (pun intended) issue of HDR photography. More specifically, I came across a well written blog post titled "...
32
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6answers
3k views

What is the best technique for long-exposure photography in good light?

Can anyone offer any tips on achieving long exposures (with the intention of blurring water, clouds etc)?
15
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4answers
1k views

Why is my camera so forgiving for overblown exposure when shooting in RAW?

I've found that my camera (Sony A99) is very forgiving in terms of overexposure when shooting in RAW. By that I mean, I can overexposure by a stop or so and when I get home for the post processing I ...
7
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4answers
11k views

How do I know I have the correct exposure when shooting in manual mode?

I have a Canon XTI which I've been using for a few years now. Most of the time I'm been shooting in one of the "semi-manual" modes like aperture priority or shutter priority, but now I'd like to try ...
11
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4answers
2k 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 ...
25
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4answers
1k 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 ...
10
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6answers
5k views

Why would using higher ISO and faster shutter speed yield more noise than using lower ISO and slower shutter speed?

I'm trying to see how this answer correlates with practice. That answer basically says I need to let enough light into the camera and then use the highest ISO value and I'll get the lowest noise then. ...
5
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3answers
143k views

Why am I getting black photos when I use the Manual feature on my DSLR?

I was taking photos a few days ago, and I had it set to Manual. After about four photos, the rest started coming out black. I could see through my eyepiece clearly, and it took the photo normally, but ...
5
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3answers
3k views

How do TTL flash metering systems calculate how much power is needed?

Does anyone know how TTL calculates the amount of power to put in after the preflash is done? I understand that the value is somewhat brand specific, but what is the general logic? Because if you ...
6
votes
2answers
847 views

Is analog gain really actually power-of-two only?

Context I'm using a Nikon D5200, which features extra ISO values between powers of two, that the Nikon D60 did not offer. D60 offers 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600 (1-stop interval). D5200 offers two ...
3
votes
3answers
670 views

Why is my camera metering indoor scenes as darker than I expect, forcing me to use a high ISO?

I am shooting in natural light, with my subject facing a full floor-to-ceiling south facing window. You would think my meter would allow ISO between 200-400 in bright light, but I was lucky to get it ...
59
votes
4answers
8k views

What is Ansel Adams' “Zone System”?

I've heard much of Ansel Adams' Zone system, but I've never quite understood it. What is it, how and where is it used, and is it still useful with modern (digital) cameras? Thanks!
26
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10answers
15k views

What is the 18% gray tone, and how do I make a 18% gray card in Photoshop?

I have heard about 18% gray tone — what is it really, and why 18% (and not 20% or some other value), and how can I make it in Photoshop?
20
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4answers
21k 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 ...
16
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4answers
8k views

How can I simulate a long exposure photo using a set of shorter exposure photos?

I'm shooting towards the sky to capture the stars. The exposure time is 15 seconds, so I can see the stars still, without a trace. These photos are taken continuously one after the other, because I ...
18
votes
8answers
6k views

Why are blown highlights particularly bad in digital photography?

I've heard that digital sensors are less "forgiving" of blown highlights than film. Why is this? There's something called "characteristic curves". How does this relate, in film and in digital? Can ...
15
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7answers
1k 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 ...
17
votes
4answers
5k views

How to maximise contrast range of distant landscapes with blue haze?

Distant landscapes often appear hazy, washed-out and blue due to Rayleigh scattering. What can be done to maximise the contrast range of the exposure when photographing such scenes? For example: ...
6
votes
2answers
597 views

How do I capture artificial light sources better?

I am quite new to photography and was looking into how I can take better indoor photographs, particularly around night time. I'm currently in a hotel room for the night and decided to try and take a ...
11
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
18k views

What's the difference between exposure and shutter speed?

Is there a difference between exposure and shutter speed, or are the terms interchangeable? I read that "If you use a quick shutter speed, you can just raise the exposure to compensate." Is this ...
21
votes
5answers
3k views

What is mirror lockup and what is its primary function?

My SLR is equipped with the mirror lockup function. What does it do, and when would I employ such a feature?
12
votes
1answer
11k views

How to calculate Lux from EV?

Instead of looking up a chart, how can I calculate Lux from EV?
5
votes
1answer
2k views

What is Effective Aperture?

What is Effective Aperture? And how it can affect my exposure? Also how does it relate to magnification? A question that talks about effective aperture but without details
5
votes
3answers
3k views

Inconsistent exposure with same settings--why?

I have a Nikon D7100. I fired off a burst of shots at 6 fps at a static outdoor scene, all shots using the same settings: 1/125 s, f/7.1, ISO 100. Some of the shots are clearly darker, some are ...
28
votes
6answers
5k views

If shooting RAW, is the white balance selected in camera irrelevant for exposure?

I have read the existing question - Does the camera white balance setting affect the raw image at all? After reading the above post, I am still not clear on the part around exposure. Is it possible ...
31
votes
7answers
7k 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 ...
19
votes
2answers
15k 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 ...
30
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1answer
3k views

What is “reciprocity failure”?

What is "reciprocity failure" when used in the context of film?
5
votes
3answers
2k views

When should I use exposure compensation?

When should I use exposure compensation, rather than ISO, shutter speed or aperture?
3
votes
1answer
835 views

Why is my Metz 58 AF-2 using long shutter values when my Canon 60D is in Av mode?

About one year ago I bought a Metz 58 AF-2 for my Canon 60D. Because of a lack of free time to experiment with automatic functions, I have used it only in manual mode with other manual flashes, ...
42
votes
7answers
21k views

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using auto ISO on a DSLR?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using auto ISO on a DSLR? Using manual ISO obviously gives you more control, but auto ISO may mean that you get "the shot" under quickly changing ...

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