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Exposure Modes

Lesson 6 from: FAST CLASS: Nature and Landscape Photography

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

6. Exposure Modes

Lesson Info

Exposure Modes

Let's talk about exposure mounts. You know these things that dial on the top, your camera with the pictures on it and the letters, Where should we set that? Well, these little icons down at the bottom of the screen that eyes set up for kind of general basic picture taking. Yeah, it kind of gets you set up in the right areas for certain shutter speeds and apertures in some situations, but it has a lot of child safety locks that don't allow you control. We want to get in and be able to control our camera manually. Now the program mode. Well, the camera is figuring shutter speeds and apertures out, but we can get in there and have some sort of input about what's going on. So the camera's going to figure out shutter speeds and apertures. In case you've ever wondered, What is the program this master programme? What is it? What's the dictating? What's what's the rule of the program? And the rule of the program is don't let this person have to slow a shutter speed. It has no idea that you mig...

ht be on a tripod. It's thinking, Oh, this person's hand holding the camera. We better get him out of 60th of a second or faster. And if you're on a tripod, that would be totally the wrong decision in many situations. So one of the things you have to be careful of in the program mode is that with subtle different composition changes that you might make with the camera and the background changes just a little bit. Your camera could be changing shutter speeds and apertures so you could go well, I like the shutter speed and aperture move the camera one degree and suddenly the numbers are going to change on you. This is one of the reasons why I don't use program mode for landscape photography. All cameras have a system of being able to shift the numbers either flexible program or programs shift or some other name. And what this allows you to do is by turning one of the main control dials on your camera. It allows you to shift both shutter speeds and apertures at the same time, and this is kind of nice. If you said no, I don't really like that combination. Can we try a different number over here? Well, this works out pretty good. But the problem is is that some cameras? I don't remember this, and so you might have it set into something that you really want. And you wait 30 seconds and you come back to your camera and it's gonna reset back to the default setting, and this is just very, very irritating. On the other hand, some cameras stay locked into where they're set at, and you kind of forgot I had it set up for one thing, and I just went over here and randomly took a picture, and it was set up for this past situation. And so the program mode has limitations, and I never use it for this type of photography. Shutter priority, time value. This is where we get to choose the shutter speed, and the camera will figure out the aperture. I'm not a very big fan of this one, either. On this one, we're gonna be able to choose the shutter speed, and the camera will figure out the aperture once again. We have to be careful because the camera will be looking at the background, foreground, everything judging exposure and the numbers we're gonna change on you. According to the light levels. The problem with this motives is very easy to exceed the range of what your camera can handle and what your lens can handle. And so, yeah, you can set in 1/1000 of a second. But that doesn't mean your camera has the right aperture to use with it. And so you have to be very careful when setting extremes on this. It doesn't work out very well. And so I am not a big fan of the shutter priority mode except for in some very particular and unusual situations, because you can exceed the range of the camera one area where it can work out. For instance, if you're doing bird photography and you need to maintain a fast shutter speed. But the birds were flying from the sunlight to the shadows, and they're going all over the place using auto I s a which I'm not a big fan of talk about eso in just a moment, but you could use auto eso and shutter priority combined together for some very random situations, like birds flying in and out of Brighton, bright areas into dark trees, and so that's kind of my one exception on that particular mode setting. I like aperture priority for kind of general photography. I think it's very good for travel photography, where you're not sure what your next shot is going to be set. What you think is gonna be inappropriate aperture. The camera's gonna pick a shutter speed, and there are lots of shutter speeds that the camera gets to choose and any aperture you choose. Undoubtedly in almost all but the most extreme situations, your camera is gonna have a shutter speed that properly matches with that aperture priority. So I think this is a good general purpose mode for many types of things. It is very easy to adjust those apertures because there's really not that many apertures on the camera. But be aware that your camera is constantly adjusting the shutter speed according to what it sees in the frame that may or may not be your subject. If there's a subject in the background that's either darker or lighter, that's gonna throw off your light meter, and so aperture priority is not a bad way to shoot in landscape photography, but my favorite is going full manual. The problem with aperture priority shutter priority in program is that the camera is ultimately deciding how bright or dark your photo is. And so in your viewfinder, your of course, going to see your light meter and the indicator, and it should hopefully be right under the zero as far as the default position. But this is indicating how bright or dark your photographs are. And so in this first photograph in Yellowstone, it should be a very bright scene. But your camera thinks everything in the world is middle tone grey. And so in a scene like this in an aperture priority mode, what you need to do is you need to go to your exposure, compensation dial or button wherever that is on your camera, and you're going to need to brighten this up because snow is brighter than 18% gray. And so you're gonna have to dial this in any time. You have a subject that is brighter than normal. If you go into the forest a forest in case you didn't know it is darker than average 18% gray. And so you're gonna have to go into pictures like this, and you're gonna have to dial down the exposure compensation, perhaps to a minus one level. And so, if you are using aperture priority, get very comfortable using exposure compensation, cause you're gonna need it on a regular basis, whether you're photographing something bright or something dark. And I don't like making these changes, because unless the light on my subject is changing, this just gets to be a lot of fiddle Cem camera work that I don't want to be doing. I do enjoy it for travel photography, and I know there are some people that use this on a regular basis, and that works fully well for them, and that's that's great. But one of the things to note, because one of the tips I gave you earlier is about using the self time remote and using the auto exposure mode. And the self timer mode is a recipe for a problem. Here's the problem. Is that in your camera, the way your camera meters is that your main mirror is a partially silvered mirror, and light bounces down to a light meter in the bottom. If you use a self timer and you are no longer blocking the light coming in, the eyepiece light will stream in from the back of the camera. It will go through the mirror, which is partially silvered, and that light will end up on the light meter in the bottom of the camera. And it's gonna throw off your images because it thinks there's more light coming in. Then there actually is, and your pictures air going to result in being too dark. What can you do about this? Well, some cameras give you eyepiece covers for use. When you're using the self timer, you'll take that eyepiece cover and you'll put it over the eyepiece to block the light coming in while you're doing a self timer shot. So if you were doing a self timer shot, you could clip that little piece on. Now, some of the nice cameras have an actual lever on the back of the camera, right beside the eyepiece, and when you flipped that lever, it drops a blind that covers the eyepiece. And this is kind of the hallmark of a very high end camera if it's got this little convenient switch in there, so this is blocking that extra light, which could throw off your light meter in any of the auto exposure modes. It won't affect the manual mode. It could potentially effect the metering system. So if you were going to set the camera up in a remote location, for instance, and a lot of cameras have a WiFi remote now that you could activate. And if you're gonna put a camera over here and you're not gonna be behind it, you should close that eyepiece blind. You should put the cover over. Or at the very least, put a piece of gaffer tape over the back so that you don't have light streaming in the back of your camera. If you are using any the auto exposure modes. Now let's get to the serious stuff manual full. Manu. This is where I shoot pretty much all my nature and landscape work, and it's pretty simple concept. We have our shutter speeds, we have our apertures, and I'm gonna pick one that I think is most important and I'm going to set it in many cases. I'm setting the aperture first where? Well, that depends on the subject. We'll get to that in a moment, and then what I do is I need to set my shutter speed and I set that by looking at the light meter and just start turning the shutter speed until the light meter hits the center area or wherever. I think it needs to be for that particular type of situation. And then I will commence shooting pictures, lots of pictures in the same area, so long as the scene is not changing in brightness. So let me share with you an experience that I had at Yellowstone this last winter. I went to go photograph old faithful, and I wanted to get lots of different shots in a short two minute period of time, and I knew it was gonna be kind of a light seen. And so when I set up my manual exposure, I exposed a little bit to the right hand side, uh, plus exposure about 1/3 2 3rd of a stop now as the camera. If you could look over my shoulder while I was taking these pictures, the camera was reading much more brightness because there was a different amount of brightness in each of the photographs. But all of these photographs are at the exact same aperture at the exact same shutter speed, and I was in manual. It's just the light meter was saying, Hey, it's getting brighter here And if I had time to talk to the camera, I would have said Yes, it is getting brighter because there's more bright stuff in the frame that's normal for what? What's going on here? If I had had the camera in an aperture shutter priority or a program mode where the camera is figuring out the light, here is what would have happened in that situation. As you can see in this example, it gets darker as we go from left to right, because is actually more brightness in the image, and the camera is trying to compensate for the brightness by making it darker. And this is kind of the problem with any of the auto exposure modes in the camera is that your camera doesn't understand subject content and how bright and reflective it is of the light of the light. And so the camera thinks it's getting the right exposure. But it's not the right exposure at all in cases where you have a lighting that is not changing. So if you have consistent lighting and lighting during this, two minutes was not changing very much. I could set the exact same shutter speed in the same aperture and get nice, even exposures with the best looking hissed a gram possible in each of these cases. And so this is why I shoot manual exposure most all the time. It takes me a few extra seconds to get the first shot, but every shot afterwards comes out much more consistently, much, even much more evenly and much toe a preferred place. Now, one way of ensuring that you got the right exposure is exposure bracketing, and many cameras have this feature, and what it allows you to do is it shoots anywhere from two usually three, sometimes 57 or nine shots at different exposure levels. And this is something that people who shoot HDR photography and they shoot multiple different levels so that they can take this, compress it all into one image and take the best information from each image landscape. Photographers in the past did it because they couldn't see their results on film, and they wanted to make sure that they got exactly the right exposure. It seems to be in much less necessary these days when you can look at the history graham, but I will occasionally bracket just so that I can work with different types of images later on. If you have the featuring your camera, you should definitely be familiar with how to turn it on and off and how to use it, because it can be helpful for making quick decisions out in the field, because the camera will fire through and make the setting adjustments for you much, much faster than you can make him yourself. And perhaps you might want to play with HDR or some sort of exposure blending in the future. And so you're going to use this with scenes that have ah ha, very high dynamic range or very tricky and lighting. These tend to work best in aperture priority because you don't want the depth of field change between the photographs. What the camera is changing when you're an aperture. Priority is it's changing the shutter speed and generally if you're on a tripod, which you should be for being in bracketing because all the pictures need to be framed up exactly the same to have him. The most benefit is that you want to have the same shutter speed or excuse me, you won't have the same depth of field. And the shutter speed doesn't matter because the subjects are not really moving around. Another concept for exposure is the sunny 16 rule. And studying rule was a little bit more applicability back in the days of film. Back in the days we have mechanical cameras or for anybody who happens to have a camera that doesn't have a battery in it, you could set the exposure simply by knowing the sunny 16 rule, which states, if in full sun, the exposure is F 16 and a shutter speed that is the same as your S O. So let's give this a try out on a photograph. Okay, so here's a photograph. It's taken in full sun, right? Well, let's set the exposure using the sunny 16 rule. First off, let's just assume that our eyes so is at 100. That's generally the best setting on most of our cameras. Now what do we set next? Well, it's called the Sunny 16 rules, so let's set F 16 on the aperture. Now. Where do we set the shutter? Speed will, What is our I s O at 100. What's the closest shutter speed do we have to 100. And that would be 1 25 And so that is gonna get us perfect exposure in that situation. Very easy to remember the sunny 16. And you can always kind of double check your own light meter if you are are working out in bright sunshine and so the sunny 16 rule F 16 and a shutter speed that is equal to your S O.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Light Keynote
Focus Keynote
Equipment Keynote
Subject Keynote
Timing Keynote
Composition Keynote
Exposure Keynote