Sunny 16 Rule


Fundamentals of Photography


Lesson Info

Sunny 16 Rule

Alright, so this whole section we've been talking about exposure, and there's a couple of kind of special exposure concepts I wanna talk about. First is one of the basic rules that I've learned, which was the Sunny 16 Rule. This is just, it's not really even necessary these days. It was kind of necessary back in the days when I had a manually battery-operated camera. And if the batteries ever died, what would my exposure be when my light meter doesn't work. And now, well, you're not gonna be able to take pictures if your camera doesn't have battery. But just the concept of it, I think, is still relevant and good to know. And so the Sunny 16 Rule states that if you are in full sun, the exposure is f/ and a shutter speed that is about equal to your ISO. So let's walk this through and see what this looks like in the real world. Alright! It is a sunny day, and we wanna get a photograph at f/16. We want lots of depth of field, so this is a perfect example of a Sunny 16 situation. So, the fi...

rst thing that we probably wanna do in a situation like this is set our ISO to the lowest native setting on our ISO, which would be 100. Now, it is the Sunny 16 Rule, so we set an aperture of f/16, and we set a shutter speed that is as close to the ISO number as we can get. So since we have 100 selected, we would select 125. And I know on some cameras you can actually select 100, and that would be fine, but we're just going with those whole numbers for examples in this class. And so do that and you're gonna get a perfect exposure in bright, sunny weather, assuming there's no clouds, and it's not smokey, or some other situation. Like "It's a sunny day, but I was inside. "Why did I get bad exposures?" Alright, so it's under bright, sunny light. Now, that all works well and good, but what if you don't want to shoot at f/16? Okay, what if you wanna shoot with shallow depth of field under bright, sunny light? Well, you're just gonna need to do some horse trading, trading some shutter speeds for some apertures. Alright, so let's just get our numbers set up here. We'll go ahead and set our ISO of 100. We'll do f/16 just to get our numbers set right, and of course a shutter speed of for proper exposure in bright sunlight. But we wanna shoot with shallow depth of field so the background is out of focus. And so in this case, there are some cameras out there, including cameras that I own, that do not have an ISO of 100. Alright, does anybody have a camera like that? There's some cameras out there that have a native ISO of 200, alright. And so in this case, we're wanting to get shallow depth of field with a camera that has an ISO of 200. So what we're gonna have to do is go up to a shutter speed of 250, cause that's the closest number we have to 200. We're keeping our aperture at f/16, but now we're gonna want to make some changes so that we can get to shallow depth of field. And so let's go all the way down to 1.4. And what you wanna do is here, you can count up how many stops of light did we move. And when we count from 16 down to 11, one, two, three, four, five, six, we moved the aperture seven stops of light. We're letting in seven more stops of light, which means we need to close somethin' else down, let in seven stops less light. And how are we gonna do that? Well, we have alotta room to move in the shutter speed. And so we can go faster on the shutter speed up to 8,000th of a second, but that is, unfortunately, only five stops. And so we can't really do it, because we're gonna be two stops overexposed. We need to close down to something that doesn't exist. But it does exist on some cameras that'll actually go up to 32,000th of a second. It's very rare that this happens, but there's a few cameras out there that'll go up to 32,000th of a second. And there's really nothing that I can point to that you need a 32,000th of a second for in motion-stopping capabilities. But for exposure control, which is what we're talking about here, it can be valuable for people who wanna shoot in bright sunlight with a shallow depth of field, sometimes slightly handicapped by that ISO 200. So that's why there's a few of these mirrorless cameras that can go up to 32,000th of a second.

Class Description

As a photographer, you will need to master the technical basics of the camera and form an understanding of the kind of equipment you need. The Fundamentals of Digital Photography will also teach something even more important (and crucial for success) - how to bring your creative vision to fruition.

Taught by seasoned photographer John Greengo, the Fundamentals of Digital Photography places emphasis on quality visuals and experiential learning. In this course, you’ll learn:

  • How to bring together the elements of manual mode to create an evocative image: shutter speed, aperture, and image composition.
  • How to choose the right gear, and develop efficient workflow.
  • How to recognize and take advantage of beautiful natural light.

John will teach you to step back from your images and think critically about your motivations, process, and ultimate goals for your photography project. You’ll learn to analyze your vision and identify areas for growth. John will also explore the difference between the world seen by the human eye and the world seen by the camera sensor. By forming an awareness of the gap between the two, you will be able to use your equipment to its greatest potential.


1Class Introduction 2Photographic Characteristics 3Camera Types 4Viewing System 5Lens System 6Shutter System 7Shutter Speed Basics 8Shutter Speed Effects 9Camera & Lens Stabilization 10Quiz: Shutter Speeds 11Camera Settings Overview 12Drive Mode & Buffer 13Camera Settings - Details 14Sensor Size: Basics 15Sensor Sizes: Compared 16The Sensor - Pixels 17Sensor Size - ISO 18Focal Length 19Angle of View 20Practicing Angle of View 21Quiz: Focal Length 22Fisheye Lens 23Tilt & Shift Lens 24Subject Zone 25Lens Speed 26Aperture 27Depth of Field (DOF) 28Quiz: Apertures 29Lens Quality 30Light Meter Basics 31Histogram 32Quiz: Histogram 33Dynamic Range 34Exposure Modes 35Sunny 16 Rule 36Exposure Bracketing 37Exposure Values 38Quiz: Exposure 39Focusing Basics 40Auto Focus (AF) 41Focus Points 42Focus Tracking 43Focusing Q&A 44Manual Focus 45Digital Focus Assistance 46Shutter Speeds & Depth of Field (DOF) 47Quiz: Depth of Field 48DOF Preview & Focusing Screens 49Lens Sharpness 50Camera Movement 51Advanced Techniques 52Quiz: Hyperfocal Distance 53Auto Focus Calibration 54Focus Stacking 55Quiz: Focus Problems 56Camera Accessories 57Lens Accessories 58Lens Adaptors & Cleaning 59Macro 60Flash & Lighting 61Tripods 62Cases 63Being a Photographer 64Natural Light: Direct Sunlight 65Natural Light: Indirect Sunlight 66Natural Light: Mixed 67Twilight: Sunrise & Sunset Light 68Cloud & Color Pop: Sunrise & Sunset Light 69Silhouette & Starburst: Sunrise & Sunset Light 70Golden Hour: Sunrise & Sunset Light 71Quiz: Lighting 72Light Management 73Flash Fundamentals 74Speedlights 75Built-In & Add-On Flash 76Off-Camera Flash 77Off-Camera Flash For Portraits 78Advanced Flash Techniques 79Editing Assessments & Goals 80Editing Set-Up 81Importing Images 82Organizing Your Images 83Culling Images 84Categories of Development 85Adjusting Exposure 86Remove Distractions 87Cropping Your Images 88Composition Basics 89Point of View 90Angle of View 91Subject Placement 92Framing Your Shot 93Foreground & Background & Scale 94Rule of Odds 95Bad Composition 96Multi-Shot Techniques 97Pixel Shift, Time Lapse, Selective Cloning & Noise Reduction 98Human Vision vs The Camera 99Visual Perception 100Quiz: Visual Balance 101Visual Drama 102Elements of Design 103Texture & Negative Space 104Black & White & Color 105The Photographic Process 106Working the Shot 107What Makes a Great Photograph?


a Creativelive Student

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Vlad Chiriacescu

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