Explain how to get the correct exposure please

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Kanikula, Aug 25, 2007.

  1. Kanikula

    Kanikula TPF Noob!

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    OK im must sound really dense but so far all my pics have been taken on the preset modes of my Nikon D50.

    I now want to learn how to work the camera settings together on manual. i understand what Aperture is, and how it works with the shutter spees to obtain the right exposure and DOF.

    So my question is this...

    How on earth do i determain the settings?????? how I do i know what F stop to use and how fast/slow my shutter speed should be?? and how to i use metering???

    Sorry to sound thick!
     
  2. neea

    neea TPF Noob!

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    Trial and Error!!!

    I'm sure someone will be by soon to suggest 'Understanding Exposure' or something like that. I would but 1. I've never read it and 2. I dont know who wrote it :)

    Let photography be fun. Pick some random settings.. shoot away. When they don't turn out then just slightly adjust it from there.

    EDIT: btw, there is no such thing as a dense question. Asking questions is how you learn and that's what this forum is all about!!!
     
  3. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Not thick at all .. just beginner-ish. And we all are or were beginners at one point :) :) So do not worry!

    Normally what you do is you first decide what sort of shot you want to take:

    - If DOF plays an important role, you select your aperture accordingly to a large or small value, you sem to be familiar with all this. If DOF does not matter, go for some medium value of f/8 or f/11 where the lens will usually have its best optical performance.

    - If motion plays an important role, select your shutter speed first, to either freeze motion with very short exposures or to get motion blur with a long exposure.

    After this, meter the scene with the built in meter and set either shutter speed or aperture respectively to get a good exposure.

    I personally prefer spot metering and meter on the subject of interest in the image and chose the exposure accordingly. Often I then do a second metering on the very dark or bright parts of the scene to see if I will lose them (blown out highlights or dead black shadows) with the currently set exposure and then change exposure slightly in order to rescue what seems more important to me.

    If you do not have a sturdy tripod attached, you will be forced into some compromises of course regarding the longer exposures since you would not want to expose longer than reciprocal focal length in mm read as seconds. (a 100mm lens would hence require at least an exposure as short as 1/100s). But this is just a rule of thumb of course.
     
  4. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    oh, and then with those rough guidelines... lots of trial and error and you will get better and faster!
     
  5. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well, since everyone mentions this book I recently got it ... and I have to say I was VERY dissappointed when going through it first. But then I realised it is a very good book for beginners and that all those things which bore the more advanced are exactly what beginners need.

    And finally, when really reading it in detail, I even started to like the book for myself since it made me re-realise why I do certain things the way I do them. It sort of refreshes my knowledge and also gives me some new tips I did not hear of before or ignored so far.
     

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