Sunny 16 Rule for correct exposure

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by arifbd111, Aug 23, 2011.

  1. arifbd111
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    arifbd111 New Member

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    Recently I was trying to learn about Correct Exposure and did hard google at internet. After a long research I've found sunny 16 rule is the best possible method to keep the exposure most correct. Right combination of aperture, shutter speed and ISO for proper exposure is very important. In early days of photography, photographers used light meter to measure the light to find the proper exposure.
    But early days are early days! In era of digital photography, digital cameras have a built in light meter that we don’t need to think about light metering a lot.
    Then why we get incorrect exposed photos? Well the answer is they are machine and they got fooled sometimes. Especially when the subjects are too bright or too dark, examples of this kind of subject are sandy beach in day light, when you are shooting in snow, even if you are in road or in busy city and sun is in just top of your head. Have you ever faced problem during shooting these conditions?

    In photography there is a method call “Sunny 16 rule” to estimate correct daylight exposures. In the rule, you shell set your aperture to f/16, shutter speed as per ISO Speed in a sunny day light and the ISO should be as less as possible like ISO 50 or ISO 100 whatever your camera support. Let’s see a chart of values for “Sunny 16 rule” as condition, aperture, and shadow details.


    Aperture
    Condition
    Shadow Detail
    f/22​
    Snow/Sand​
    Dark with sharp edges​
    f/16​
    Sunny​
    Crisp​
    f/11​
    Slight Overcast​
    Soft edges​
    f/8​
    Overcast​
    Barely visible​
    f/5.6​
    Heavy Overcast​
    No shadows​
    f/4​
    Sunset​
    Long shadows​


    Neither the Aperture value, nor the ISO is a rock solid solution. The values of aperture, ISO and shutter can be changed depending on the strength of light. You can determine the strength of light following the shadow details listed above. Depending on the light condition, select the aperture and you can experiment with 1stop down or up aperture. If you need a higher shutter speed, increase the ISO speed.
    To achieve a reasonable guess at any exposure the Sunny 16 Rule helps you to estimate the number of stops needing adjustment and use a combination of Aperture and Shutter Speed to achieve the correct exposure. The goal is to estimate the correct amount of light that needs to be exposed.

    Source: Sunny 16 Rule for correct exposure | Pho2Circle.com
  2. djacobox372
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    djacobox372 New Member

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    In the early days there were no light meters, photographers learned how to estimate exposure through observation, light meters werent common until the late 1950s.
  3. usayit
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    usayit Well-Known Member

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    Well known technique used for decades. Old Kodak brownies and other toy film cameras used to include a guide to that included an explanation of sunny 16. It can be a bit of an error in the digital world as many digital cameras are not true to their advertised ISO settings. I've gotten a bit rusty at estimating exposure these days....

    1/ISO @ f/16.
  4. manaheim
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    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member

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    Ugh ... f/16... painful. I usually just go faster on shutter. Can't think of any reason why I'd need to go so small on the aperture, really... but maybe I'm missing something.
  5. usayit
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    usayit Well-Known Member

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    its just a starting point.... based on a rule of thumb that makes it easy to relate film iso to aperture and remember how to easily.

    Some students set sunny 16 and then start counting clicks (easier on old mechanical cameras).
  6. manaheim
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    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member

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    Yeah I actually recall doing something like that way back when... two stops in one direction, two clicks on the shutter in the other...

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