Manual Mode vs. Aperture Priority w/ AE-L

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by NikonMike24, Oct 18, 2017.

  1. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Dec 5, 2017
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    I use M when the lighting is confusing.

    Example1. Indoor basketball. The lighting on the court is consistent. But it the scoreboard or the illuminated sign on the scorekeepers table is in the frame, the meter will adjust for the light and underexpose the players. So I determine the correct exposure, then set it in M, then shoot.

    Example2. Outdoor night football/soccer. The lighting is somewhat consistent, going down by 1 stop at the end zone. The issue is if you point the camera in the direction of the end zone, the background is BLACK. This confuses the meter the other way from indoor basketball. The meter then increases the exposure, for the BLACK background, and over exposes the players.

    Example3. Event where some are in BLACK and others in WHITE. The camera will increase exposure on the black clothes and decrease exposure on the white clothes, trying to get the metered scene to middle gray.
    Shot with musicians in black, I have to decrease the exposure to keep their cloths black, and not over expose the faces.
    Shot with musicians in white shirts, I have to increase the exposure to keep their shirts white, and not under expose the faces.
    The lighting is the SAME for both shots, just the color of their clothes.
    Similarly you will get a lot of light reflection off the brass instruments, and very little/none off the string instruments.

    The trick here is to learn where the meter works properly and where it does not, and why it does not, then adjust with exposure compensation or go full manual.

  2. stk

    stk TPF Noob!

    Dec 29, 2017
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    It doesn't matter how you achieve your desired exposure, just that you do.

    I'll let my camera do the work as much as possible, but I'll switch to manual for flash photography, night photography and sunsets. The exposure compensation I don't use a whole lot, mostly for bracketing.
  3. JamesD

    JamesD Between darkrooms

    Mar 20, 2005
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    Living in Snapshot reality.

    It depends on which camera I'm using and what I'm doing.

    When I first started in photography, I used full manual almost exclusively, especially when I upgraded to a body with a thumb-wheel control and could easily and quickly adjust both aperture and shutter speed. These days, I mostly use aperture priority, with exposure compensation or lock if I need them. Depth of field is a more important factor to me than shutter speed in most situations; I'll keep an eye on the shutter speed and make adjustments if it starts to get out of an acceptable range for the situation and subject, but for the most part, I let it fall where it may.

    I'm more likely to use full manual if I'm shooting from a tripod, but none of my DSLRs have a thumb wheel and I don't like fiddling with buttons while I'm shooting handheld.

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