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Do you depend on your camera meter?

  Most people do. The real question should be, can you depend on your camera meter. In most cases you can. But there are situations that arise where you canít depend on it. One such situation is a scene that contains a lot of bright whites such a snow scene. If you depend on your camera to meter this scene then your picture will be underexposed. Thatís because your cameras meter will try to make everything a middle tone of 18% reflectance. Like that of a gray card. Obviously, snow reflects much more light then a gray card so your camera will underexpose the shot.

  If its a sunny bluebird day then you donít need to meter the scene. All you have to do is use the Sunny 16 rule. Here is how to do it. Set your camera to manual mode and set your aperture to f16. Now set your shutter speed to the reciprocal of your film speed. If you are using asa 100 then set your shutter speed to 1/100 of a second or the nearest equivalent. In some cases 1/125. Now compose the shot and you should get an excellent exposure. This assumes you are not using any filtration. If you are, you will have to compensate accordingly.

  Lets say you donít want to use f16 because you want extreme depth of field. Just put your aperture where you want it and adjust your shutter speed to give you an equivalent exposure. If you were to use f22 then your shutter speed would be set to 1/50 or the nearest setting your camera has.


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